At this late date -- which is to say, two days before the Dallas Cowboys finally play a meaningful game in Arlington -- what's left to say about Jerry Jones's $1.15-billion EnormoDome? Enough, clearly, to fill the top of Page B11 and most of Page B13 in this morning's New York Times with architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff's assessment. (There's also this Web-only review, which is like NPR with pictures.) Ouroussoff offers a brief history lesson -- and, no, it was not "the city" that "rejected the [Fair Park] plan as too costly," but the county, which, in 2004, was presented by Jones with an unrealistic time line and outrageous demands. He then gets to the point: The joint's awful big, all right, but so what?
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Cowboys Stadium suffers from its own form of nostalgia: its enormous retractable roof, acres of parking and cavernous interiors are straight out of Eisenhower's America, with its embrace of car culture and a grandiose, bigger-is-better mentality. The result is a somewhat crude reworking of old ideas, one that looks especially unoriginal when compared with the sophisticated and often dazzling stadiums that have been built in Europe and the Far East over the last few years. Worse for fans, its lounges and concourses are so sprawling that I suspect more than a few spectators will get lost and miss the second-half kickoff.