Architecture and Design

Is This Rusted Disco Ball of a Building the Fugliest in Dallas?

A few years ago, the Observer began a series calling out what we thought were some of the area's ugliest buildings. The AT&T office building at Bryan Street and Haskell Avenue, the Dallas World Trade Center, the Turley Law Center on Central Expressway, Irving's convention center, Dallas City Hall. (That last one might come down more to personality than looks. As they say, beauty is skin deep; it's what's inside that matters.) We're back at it, saying mean things about some of DFW's architectural eyesores. Got your own nominees for fugliest? Drop us a line in the comments.

If you’re one of the lucky few gazillion commuters who has to endure Central Expressway on a regular basis, then you're aware of those two gold towers near Central and Northwest Highway. You're even more mindful of them when the sun is going down or when the sun is coming up or when the sun is out or when you're awake.

That's because these two towers might be the fugliest building(s) in Dallas.

We're pretty sure the architect for these towers wanted to achieve Trump Tower status but didn't have the budget or clout. So now Dallas is stuck with its own pathetic version of a knockoff Trump Tower. While these two towers look like they should house Dallas Gold and Silver Exchange, they don't. One houses something called iStation, which is apparently an e-learning program.

The similarly designed DoubleTree By Hilton hotel sits in the middle of the two towers. Not all of the hotel's facade is mirrored, so it's marginally less eye catching. But it could be a gorgeous work of architecture and it would still look ugly with the glare from two cheap Etsy wedding rings shining on it.

Let's put it this way: The buildings' gold veneer is similar to a Rolex watch you buy in Chinatown. From afar, it looks decent. And then you get your eyes up close to it and you can see all of the smudge marks as well as your own disappointed reflection.

Yeah, if the light it casts directly into your eyeballs as you're driving on the highway isn't enough, wait until you try to walk into the damn building. Blinding streaks of light cover the parking lot, forcing people to shield their eyes as they walk to their cars.

If you're willing to risk your vision, you'll discover that iStation isn't the only thing inside the tower. It also houses some lawyers and the Dallas Women’s Foundation. That last one makes us feel like an asshole, but really, that gold exterior is so fugly. What do you want from us?

The Campbell Centre – which is its official name, so we’ll stop calling it Sad Rolex Watch — was built in 1972, if you couldn’t guess just based on the fact it looks like a rusted disco ball. That same year, the Texas Rangers finished their inaugural year with 100 losses. You can decide for yourself which was the bigger upset to Dallas.
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner