The Info List - Dallas City Hall

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Dallas City Hall
Dallas City Hall
is the seat of Dallas municipal government, located at 1500 Marilla in the Government District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). The current building, the city's fifth city hall, was completed in 1978 and replaced the Dallas Municipal Building.


1 History 2 Design 3 Facilities 4 Gallery 5 References 6 External links


City plans from 1946 called for a grand Beaux-Arts municipal center in Downtown Dallas

The City of Dallas’ idea for a centralized municipal center began when city planning consultants Harland Bartholomew & Associates presented their ideas in 1944. The idea was to relocate from the current Dallas Municipal Building
Dallas Municipal Building
to a grand Beaux-Arts complex of city and federal offices, a convention center and cultural facilities. Two sites downtown were possible contenders: one north centered on Federal Street and Akard, and one south centered on Young Street.[1] Plans proceeded until cost estimates shocked city leaders and the plan was shelved, although land at the southern site was acquired by the city for future use. The 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy turned the world against the city, as Dallas became known as the “City of Hate.” Dallas Mayor Erik Jonsson made it a priority to reinvent the city’s image, and the “Goals for Dallas” program was enacted to accomplish this. One of goals, Design of the City, was summarized by the statement, "We demand a city of beauty and functional fitness that embraces the quality of life for all its people." [2] This was the start of the movement to create a new modern City Hall and municipal center. Planning for the Dallas Municipal Center commenced in 1964 when the Dallas City Council appointed a Citizen's City Hall Site Committee to select an appropriate location for new municipal administration offices.[3] The mayor was closely involved with the project, and a committee of prominent citizens settled on I.M. Pei
I.M. Pei
to design the new facility. Construction began on June 26, 1972 under the direction of contractor Robert E. McKee and Pei. The project was completed in three phases. The City accepted the garage parking areas in November 1974; the Park Plaza in May 1976; and the building in December 1977. The cost of design and construction of the building, the Park Plaza and the garage was over $70 million. Controversies arose over cost overruns (the original estimated cost was $42.2 million) and aesthetic issues (was the building too avant-garde?), though most problems were addressed and work moved on to completion.[3] The first Dallas City Council meeting was held in the building's City Council Chamber on February 1, 1978, and the entire facility was formally opened and dedicated on March 12, 1978. Design[edit]

"When you do a city hall, it has to convey an image of the people, and this had to represent the people of Dallas... The people I met – rich and poor, powerful and not so powerful – were all very proud of their city. They felt that Dallas was the greatest city there was, and I could not disappoint them." – I.M. Pei[4]

I.M. Pei’s modernist inverted pyramid design is a result of space requirements from city government. Public areas and citizen services required much less space than offices that ran the government and overhanging the upper floors allowed them to be larger than the public spaces below. The building slopes at a 34° angle, with each of the 7 above-grade floors being 9½ feet wider than the one below. This inclined façade interacts with the buildings it faces downtown and provides protection from the weather and Texas
sun.[5] The foundation and basement levels are considerably wider than the apparent footprint of the structure, extending out beneath the inclined facade. The cantilevered roof is 200 feet (61 meters) wide, the ground floor is 126 feet (38.4 meters) wide, and the basement 230 feet (70.1 meters) wide.[6] When Mayor Jonsson reacted to the apparent top-heaviness of the building's shape, 3 cylindrical pillars that appear the hold up the structure were created. These contain stairwells that had originally been concealed within the design. These pillars only provide visual support and do not bear the load of the building.[6] Pei also persuaded the city to acquire an additional 6 acres in front of the building as a plaza and buffer zone for his grand public structure. A 1,325 car parking garage was built beneath the plaza, and the extra income helped supplement the funding of the building. A buff-colored concrete was chosen for the main building material; its color resembled local earth tones. Since concrete was both the primary structural and finish material, close attention was paid to every aspect of its mix and placement.[6] The design of Dallas City Hall
Dallas City Hall
inspired the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library building located across the street – whereas the upper floors of City Hall are oriented toward Marilla Street, the upper floors of the Central Library are oriented away from Marilla (and, in a form of symmetry, away from City Hall). The building features in the Robocop
movies of the 1980s, as the Headquarters of the OCP company; special effects were employed to make the building appear taller than it is.[7][8] Facilities[edit]

