In the October 12 issue of Newsweek, Cathleen McGuigan takes a visit to the AT&T Performing Arts Center and tells Lincoln Center to watch out. Well, more or less: "Lincoln Center is still the country's premier cultural complex, but it's getting competition from an ambitious project in -- are you ready for it, New Yorkers? -- Dallas." But she wonders the same thing everyone else has been asking since, oh, 1988, maybe? As in: Does an Arts District a "city" make? Writes McGuigan:
Dallas audiences will certainly explore the new complex and the surrounding public space. But weaving it all together to create a dense and urbane neigh-borhood requires more than dramatic buildings by famous architects. Ask the people in another car-centric city: Los Angeles, where the vaunted Disney Concert Hall (also by Gehry) has had almost no effect on creating a street life downtown, even though Gehry proposed a plan, never instigated, to help do just that. "It's almost impossible to design a city," [Renzo] Piano, architect of the Nasher Sculpture Center in the Dallas arts district, once said. "What makes a city beautiful is that it's not designed. Time makes cities beautiful."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.