Huffington Post Claims ‘Museum Tower Is an Attack on the Nasher Sculpture Center’

For people paying close attention, there’s a lot of retreading in this Huffington Post Arts and Culture piece about Museum Tower. Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a once-over.

In it, Cultural Landscape Foundation president Charles Birnbaum argues that the building “has undermined the harmonious environment created by [Nasher landscape architect Pete] Walker and [building architect Renzo] Piano.” It focuses on the natural harm being done to the center’s garden. In part:

In his statement in the Nasher Sculpture Center Handbook, Raymond Nasher wrote: “[O]ur intent was to create an urban cultural retreat surrounded by the energy of the large city but offering a serene and beautiful oasis for the contemplation and enjoyment of art.” Unfortunately, that serenity has been replaced by a tempest, and a good bit of denial about the impact on the landscape. I agree with Walker’s final remark in the interview, for anyone to say, “There’s no problem … that’s beyond my comprehension.”


  • Eli

    Amazing that Mr. Walker says the James Terrell sculpture, which is a big concrete box with a square hole at the top called “Tending (Blue)” was destroyed the minute the tower went up. Really? Because a new building went up next door “infringing on its space?” Since when did the Nasher, or any neighbor to any property, own the sky beyond their own property line? This part of the squabble between the Museum Tower and Nasher seems to be a property rights issue to me, and the Nasher is wrong, IMHO. The artist of “Tending,” and the Nasher by association, poached on the property rights of the people who put up the building next door. I certainly don’t have a dog in this hunt, but by law the owners of Museum Tower have the right to build the building, I supposed they got all the city permits, went through all of the reviews and inspections required by the City of Dallas. The issue about the “Tending” (Blue) is about as silly as can be. Mr. Terrell did not have a right to claim the blue sky over property owned by someone else, plain and simple. The only thing that destroyed his “art” was a healthy ego and a temper tantrum fueled by the Nasher looking for something to bash over the head of its neighbor.

  • Horton

    Telling the same untruth over and over again doesn’t make it true. I have taken my family a number of times to see the Nasher this year, once during one of the hottest days of the year, and I was amazed at how green the garden was. I am not an expert, but this whole blather about damage to the garden is wearing thin on me. We were at the Nasher for a couple of hours mid-day each visit, and we saw the reflection from the tower next door. But it was no hotter in the garden than in the parking lot across the street where our car was roasting in the shade. On our visit in August I asked about the watering and learned the garden is watered 3 times a day.

    Man! I wish I could have done that on my lawn. I also did a little home work, and learned the Nasher has replaced the grass a number of times since it opened 10 years ago, not from the reflection of the Museum Tower, but because it planted northern type grass that does not do well in the regular old heat of Dallas anywhere. As I said, I am not an expert, but if the Nasher put down the right grass for this part of the country and that won’t happen. Don’t blame the reflection for your bad choice. I checked out the pictures in the Huffington Post article you mentioned above, and do you really expect me to believe the reflection did that? I have bushes in my yard that look like that one branch, and I do water and have no big reflection.

    The bottom line for me, there is no real proof of any damage in the garden, saying it will take years for the trees to show stress is a bogus claim. I don’t like some stuck up garden architect telling me it is beyond his comprehension that anyone would say there is no problem. Well, from my own eyes I saw no problem, the Museum Tower people’s experts say there is no damage to the garden from the reflection.

    Is the reflection a problem in the Nasher Gallery, now there you have a problem. But, don’t use the garden as an excuse to try and bash your neighbor. Get them to fix the Nasher roof and pay for it, that would be the ticket.

  • Lenny

    Eli, after watching that entire video that’s all you walk away with? That one sculpture is “ruined”. Do you understand that the entire museum is a gift to Dallas? The building and the grounds are designed to enjoy one of the largest collections of sculptures in the world, and it was a present to us. And how do we repay the Nasher family? By building a tower across the street with no thought of how it would effect the thing it gets its name from. The tower may have been built within city guidelines, but that does not make it right. Shame on them for dragging this out and making this a PR nightmare for the city and one of our greatest assets.

  • Wylie H.

    No offense, but if my choice is to believe proven, highly credible experts or an anonymous blogger named “Horton,” I’ll take the opinion of the nationally regarded experts.

  • Wylie H.

    Funny how many random bloggers on this issue (all on the side of Museum Tower), use the exact same phrase: “don’t have a dog in this hunt.”

    Ah, the life of a p.r. hack, eh?

  • Eli

    Or maybe they don’t have a dog in the hunt? Oh, to follow in the vernacular of Ann Richards. The PR hacks work for the Nasher.

  • Eli

    So brave you use your name, eh Wylie H? So typical. When you are losing the debate make a personal attack and deflect instead of having an honest discussion.

  • Brett Moore

    So Meta that you replied to your own sock-puppets comment. Inception!

  • A. B.

    Do you really think a proven, highly credible expert would admit that he planted the wrong grass?

  • Brett Moore

    And now a third persona! How many does this make? 4? 5?