CITY TOASTS TALLEST TOWER

Bramalea Limited, the builder of the city’s tallest office building, InterFirst Plaza, celebrates the building’s completion this month with a grand opening bash that they hope will far outshine the gala event put on earlier this year by supporters of the rival LTV Center. Promoters of InterFirst Plaza at Dallas Main Center are touting their 72-story building, 14th tallest in the world, as the “gateway” to the city and a stimulus to the historic West End. Complete with specially commissioned public art, retail services and a health club across the street, the only two things the building doesn’t have are a nightclub open to the public, and, alas, an observation deck.

For you history buffs, the building’s site at Griffin and Main Street is the same block where Dallas’ first tallest building was erected in 1895. The North Texas Building stood at a soaring seven stories until its demise in 1967.

The big opening bash, strategically planned for September 10 so as not to compete with the first home game of the Dallas Cowboys on September 9, will benefit the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. But even if you don’t get an invitation to the event, it’s worth the trip downtown at night to see the dramatically lighted sculptures sitting both inside and outside the building at street level.

The premier piece, called “Venture,” is by architectural artist Alexander Liberman. The red steel structure stands 38 feet tall on the south side of the building and is the “gateway” to InterFirst Plaza. And don’t miss the rainbow-colored fabric sculptures by fabric artist Ina Kozel hanging inside the building.

InterFirst Plaza makes a marked difference on the Dallas skyline. Its outline will be even more dramatic once the green tubular lights outlining the building are turned on full time. Construction date on a twin tower across the street and a hotel should be announced in the next few months.

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