Space fans across Dallas who are eagerly anticipating America’s historic return to the moon now have a new date. Artemis I will now launch on Saturday, September 3, with a two-hour window beginning at 1:17 pm CDT, NASA has announced.

Viewers can tune into the livestream of the rocket and spacecraft at the launch pad on the NASA Kennedy YouTube channel. Additionally, live coverage of events can be found on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

This comes after the initial August 29 launch was scrubbed. At that time, teams were not able to chill down the four RS-25 engines to necessary temperatures. Teams also caught and quickly managed a hydrogen leak on one of the rocket’s components.

NASA reports that teams are currently addressing and testing both issues in advance of the Saturday launch. Another important component for flight windows — weather — is currently favorable. Meteorologists with the U.S. Space Force Space Launch Delta 45 forecast favorable weather conditions for Saturday. Though some rain showers are expected, they are predicted to be sporadic during the launch window, per NASA.

Artemis I is the first flight test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System rocket (dubbed SLS), and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“The first in a series of increasingly complex missions, Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation to extend human presence to the Moon and beyond,” NASA notes in a news release. “The mission will demonstrate the performance of the SLS rocket and test Orion’s capabilities over the course of about six weeks as it travels about 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and back to Earth.”

Given the gravity of the launch, NASA planned considerable fanfare for the broadcast, including celebrity appearances by Jack Black, Chris Evans, and Keke Palmer, as well as a special performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock. A planned musical performance featured “America the Beautiful” by The Philadelphia Orchestra and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Representatives from Johnson Space Center had not received an update on the Saturday broadcast program when contacted on Wednesday, August 31.

Texas and lunar missions have been inextricably tied since NASA’s first launches. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy boldly declared that America would go to the moon before the end of the decade in front of a packed Rice University football stadium.

On July 20, 1969 – a commitment to the late President Kennedy’s directive — Apollo 11 marked its arrival to the lunar surface with a statement heard around the globe from Commander Neil Armstrong, who would take mankind’s first steps on the surface: “Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed.”

And the city has (somewhat tiredly) been the source of a ubiquitous sentence — that is actually a paraphrasing — uttered by Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell: “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” The adjusted “Houston, we have a problem” declaration was later immortalized by Tom Hanks (as Lovell) in the blockbuster Apollo 13.

What will be the next iconic phrase sent back to Texas when NASA’s manned mission readies to land on Earth’s sole satellite? The countdown is on.

Photo courtesy of Big Easy Ranch

Luxurious Texas ranch retreat tees up lush new 18-hole championship golf course

acing it

A prestigious and exclusive getaway for Texans has just rolled out an exciting new destination for golfers. Big Easy Ranch, the private Colorado County retreat (about an hour from Houston) has unveiled the name and open date of its new, 18-hole championship golf course.

Dubbed The Covey — which harks to the ranch’s wingshooting and upland hunting — the par 72 course will boast more than 7,400 yards with multiple tee boxes, Zeon Zoysia fairways and rough, and TifEagle greens, all aiming to offer optimal playing and course conditions for the area, per press materials.

Groundbreaking kicked off in September; The Covey is slated for completion this fall. Renowned golf course architect Chet Williams returned to design The Covey; he originally designed The Ranch’s nine-hole, par three course that he also designed.

Not surprisingly, given how fast word-of-mouth golf news travels locally, Big Easy has already seen an uptick in members, Big Easy’s Nicole Scarbrough says.

“With the announcement of the new 18-hole golf course in spring 2021, we introduced the Legacy Membership, a new level of membership providing access to the ranch amenities along with exclusive access to the … course,” she says. “With a conservative limit of 300, more than 100 Legacy members have already joined. This is pretty significant considering The Covey will not be completed and open for play until fall 2022.”

Scarborough also notes that the retreat has seen new members from Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio — as well as across the U.S.

Meanwhile, course plans also for a second clubhouse that will provide sweeping, 360-degree views of the courses and neighboring foothills, plus lounge areas, a full service bar, dining areas, a wine room, and upscale locker rooms for both men and women.

