Architecture360 opens Dallas doors to new generation of building buffs
Dallas’ architecture guardians are working together this month to showcase the city’s history through a concerted effort they’re calling Architecture360.
Spearheaded by the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Dallas Center for Architecture, Architecture360 features daily exhibits, tours and other architecture-related activities that highlight the myriad styles in the city’s landscape.
AIA Dallas executive director Jan Blackmon says that the inaugural Architecture360 emphasizes public involvement. In the past, organizations such as Preservation Dallas and the Nasher had independent April architecture exhibits, but 360 puts it all on one agenda.
“We want to show the public the impact that architecture can play in the individual lives of citizens,” says AID Dallas executive director Jan Blackmon.
“We want to show the public the impact that architecture can play in the individual lives of citizens and community as a whole,” Blackmon says. “360 is a combination of programs that we’ve always done, and we added tours and events of interest to the public in an effort to make architecture transparent in its impact to the city and highlight some wonderful things going on here.”
Designed so that every day of April has at least one architecture activity, 360 has a variety of walking tours, including the Klyde Warren Park Skyline 360 tour each Monday from 12:30-1 pm, Thursday from 5:30-6 pm, and Saturday from 2:30-3 pm. Those looking for more formal instruction can attend the second annual David Dillon Symposium on April 18 and 19.
Put together by Kate Holliday, CultureMap's architecture correspondent and director of the David Dillon Center, the event features keynote speaker Robert Bruegmann, author of “Sprawl: A Compact History.”
“The theme of that is ‘the resilient city,’” Blackmon says. “He writes about urban sprawl and how it affects cities in general.”
Although the skyline tour and many of the events are free, others, such as the symposium and the eighth annual White Rock Home Tour, require a purchased ticket.
So far this month, Blackmon says that they’ve been happy with the interest, particularly among locals.
“It’s been eye opening as an organization to see the widespread interest on the tours,” she says. “There aren’t many out-of-towners; it’s mostly our own citizens that are curious, and they just don’t get to come downtown often.”
Among the most buzzed-about events is the “Boneyard Tour” the Parks Department is putting on April 26 from 2:30-3:30 pm. Led by Dallas park and recreation director Willis Winters, the tour explores what is known as “Area 52” in the maintenance yard in East Dallas.
The “boneyard” is where notable architectural relics are taken when a building is razed or changed. There are cast stone pieces from the 1922 Dallas Architectural Club and the limestone cartouche from the old Titche’s department store downtown.
Blackmon says there are plans to expand 360 next year and make it bigger throughout April so that people can really get a full taste of what Dallas has to offer.
“This has made us realize that there’s a hunger for people to understand about their community,” she says. “As architects, we feel that architecture plays a very important role in the quality of life of Dallas and in attracting people to the city.”
For a full list of events, visit the Architecture360 website.