Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Russ through a Creative Commons license

Cowtown has new braggin’ rights: the U.S. Census Bureau says they were the fastest-growing big city in the nation between 2000-2013. Fort Worth population saw a 42.34 percent increase in that time. Dallas lagged far behind, coming in at 24th.

The 2010 Census count for Fort Worth put the number of residents at 741,206. Compare this to a population of 534,694 just a decade earlier.

Fort Worth is the 17th-largest city in the country, and the fifth-largest city in the state of Texas. Jump to read more!  (more…)

Feel festive this week at the seventh annual Dallas Woman’s Forum Holiday Home Tour at the historic C. H. Alexander Mansion, just blocks from the Dallas Arts District. The tour is part of a month of fun at the mansion, called “One Enchanted Christmas,” which will continue later in the month with a European Tea Room.

Photo courtesy C. H. Alexander Mansion

Photo courtesy C. H. Alexander Mansion

The Holiday Home Tour, Dec. 4-7, will take visitors through the spectacular rooms of the first floor of the mansion, cheerfully decorated for Christmas. Upstairs, guests can shop among 20 merchants in a gift boutique, offering antiques, jewelry, handcrafted home decor, candles, chocolates, teas, jellies, stationery, and vintage clothing. There are also tasty treats to buy at the Bake Shoppe, and tickets are available in advance for lunch at a Holiday Bistro.

“One Enchanted Christmas” will continue with a European Tea Room in the mansion Dec. 11-14 and 17-20 at noon each day. A traditional three-course tea will begin with passed champagne and will include the Alexander Mansion private blend tea, Caramel Almond Bliss. Reservations are required. (more…)

Dallas has built several new structures using public-private funding partnerships, but are we neglecting our infrastructure for more sexy expenditures?

Dallas has built several new structures using public-private funding partnerships, but are we neglecting our infrastructure for more sexy expenditures?

I went to to the same New Cities Summit that Economist blogger “A.B.” went to, but I had a much different takeaway. Maybe that’s because I live here, or because I’m jaded, or because I’ve seen how Dallas works, but I can’t do much more than give a slow nod to the blogger’s “Prime Time” post on the magazine’s Schumpeter blog.

You see, and I pretty much spelled it out in my post dissecting and recapping the “Dallas: A Case Study” panel from the first day of the summit. Here’s what A.B. gleaned from that session:

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1999 McKinney 1006 View

A friend of mine has a nickname or code word for his house. He calls it the “sexy dojo.” I know, it’s silly, but I also know he’s not the only one who has a nickname for their home.

I do, too. My husband and I call our little domicile the “House of England,” which is both literal and fanciful, and makes our modest 1,300-square-foot home seem a lot more grand. But for our Lease of the Week, I’ve already nicknamed it for the lucky tenant: “A Love Affair Pied a Terre.”

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Continental Viaduct Bridge

The Continental Viaduct was just reopened as a park. The opening coincides with the New Cities Summit, which is hosted inside Dallas’ Arts District from June 17-19.

The Continental Bridge was once the easiest way to get from downtown Dallas to West Dallas if you didn’t want to cross at Fort Worth Avenue/Beckley. But when the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge opened, the Continental Viaduct was all but obsolete. So what do you do with aging infrastructure and a growing urban population that wants more open space? You make it a park.

That’s what’s interesting about this conversion, which just opened ahead of the New Cities Summit, an urban-oriented conference that will host panels discussing some very heady issues that cities are facing in the 21st century. I’m pretty sure that it is no coincidence that the new bridge/park opened last weekend, and that the summit will kick off tomorrow with an opening keynote address from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. The event is hosted in our spectacular Arts District, too, and I am sure that attendees will enjoy our many beautiful examples of cutting edge architecture.

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Party Line Real Estate – Webisode 1 from Party Line on Vimeo.

Hey guys, listen up. I’ve finally got my own TV Show! It’s called Party Line Real Estate, it’s loaded with real-time Real Estate news, and you are going to LOVE IT! 

I LOVE IT when Real Estate agents get together and TALK! After all, it’s Friday. And we know there is no better way to network than at a party with the top agents in town, great food, a little string quartet music, and a Candy Bar! Well, we got a whole camera crew and invited Realtors to have some fun and give me the inside scoop on this crazy market. It was such a success, we are going to have a party and a Candy Bar every month! And you are invited to come and share!

PartyLine Museum Tower Candy bar

The “Candy Bar” at Museum Tower
 

The Party Line is exactly what happens when we gather at a fantastic listing, network, and share who’s selling what, the hottest ‘hoods, best builders and what’s coming up. Want to know how the stars of Real Estate sell those mega homes? We’ve got a camera rolling, so you can find out!

Here’s our very first Party, at beautiful Museum Tower, in the heart of Dallas’ vibrant Arts District. Dallas’ high-rise neighborhoods saw a 36.4 % increase in the number of units sold and almost a fifty percent increase in volume last year. Yee haw!

Photo Feb 26, 5 20 56 PMThe other “Candy Bar”
 

Museum Tower today, but where will we party tomorrow? Maybe a beautiful home in Highland Park, Preston Hollow or Allen. Maybe we’ll head up to Craig Ranch or Light Farms.  I want to thank all the agents who came in from all over — Joan Eleazer, Mark Cain, Caroline Summers, Kyle Crews, Jonathan Rosen, Joe Kobell, Kyle Rovinsky, Missy Wohr, Clay Stapp, Tom Hughes, Molly Malone, Becky Frey, Pogir, David Maez and Tom Branch who drove in all the way from Plano, for coming to my party! Yeah, Phillip Day came in from the Bahamas, just for me.

