I fear for Deep Ellum. The neighborhood of old, low-slung brick buildings is attracting a lot of development, much of it committed by Westdale, whose aesthetic and literary choices make me want to pluck out my eyeballs and give them to Tim Headington so that he can use them as the centerpiece for a tiny downtown park. I already told you what I think of the giant robot Westdale painted on its Case Building. Nothing against robots, but this one looks silly. I realize not everyone (maybe no one) shares my opinion. In the comments to that post, I was invited to never return to Deep Ellum, which hurt my feelings.
Well, now I’ve got another criticism of Westdale’s work. Perhaps this take will prove more popular. I hereby assert that the 72-word marketing blurb for Westdale’s next planned Deep Ellum office building — called The Stack, pictured above — is the most ding-a-lingest thing that has ever been written in Dallas. For your consideration:
The Stack is an unmatched, next-level building built to embrace Deep Ellum’s undeniable edge. At ground-level, brick and grit blend seamlessly with the neighborhood while the workspace above epitomizes innovation and style. The unprecedented location and cutting-edge design empower the business savvy — creating a first-class office experience in Dallas’ most energetic and authentic neighborhood. The Stack embodies workflow and lifestyle in Dallas, together for the first time, in a Class AA building.
Let’s break this down, shall we?
I suppose by “next-level” they mean “it’s two buildings, one stacked atop the other.” If Taco Bell designed an office building, this is what it would look like. Westdale should have named it the Deep Nacho Cheese Doritos Crunchwrapellum. Moving on.
Who is trying to deny Deep Ellum’s edge such that Westdale’s copywriter felt the need to say it’s undeniable? Another question: how many office buildings can you erect before the edge is deniable?
In the next sentence of the blurb, we learn that the bottom part of The Stack will be dirty and covered with grit because that will allow it to blend in with the neighborhood. One presumes there will also be misters that spray crème brûlée-scented Juul vapor on passersby so as to further the seamlessness.
Next: how can a location be unprecedented? Answer: it can’t. This is actually a koan that will bring you enlightenment if you meditate on it while standing under the Juul misters.
But no matter how long you meditate, you will never understand what “the business savvy” is or how it can be empowered by cutting-edge design. “The business savvy” is like “the art vision.”
Which brings me to the claim that Deep Ellum is Dallas’ most authentic neighborhood. South Dallas seems pretty authentic to me. It’s not pretending to be anything other than what it actually is. I would say the same is true of Preston Hollow and Uptown. You know what feels inauthentic to me? When unprecedented grit and edge undeniably empower the business savvy.
There is one part of this marketing blurb, though, with which I will not quibble. The Stack does seem like it will embody lifestyle in Dallas. And never before has that lifestyle been brought together with workflow. When The Stack is finished next year, I look forward to rubbing elbows with its tenants at the Angry Dog, which by then will surely be lit by Edison bulbs and serving avocado toast.