Is This the Fugliest Building in Dallas? | The Mixmaster | Dallas | Dallas Observer | The Leading Independent News Source in Dallas, Texas

Is This the Fugliest Building in Dallas?

The whole building doesn't fit in a single shot...
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The whole building doesn't fit in a single shot.

The corner of Bryan Street and Haskell Avenue in east Dallas is supposed to be a happening area, where the worlds of hipsters and bros collide at the tacky but fun Vue apartment complex and Bryan Street Tavern nearby. But to get to those places, you will have to pass an imposing, creepy building, known in some circles as The Great Wall of Beige.

Some of the beige is old and stained. The newer beige, placed on top of the older beige, would be an improvement of sorts, since it is cleaner, but then there are fewer windows.

The windows are all small and dark. They are covered in bars that have rusted.

The Great of Wall of Beige is actually the east Dallas location of an AT&T corporate office. This means that human beings who have not been convicted of any crime are expected to work inside of here.

You might imagine these people to be cold, underfed and very pale, but don't worry too much. Human workers only occupy about one quarter of the building, according to AT&T spokesman Holly Reed. The remaining three-quarters of the space is used to house technology. (Asked for her opinion on the building's architecture, Reed has a polite take: "I view it as a landmark so I know where I am, that's visible on the east side.")

The side entrance is covered in rust.

You better not litter, warns a torn, dirty sign.

What are these pots that people are sticking their cigarettes in? one might wonder. The pots are everywhere. They are gigantic, round cement structures decorated with beige rocks. They look a lot like trashcans.

..but then, there's a hint of life.

They are plant pots.

Sure, there's 50 times as much pot as there is plant, but look at that tree. That tree is totally worth it.

In a city famous for tearing down old shit, this really obvious, tall ugly landmark has defiantly survived. It was constructed for AT&T all the way back in 1904.

However, fitting with Dallas traditions, the building has gotten uglier over time. In 1930, the building was a manageable size, and the architecture around the top was simple, but pretty cool.

And then the '70s happened. The building was renovated. AT&T can't tell us exactly what happened during the '70s renovation. But they did provide us this helpful image from 1971, showing that some crazy ass shit went down.

The '70s renovation is probably responsible for the funky maroon band around the bottom. It might look super disco if someone dusted it.

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