City Hall contained 1,400 workstations when it opened in 1978. It had few floor-to-ceiling walls, using instead five-, six-, and seven-foot-high partitions to create separate offices. The absence of walls allowed employees and visitors to have window views from all areas. The second floor of Dallas City Hall
Dallas City Hall
is referred to as the Great Court because of its 250-foot (76 m) length and the uninterrupted height to the vaulted ceiling approximately 100 feet (30 m) above. The Park Plaza is two blocks long and one block wide and is bounded by Young, Ervay, Marilla and Akard streets. The Plaza includes a 180-foot (55 m)-diameter reflecting pool, a variable-height fountain, park benches and three distinctive 84-foot (26 m)-high flagpoles. The Plaza is landscaped with trees native to Texas: live oaks and red oaks. The reflective pool contains large floating sculptures designed by artist Marta Pan. A 16-foot (4.9 m)-high by 24-foot (7.3 m)-wide, three-piece sculpture titled "The Dallas Piece" was designed by Henry Moore
Henry Moore
for the plaza and resembles vertebrae. A state-of-the-art Conference Center that includes a 156-seat auditorium and three conference rooms was recently added to Dallas City Hall. A tunnel and station for future rail transit was constructed in the third level basement beneath the parking garage and Marilla Street. This tunnel has remained unused but has been considered for DART’s second light rail route through downtown Dallas.


City Hall Plaza is regularly used for marches and protests[citation needed]

View from City Hall toward downtown

Side view of City Hall

Interior corridors of City Hall

View of City Hall from Reunion Tower


^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/fatguyinalittlecoat/3054060248/in/photostream/ ^ http://www.architectureweek.com/2009/0729/building_2-1.html ^ a b http://www.dallascityhall.com/html/dallas_city_hall.html ^ http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/dallascityhall/index.htm ^ http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/texas/dallas/cityhall/pei.html ^ a b c http://www.architectureweek.com/2009/0729/building_2-2.html ^ http://texaspopculture.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/robocop-visits-city-hall.html ^ http://www.dallasfilmcommission.com/robocop-dallas-locations-then-now/

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dallas City Hall.

Dallas-Fort Worth portal Architecture portal

Dallasarchitecture.info - Dallas City Hall Dallascityhall.com - Official City of Dallas website Architecture Week: "Engineering a Pei Cantilever
— Dallas City Hall" Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Dallas Morning News: City Hall Blog — by Dave Levinthal and Rudolph Bush.

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Downtown Dallas

Only items within the "Loop" are listed.


Arts District City Center District Convention Center District Farmers Market District

Harwood Historic District

Government District Main Street District Reunion District West End Historic District Dallas Downtown Historic District


Primary & Secondary Schools

Dallas Independent School District

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Lassiter Early College Pegasus School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

First Baptist Academy of Dallas

Other education

Dallas County Community College District
Dallas County Community College District
(El Centro College) Dallas Public Library

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library

Universities Center at Dallas

Skyscrapers and complexes

100 North Central Expressway 1600 Pacific Tower 2100 Ross Avenue 1700 Pacific Adolphus Hotel Bank of America Plaza Bryan Tower Chase Tower Comerica Bank Tower Corrigan Tower Dallas Hilton Davis Building Elm Place Energy Plaza Fountain Place Hyatt Regency Dallas The Joule Hotel Kirby Building KPMG Centre Magnolia Hotel Mercantile Commerce Building Mercantile Continental Building Mercantile National Bank Building Omni Dallas Hotel One Dallas Center One Main Place Pacific Place Plaza of the Americas Praetorian Building Renaissance Tower Republic Center Reunion Tower Ross Tower Santa Fe Terminal Complex Sheraton Dallas Hotel Thanksgiving Tower Tower Petroleum Building Trammell Crow Center

Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art

Whitacre Tower


Belo Garden Park Main Street Garden Park Pegasus Plaza Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park Thanks-Giving Square Klyde Warren Park

Religious buildings

Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe Fellowship Church First Baptist Church First Presbyterian Church of Dallas First United Methodist Church St. Paul United Methodist Church

Other landmarks

AT&T Performing Arts Center

Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House Annette Strauss Square

Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse Dallas City Hall Dallas City Performance Hall Dallas County Courthouse (Old Red) Dallas Farmers Market Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education & Tolerance Dallas Municipal Building Dallas Museum of Art Dallas Pedestrian Network Dallas Scottish Rite Temple Dallas World Aquarium Dealey Plaza Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial Majestic Theatre Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center Nasher Sculpture Center Neiman Marcus Building Old Dallas Central Library Pioneer Plaza Pioneer Park Cemetery Sanger Harris Building (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) Texas
School Book Depository (Dallas County Administration Building)

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Thanks-Giving Square Titche-Goettinger Building Wilson Building Reunion Arena (demolished)

DART Light Rail
DART Light Rail

Akard Convention Center Pearl/Arts District St. Paul Union Station West End/West Transfer Center

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