Discovering the Rich Architectural Heritage of Dallas

Whether you live in Dallas or are traveling there, make sure to check out the city’s rich architectural heritage. The city is home to dozens of notable sites, but here’s a few to get you started on your journey through Dallas’s best architecture.

Tower Petroleum Building

Dallas architect Mark Lemmon designed the Tower Petroleum Building, completed in 1931. This Art Deco skyscraper was designed in the Zigzag Moderne style, which was used as a way to create geographic ornamentation on urban buildings with smooth surfaces. On the 19th and 22nd floors of the limestone Tower Petroleum Building, the floors are set back from the building’s shaft. Until 1951, the lobby of the Tower Theater was located in the Tower Petroleum Building.

Renaissance Tower

At 886 feet tall, the Renaissance Tower is the second-tallest building in Dallas. Designed by HOK of Dallas, the original building was completed in 1974. In 1986, the Renaissance Tower underwent major renovation that made a number of changes to the building’s exterior. Now the building features a large glass pyramid entry, many different colors of glass, and a granite base. Each of the building’s five towers has a white diamond at the top, and at night lights inside these diamonds illuminate the tops of the towers.

Dallas Gas Company

The Dallas architectural firm Lang and Witchell designed and built a four-story Dallas Gas Company building in 1924. Three years later, Lone Star Gas Company bought the Dallas Gas Company and asked Lang and Witchell to add six more stories. In 1931, Lang and Witchell were asked to remodel the base of the building in order to unify its design with Art Deco design of newer buildings that were being constructed in the same block.

Dallas Scottish Rite Temple

Located in the Farmers Market District, the Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral was built in 1913 in the Beaux Arts style. The exterior of the building is in the Corinthian style, and the Statuary Hall on the first floor is in the classical style. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building serves as headquarters for the Scottish Rite Masons and other local Masonic lodges. The building itself was built by Scottish Rite Masons.

Bridge House

About 18 miles outside of Dallas, world-renowned architect George Woo (a student and protégé of I.M. Pei) designed a home at the highest point in Dallas County. This privately-owned home has a footbridge that provides an elevated passage to the front door of the house. The valley, forests, and Joe Pool Lake are all visible from the bridge.

Elm Place

Designed by Dallas architect George L. Dahl and completed in 1965, Elm Tower originally housed the First National Bank of Dallas. This 52-story skyscraper is 625 feet tall and features four-story arches on all four sides of the building. A six-sided tower rises out of the building’s base, but four of those six sides are angled to make the building look rectangular. Once illuminated every night, now the building’s white vertical elements are only turned on at Christmas.

Trammell Crow Center

Completed in 1985, the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill designed this postmodern skyscraper. Made of granite and glass, the 50-story Trammell Crow Center is cross-shaped and has bay windows that project from each end of the cross. The top of the building is a pyramid made entirely of glass. A new lighting system installed recently illuminates the highest parts of the pyramid. This illuminated glass pyramid makes the Trammell Crow Center one of the key landmarks of Dallas.

This piece was composed by Jerome Kirkland, a freelance writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. Jerome writes on home improvement, the construction industry, architecture, roofing, renovation & remodeling, and other similar subjects; Dallas residents may want to view information on Roofing Dallas to complement their homes.

Discovering the Rich Architectural Heritage of Dallas 2
JR Olson
J. Rex Olson is a freelance writer based in the greater metropolitan area of Seattle. He enjoys writing for the sake of writing, and likes to contribute material on a wide range of topics and issues. When not writing he loves playing basketball and taking in a symphony.

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