What are they doing, saying, selling? Are they behaving? We hope NOT!

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Party Line Real Estate – Webisode 1 from Party Line on Vimeo.

Hey guys, listen up. I’ve finally got my own TV Show! It’s called Party Line Real Estate, it’s loaded with real-time Real Estate news, and you are going to LOVE IT! 

I LOVE IT when Real Estate agents get together and TALK! After all, it’s Friday. And we know there is no better way to network than at a party with the top agents in town, great food, a little string quartet music, and a Candy Bar! Well, we got a whole camera crew and invited Realtors to have some fun and give me the inside scoop on this crazy market. It was such a success, we are going to have a party and a Candy Bar every month! And you are invited to come and share!

PartyLine Museum Tower Candy bar

The “Candy Bar” at Museum Tower
 

The Party Line is exactly what happens when we gather at a fantastic listing, network, and share who’s selling what, the hottest ‘hoods, best builders and what’s coming up. Want to know how the stars of Real Estate sell those mega homes? We’ve got a camera rolling, so you can find out!

Here’s our very first Party, at beautiful Museum Tower, in the heart of Dallas’ vibrant Arts District. Dallas’ high-rise neighborhoods saw a 36.4 % increase in the number of units sold and almost a fifty percent increase in volume last year. Yee haw!

Photo Feb 26, 5 20 56 PMThe other “Candy Bar”
 

Museum Tower today, but where will we party tomorrow? Maybe a beautiful home in Highland Park, Preston Hollow or Allen. Maybe we’ll head up to Craig Ranch or Light Farms.  I want to thank all the agents who came in from all over — Joan Eleazer, Mark Cain, Caroline Summers, Kyle Crews, Jonathan Rosen, Joe Kobell, Kyle Rovinsky, Missy Wohr, Clay Stapp, Tom Hughes, Molly Malone, Becky Frey, Pogir, David Maez and Tom Branch who drove in all the way from Plano, for coming to my party! Yeah, Phillip Day came in from the Bahamas, just for me.

What are they doing, saying, selling? Are they behaving? We hope NOT!

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REX-SURYA2-OK-P1

According to a post on tech and design blog Gizmodo, design firm REX was commissioned by the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund in 2012 to design a “third option” to buffer the glare from Museum Tower that was affecting the Nasher Sculpture Center.

From REX:

While any tower would reflect some light back into the Nasher’s galleries and impede views from the galleries to the sky, Museum Tower’s height, elliptical plan geometry, and highly reflective glass greatly exacerbate these problems. A perfect storm is born that will mire the Nasher and Museum Tower in pointed argument, and plague the aura of Dallas’s important cultural district.

The Nasher proposes Museum Tower cover its southwestern exposure with an external louver system. Museum Tower responds that this solution is not structurally feasible, is prohibitively expensive, and will render the residential units less commercially attractive, thereby jeopardizing the project’s profitability. Museum Tower notes that no alteration to its exterior will fully eliminate glare into the galleries, one of the Nasher’s demands.

Museum Tower proposes to redesign the Nasher’s oculi, such that the Tower is no longer visible through the sunscreen and its glare is blocked. The Nasher responds that the sunscreen was considered by Ray Nasher (who passed away in 2007) to be a significant part of the sculpture collection he gave to Dallas, and that adjusting the oculi will not improve Museum Tower’s negative impacts to the Nasher’s adjacent sculpture garden.

The New York firm was tasked with finding a way to reduce the glare’s effects on the landmark museum without altering either structure, cause as little impact on the real estate value of Museum Tower as possible, and be a positive addition to the Dallas Arts District. Joshua Prince-Ramus came up with was “Surya”: a dynamic sun shield that changed shape according to the seasonal light patterns reflecting off of the 104-unit condo tower.

REX-SURYA2-OK-P1

“Building a static blind of this dimension would block the commanding views from the multi-million dollar apartments on Museum Tower’s southwestern face, rendering them largely worthless,” the report from REX states. “Hence, the shade is pixelized into variably dimensioned umbrellas that “blossom” in the precise constellation needed at any given moment of the day, and retract when not.”

It’s a pretty cool design, which includes a cascade of umbrellas that open and close in succession as the sun moves across Museum Tower. I don’t know what kind of material would be involved, but considering our summers, it would have to be heat-proof and built to weather high winds.

A year ago, Willard Spiegelman wrote this about the proposed structure in the Wall Street Journal:

The second is a bizarre plan for an almost 400-foot construction—part sculpture, part machine—by the architect Joshua Prince-Ramus, to stand between the two buildings and to diffuse the light. It looks like a multidimensional arch that would open and close as needed in order to control glare. The tower people consider this a bold statement that will add to the panache of the arts district. The Nasher people say no: It will be wildly expensive ($20 million to $30 million), and it will overwhelm, as well as overshadow, their delicate museum, what Mr. Piano refers to as “my little gallery.” Goliath threatens David once more.

I wonder if, a year later, Surya isn’t looking a little more feasible. What do you think?