Goat Hill's famed billboard as it will be seen for many years to come.

Ask John Neely Bryan: Why Does Dallas Adore Its Beer-Shilling Waterfall?

It's a treasured landmark along Interstate 35E.

John Neely Bryan, Our Founder
John Neely Bryan, Our Founder

Friends, Wick Allison has exciting news. You already know that he’s recruited some impressive names to support the Coalition For a New Dallas effort to cut the concrete noose suffocating downtown. What you don’t know is that one extremely big fish had thus far eluded him.

That would be yours truly, founder of the greatest city in mankind’s long and glorious history. It’s not that I was necessarily opposed to the proposition. Like all right-thinking citizens, I’d read last May’s quite satisfactory edition of D Magazine with the greatest of interest and been persuaded by the prudence of the prescriptions for Dallas’ future contained therein.

Yet I realized how vital I was to Wick’s effort, and thus it was incumbent upon myself to milk the situation for all the benefits and honors I could. Over countless luncheons in Stephan Pyles dining room, he endeavored to wear down my resolve. Eventually, under the stars at the Coalition’s kickoff event last night in an Uptown beer garden, I agreed. Yet not before I pried from him a ringing endorsement of my own effort to recast the unfortunately named Reunion Tower as the Bryan Citadel.

This truly is a day to be celebrated.

 

Question: What’s up with the beer/waterfall sign along I-35 on Goat Hill? How long has it been there? How is it still here? Why didn’t Trammell Crow tear it down when they built those apartments? Is it really that beloved of a Dallas icon? —Todd J.

The water-spewing billboard to which you refer has indeed been an important landmark ever since it was erected in 1962 as a means of proffering some of that swill they call beer down in San Antonio. It is, in point of fact, so beloved that it was almost entirely rebuilt into an even mightier form back in 2008.

The Trammell Crow development company wisely understood the public outcry it would have faced had it dared to raze this treasured piece of our city’s history. Steve Brown over at George Dealey’s rag did his usual bang-up job of touting just what the city’s commercial real estate PR machine fed him back in 2013, when he recounted all that makes the waterfall billboard so remarkable. Namely, college skinny-dipping parties. By the by, if anyone has possession of photographs or daguerreotypes of any of these shindigs, the editors of D Magazine would be much obliged to see them. (For use in the “Ghosts of Dallas” series, you understand.) Also, Brown conveniently excluded mention of the ancient Citizens Council rituals that took place there and gave Goat Hill its name.

Mr. Brown implies that the residents of Crow’s soon-to-be-completed Alexan apartment community atop that vantage point will value the waterfall as an attractive amenity. How could they not, what with the promise of moonlit views of lithe coeds frolicking sans culottes? Hell, I’ve got a mind to sign a lease myself, considering that, plus this sort of access to the world-famous Le Bistro and Grille:

I hope they serve chimichangas.
I hope they serve chimichangas.

 

Weighing a relocation,

John-Neely-Bryan-signature
John Neely Bryan is the founder of the city of Dallas and an expert on all matters. Email him for advice, to have a dispute adjudicated, or to seek his wisdom on any of a myriad of topics, at [email protected].

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