Considered the elite retreat in Columbus, Texas/Colorado County, Big Easy Ranch (2400 Brunes Mill Rd.) spans some 2,000 acres of hilly terrain. Besides golf, members enjoy sporting clays course, fishing lakes, an infinity pool, wingshooting, whitetail and exotic hunting, luxury overnight accommodations, and a 12,000-square-foot lodge that serves up high-end dining and an award winning wine program.

Members can also take advantage of estate homesites that range from 2/3 of an acre to more than one acre, as well as shared ownership villas.

Rendering courtesy of Meow Wolf

Wildly popular immersive arts venture Meow Wolf to open new 'portal' in Dallas-Fort Worth

Imagination station

The mesmerizing Santa Fe-based interactive adventure known for enchanting art lovers and amusement zealots with its mind-bending immersive experiences is tripping into Texas with a new permanent exhibition in Dallas-Fort Worth: Meow Wolfwill open a new "portal" in Grapevine next year.

Announced Wednesday, May 11, the DFW location marks the innovative business’ first permanent installation in the Lone Star State. A portal in Houston will follow, in 2024.

The new Grapevine portal (so called for Meow Wolf’s expertise in transporting visitors to fantastic realms of imagination) will be located in the Grapevine Mills shopping mall and encompass 40,000 square feet in the space formerly occupied by a big-box store. The Grapevine Meow Wolf is scheduled to open in 2023.

Following the Grapevine opening, Meow Wolf aims to unveil its Houston portal, which will be in the historic Fifth Ward cultural district and include Houston-based real estate firm The Deal Co as development partners. The Houston portal is planned for a 2024 opening.

Meow Wolf got its start in 2008 as a DIY collective of Santa Fe artists, growing into a full-fledged immersive-art affair with the opening of the permanent Santa Fe location in 2016. In 2021, the company branched out with two additional permanent portals in Denver and Las Vegas. Each location hosts a unique art exhibition, ranging from Santa Fe’s mysterious “House of Eternal Return” to Las Vegas’ surreal supermarket-themed “Omega Mart” and Denver’s transformative “Convergence Station.”

While additional info on themes, names, artists, and specific opening dates for the new Texas portals — the company’s fourth and fifth permanent exhibitions — will be released in the coming months, and the company declined to reveal the build-out costs for the new locations, Meow Wolf has confirmed that more than 50 percent of the artists contributing to the rooms, dioramas, and murals at the new Lone Star State portals hail from Texas. Meow Wolf says it will actively begin recruiting more artists and staff for the new Texas portals this summer.

The new locations, which the company teased as part of its appropriately mysterious Texas Portals marketing campaign, are part of a larger expansion plan for the arts consortium, says Didi Bethurum, vice president of marketing for Meow Wolf, which will add more permanent installations and roll out other artful projects in the coming years.

While Bethurum notes that several factors play into the decision-making process when choosing a new Meow Wolf location, she highlights the size and art-loving communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas as key criteria.

“Dallas is the ninth-largest city by population in the United States and Houston is the fourth-largest. Bringing Meow Wolf experiences to large cities allows for us to share art with the greatest amount of people,” she says, also calling attention to the Texas Cultural Trust’s 2021 State of the Arts Report, which claims Texas’ arts and culture industry has blossomed by more than 30 percent in the past decade. “We seek to be part of the amazing growth of this sector.”

And considering Meow Wolf has a “legacy of utilizing unique spaces” that allow for artistic creativity to flow — an old bowling alley in Santa Fe, a new experience district in Las Vegas, and football-stadium-adjacent triangular highway void in Denver — Grapevine’s nostalgic mall vibes and Houston’s diverse and historic location make for ideal haunts for Meow Wolf.

Likely also contributing to the Grapevine location decision is the fact that one of Meow Wolf’s founders, Matt King, grew up in the area and was even present at the grand opening of Grapevine Mills in the late 1990s.

“I am thrilled to welcome Meow Wolf to Grapevine,” says Mayor William D. Tate. “Our city is a premier destination for entertainment, and the interactive installation these artists will build at Grapevine Mills pairs perfectly with the high-quality restaurants, wineries, and family-friendly activities we have worked to place all over our fine city for decades.”

This marks the first time Meow Wolf will open two exhibitions in the same state at roughly the same time, certainly a major undertaking for any arts organization. But given that some 3 million raving fans have already visited Meow Wolf locations and that the company has been eyeing these Texas markets for more than two years, the new portals are destined to become a howling success, enthralling locals with “revolutionary artistic expression” unlike anything Grapevine or Houston have previously experienced.

