Yesterday, in case you missed it, Jim Schutze fell on his face. He cooked up this wonderful theory about a recent Dallas Morning News editorial that said Museum Tower’s “owners have to own this problem [the reflected light and heat onto the Nasher] and get serious about reasonable fixes.” Schutze broke it down like this: the Crow family is behind Museum Tower. The Nasher family is behind the Nasher. The Nashers and the Crows don’t like each other. The Decherd family is behind the News. The Decherds and the Nashers are buddies. So that’s why the paper came out in support of the museum.
Except, of course, as anyone who has been paying attention knows, the Crows don’t have anything to do with Museum Tower. To Schutze’s credit, he updated his post with an apology and a correction, saying, “The premise of this column is a stupid mistake on my part.” The mistake, it seems to me, is an interesting peek into how Schutze’s mind works.
In any case, Schutze made another error in the post that needs correcting. He wrote: “The Nasher claims that all of the reflected light from Museum Tower is killing their plants and somehow baking their sculptures. More likely it is baking their visitors so badly that some of them have stopped visiting.” In fact, attendance is up. The problem with Museum Tower started in September 2011. From October 2011 to June 2012, attendance is up 20 percent over the same period a year prior. That can partially be explained by the museum’s nighttime programming, such as the Til Midnight series. But there you have it.
The biggest mistake Schutze made, though, was comparing Museum Tower with Renzo Piano’s Shard, in London. These buildings and the controversies they’ve caused are not analogous. Some people in London think The Shard is ugly and looks out of place. London’s discussion is about aesthetics. Ours is about functionality. No one here is saying that Museum Tower is ugly; they are saying it is destructive.