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Annette Strauss Square to Open Thursday in the Arts District
by Jerome Weeks 24 Sep 2010

The Arts District may still not be complete, but the AT&T Performing Arts Center will be — at least as far as stage venues go. The Annette Strauss Square is tucked under the solar canopy of the Winspear Opera House — and it opens Thursday with an invitation-only dedication ceremony.


The last of the three AT&T Performing Arts Center venues — after the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theatre — officially opens Thursday at noon with an invitation-only dedication ceremony, attended by Mayor Tom Leppert, SMU president Gerald Turner and members of the Strauss family. The new outdoor amphitheatre, designed by Foster + Partners, the architects of the Winspear, replaces a temporary festival stage on the site — and is named after the former Dallas mayor, a longtime supporter of the arts. Tucked under the solar canopy of the Winspear, Strauss Square has seating for 2,400 (give or take).

The full release follows:

AT&T Performing Arts Center Annette Strauss Square Dedication to Take Place on September 30, 2010

Mayor Leppert, Civic Leaders to Honor Venue’s Namesake, Mayor Annette Strauss

WHAT: The AT&T Performing Arts Center will dedicate and cut the ribbon of the Annette Strauss Square, along with city officials, members of the Strauss family and other guests.

Annette Strauss Square is the Center’s outdoor venue named in honor of Annette Strauss, the late former Mayor of Dallas and champion of the Dallas Arts District.

WHEN: Thursday, September 30, 2010, 12 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Annette Strauss Square at the AT&T Performing Arts Center
2403 Flora Street, Dallas TX
Valet parking available on Flora Street

Speakers include
Mayor Tom Leppert
Dr. R. Gerald Turner, president, Southern Methodist University
Ted Strauss

Performance by
Division of Dance Class of 2014, Meadows School of the Arts
Vocalists John Campione and Laura Smolik
Pianist Lewis J. Warren (13-year-old prodigy)

DETAILS: Strauss Square replaces a temporary structure, called Annette Strauss Artist Square, that opened in the early 1990s on the site where the AT&T Performing Arts Center now stands. The old Strauss Square, named in honor of the late Annette Strauss (1924 – 1998), a revered former Mayor of Dallas, passionate supporter of the performing arts and an ardent proponent of the Dallas Arts District, was a simple stage and awning, surrounded by level lawn areas, used for community festivals and events.

With lawn seating for up to 2,400, the new Strauss Square provides a serene setting for outdoor performances, festivals and events in the heart of the downtown Dallas Arts District. The venue was designed by Foster + Partners, under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Norman Foster, to complement the adjacent Winspear Opera House, also designed by Foster + Partners. The primary feature of Strauss Square is the Shannon and Ted Skokos Pavilion, which contains rigging for lighting and sound equipment.

  • Richard

    with no disrespect to our former mayor, whom I thought was wonderful. I walked through this space last weekend. I have to say the architecture is extremely drab and uninspiring. Way too much concrete and not enough grass or live things. I felt like they were trying to close the space in instead of opening the space up for everyone. The area surrounding the lawn is concrete, the walls are concrete, there’s even a concrete piece stuck right in the middle of the grass lawn. It’s so out of the way I don’t see how this will engage with anything else in the area. Maybe I’m wrong in this assessment, so it will be interesting to see the opera simulcast there.

  • Alex

    Why is it that everytime Dallas gets something new. There is always someone that has to come on these blogs and post the same ol crap. Bunch of whinny people. It would surprise me if this the same Richard that keeps posting negative comments about any little thing new. Its a new Venue, Hallelujah! a more intimate experience with the performer(s) and it’s outdoors. Incase you havent noticed, Deep Ellum is slowing dying a painful economic death. We need more music/arts related facilities in the Metroplex. This is definitely a step up in the Arts District and overall benefit to Downtown Dallas in General. Ive strolled through there and its a gorgeous area right next to the industrious Winspear Opera House. Cant wait to see it in action!

  • eastdallasgirl

    Remember not too long ago, when this location was a parking lot? What developments, and amazing choices we now have to experience! If you come see the new MOMA in NYC, you will experience that it also takes time to grow on the urban scene, and feel like it fits. I believe that over time, many will come to love and grow around the Dallas Arts. Also, go see the new Perot Science Museum underway…

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