“The Meow Wolf story universe is expanding, and Texas holds the keys to our next chapters,” says Jose Tolosa, CEO of Meow Wolf. “Opening a permanent exhibition in the largest and one of the most diverse states in the country has been on Meow Wolf’s radar for years, and we are excited to be formally underway. The opportunities this state has presented have already become the touchstones of a vibrant, arts-centric portal of imaginative creativity.”

Photo courtesy of Lone Star Flight Museum

Texas museum salutes fierce female WWII pilots in soaring new exhibit

wonder women

When it comes to tales of the Greatest Generation and World War II, most of the stories are relegated to men. But women played a substantial part in the war effort, such as the valiant female pilots known as WASPS.

The story of the WASPS — Women Airforce Service Pilots — and their Texas connection is told in “Fly Girls of WWII,” a new exhibit premiering at Houston's Lone Star Flight Museum. The educational and landmark show, underwritten by Cher and John Floyd, opens on January 28 and runs through July 10.

On Saturday, January 29: flight museum curator Eleanor Barton will detail the history of fly girls at Houston Municipal Airport — the training site for the first WASP class.

A little backstory from the museum: In November 1942, the first training class of 28 women arrived at Houston Municipal Airport to complete their primary, basic, and advanced training. In February 1943, due to complications with weather and heavy air traffic, the WASP program was moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas.

More than 25,000 women applied for the experimental flight training program; only 1,830 were accepted, per records. The female aviators earned their silver wings and were then deployed to 120 bases across the United States. Despite 38 women losing their lives in the line of duty, surprisingly, it wasn't until 1977 that WASP were granted veteran status.

In 2010, the fly girls received the Congressional Gold Medal and now, their story is told via photos, uniforms, artifacts, memorabilia, and more in this exhibit.

Along with the program, curator and docent talks will feature never-before-seen artifacts and personal stories about the WASP group. Katherine Sharp Landdeck, associate professor at Texas Women’s University, and a globally recognized expert on the WASPs will occur later in the spring. Landdeck will discuss the WASP women and her book, The Women With Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II.

This exhibit was created by Wings Across America, a project of Baylor University. It has been on display at Baylor, the Women’s Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, and other flight and history museums.


“Fly Girls of WWII” at the Lone Star Flight Museum; January28-July 10; $18 (adults), $15(12 to 17 and for ages 65+), $12 (ages 4 to 11), free for ages 3 and under. For more information, visit the flight museum website.

Image courtesy of Grand Galvez

Landmark Galveston hotel reveals Gatsby-esque renovations and updates

Texas travel

Galveston’s historic hotel Grand Galvez is in the midst of a massive renovation and remodel and now, future guests can get a sneak peek of the updates to the Gulf Coast’s only 110-year-old, 4-Star landmark.

Dallas-based Grand Galvez owner Mark Wyant has just revealed his new plans and renderings for the iconic hotel and spa. Sneak peek imagery includes the music hall, terrace ballroom, lobby entrance with the 44-foot “Queen of the Gulf” mosaic, Coffee Café, and the Galvez Bar & Grill.

“These new, exciting designs will combine with the property’s current amenities and magnify the new vitality of the Grand Galvez,” said Wyant in a statement. He and his wife, interior designer Lorenda Wyant, have fueled the creative push behind Grand Galvez interior designs. The duo has previously collaborated on the Saint Hotels and other hotel properties and homes, according to their bio.

The “Queen of the Gulf” mosaic
A piece designed by Mark and Lorenda Wyant, the 44-foot by 17-foot mosaic is being produced by Dallas-based mosaicist Julie Richey and fabricated in Italy. A pink and red oleander garland surrounds the “Queen of the Gulf,” which will be created in gold. Thousands of Murano glass tiles are being created by a family of artisans in Venice, Italy. Installation will occur in spring 2022, per a press release.

The 1915 Model T
Wyant has found and restored a 1915 Ford Model T Roadster, which will be displayed in the East Loggia. He plans to personally drive it from his home in Dallas to the hotel in Galveston in spring.

The Founders Bar
This is a new lobby bar in the West Loggia that will overlook Peacock Alley and the Gulf of Mexico. The bar will exhibit photographs and mementos from the hotel’s opening and its founding five members. The original hotel bar will be moved to a permanent place in the Music Hall event space, according to Wyant.

The marble fountain
Another item being produced in Italy, this piece will sit in the Great Front Lawn. The fountain is being carved in Italy from Calacetta marble and will be 16 feet tall and 35 feet wide. Installation will occur mid-year 2022.

Coffee Café
Designed for the west lobby, this space will open early and throughout the day, serving freshly brewed coffee, teas, and snacks.

Meanwhile, renovations will include all hotel rooms, hospitality, and public areas. The hotel and spa will remain open and fully operational with guest bookings, weddings, dining, special events scheduled. (Guest rooms are being redesigned one floor at a time, the hotel notes.)

The all-white-and-indigo blue rooms feature a sofa at the end of the beds upholstered in a tropical green and white palm pattern and the white lacquered, while mirrored furniture is offset with light sky blue ceilings. Pillow-top beds feature a custom mirrored back wall extending to the ceiling.

Evoking the Gatsby era, public areas will include harlequin black and white marble flooring with black framing, crystal chandeliers throughout, royal burgundy carpets, and accent draperies, a release notes. The front desk harks to the original, 1911 front desk with its iron detailing and glass features.

A renewed, original Peacock Alley, the grand walkway leading from the lobby to the spa and ballroom, is a design element not seen at the hotel in over 70 years. Original moldings and ceilings found in the hotel walls are being restored for the first time since 1962.

For momentos, the Lolo Boutique will offer gifts, clothing, and souvenirs.

“We have great respect for the iconic architecture of this property,” Wyant said in a statement. “I can assure everyone that our vision for the ‘new’ Grand Galvez will honor the historic design, offering a refreshed elegance throughout the hotel. These designs reflect the new energy we will bring to the resort and all its amenities.”

The Grand Galvez is in the midst of a massive renovation.

Grand Galvez
Image courtesy of Grand Galvez
The Grand Galvez is in the midst of a massive renovation.
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New downtown Dallas tower to take last prime spot facing Klyde Warren Park

Downtown News

The last patch of land open for development near Klyde Warren Park is getting developed. According to a release, a new 30-story office tower is slated to go up on the corner of Harwood Street and Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and will become the new home to Bank of America, which currently offices in the iconic neon-edged building at 901 Main St.

Called Parkside, the new 500,000-square-foot building is a collaboration between KDC and Pacific Elm Properties and is anticipated to be ready for tenants in the first half of 2027.

Pacific Elm Properties was formed and is managed by Woods Capital, which was founded by Jonas Woods in 2007.

As the signature tenant, Bank of America will occupy more than 238,000 square feet of office space in the building. Upon move-in, the tower will be known as Bank of America Tower at Parkside.

KDC executive VP Eric Hage calls it "a testament to Bank of America’s commitment to providing its employees with a best-in-class workplace in an unbeatable location," while Pacific Elm Properties partner Tom Dundon says "the site is undoubtedly one of the best in all of Texas."

The new building will look down upon the five-acre Klyde Warren Park, which will be visible from all floors, especially from the 12th-floor Sky Lobby and Lounge, which will feature shared tenant space with a coffee and cocktail bar, and outdoor terraces.

Views of Klyde Warren Park were apparently sufficient to persuade Bank of America to leave its longtime home at 901 Main and relocate all of its employees to the new building.

“This site overlooking Klyde Warren Park, amid an abundance of walkable Uptown Dallas amenities, is an ideal space to bring our team together in a central location where they can collaborate on behalf of our clients,” says Bank of America Dallas President Jennifer Chandler. “We look forward to being the signature tenant at the Bank of America Tower at Parkside as we provide a great place for our teammates to work as part of our longstanding commitment to Dallas.”

This plot of land is famous for being the last undeveloped parcel in the area, and has been described as "the most coveted building in Dallas."

It was purchased in 2006 by Japanese businessman Takeharu Miyama, who has been approached by many suitors eager to form a partnership or buy the land outright.

Miyama owns both the five-story building at 1909 Woodall Rodgers as well the site next door at 1919 Woodall Rodgers, a former branch of Dallas Credit Union, which is where the new tower will be built.

According to the release, Miyama USA Texas will continue to maintain an interest in the land upon which Bank of America Tower at Parkside will be developed.

“We are excited to work with KDC and the Miyama family to deliver this iconic tower for one of the world’s leading financial institutions,” said Jonas Woods, CEO of Pacific Elm Properties “With KPF’s design, luxury amenities and incredible location, this asset will undoubtedly establish the new standard for office space in Uptown Dallas.”

New 20-story apartment building off McKinney Dallas will have X-large units

Density News

Construction has begun on another high-rise apartment building near McKinney Avenue and Knox. Called The Galatyn, it's a 20-story building featuring 56 penthouse-style apartments, across McKinney Avenue from its sibling residential building The McKenzie.

According to a release, it'll open in 2025.

Like The McKenzie, the units will be big, with only three units per floor and two units on the penthouse level. Units will average 2,700 square feet, with two and three bedrooms. Penthouse suites will start at 4,500 square feet.

Units will have a formal entry with an attached powder room, open kitchen, waterfall island, and a bar. Private service kitchens will contain a second fridge, sink, and dishwasher.

The interiors will include wood flooring, quartzite countertops, and floor-to-ceiling windows in the living areas.Primary suites will feature dual closets and spa-style bathrooms with freestanding bath and walk-in rainfall shower.

Amenities will include a concierge, workspaces, resident coffee bar, a courtyard with a fireplace, sunroom with antique fixtures and arched windows, dog wash, and "relief areas" on each residential floor.

An on-site fitness center will feature a flex room, sauna, year-round pool, and catering kitchen.

StreetLights Residential SVP Stephen Meek says in a statement that they've observed a sense of community at The McKenzie and anticipate the same for The Galatyn.

The name choice gives pause. The internet says that in Arthurian legend, the meaning of the name Galatyn is Gawain's sword. But there is already in DFW the very well known Galatyn rail station on the DART Red Line, as well as an accompanying Galatyn Park. Is it so hard to come up with an original name for an apartment building? Why not just with tried-and-true options like The Avalon or The Retreat or The Heights or The Reserve or The Oasis or The Pointe.

StreetLights Creative Studio is the architect of record for the project and SLR Construction, LLC, is the general contractor.

African American Museum's young professionals group relaunches in Dallas

A Taste for Excellence

On August 17, more than 200 of Dallas’ next generation of cultural leaders came together to support the relaunch of the Young Professional Council at the African American Museum in Fair Park.

African American Museum Young Professional Council relaunch party

Photo by Ashley Gongora

Kristal Harris, Rodderick West, NiEtta Reynolds, D'Andrea Young

The event coincided with the exhibition "If You Look Hard Enough, You Can See Our Future," which features more than 60 pieces from 55 emerging, mid-career, and established artists.

Both the relaunch and the exhibition are sponsored by Nando's Peri-Peri, popular restaurant group that is opening its first North Texas location soon. A Houston restaurant recently debuted, and an Austin outpost is on the horizon.

Fun fact: Nando’s is one of the largest collectors of contemporary Southern African art in the world. The collection is uniquely displayed in Nando’s restaurants globally, providing access to millions of people, many of whom will never visit an art gallery or museum.

Attendees at the event enjoyed tours from exhibit curator Laurie Ann Farrell, along with cocktails, beer, and wine plus music by DJ Endolena.

Also at the event were members of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, the Dallas Museum of Art Junior Associates, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Young Professionals, Dallas Opera's Crescendo, Preservation Dallas Young Professionals, Dallas Regional Chambers Young Professionals, Broadway Dallas Young Professionals, and the TBAAL Millennium Board

The African American Museum is the only museum in the southwestern United States devoted to the collection, preservation, and display of African American artistic, cultural, and historical materials that relate to the African American experience.

The museum has a small-but-rich collection of African art, African American fine art, and one of the largest African American folk art collections in the United States.

"If You Look Hard Enough, You Can See Our Future" recently received a 2023 TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) pop-up grant given to exceptional shows producing compelling art that inspired creative collaboration, radically inclusive innovation, and artistic excellence.

Open to the public at no cost, the exhibition runs through Sunday, October 22.

To learn more about joining the Young Professional Council, visit the African American Museum's website.