— on the roof of the Winspear Opera House.
The blue-and-white-striped globe won’t mar the pristine, ruby-red glass face of the Winspear or give it a red, white and blue look. And people won’t be able to see it while driving or walking past. But it will be visible to air travelers overhead and to people high enough in nearby skyscrapers.
Spencer de Grey, the architect with Foster + Partners in charge of the Winspear, said during yesterday’s tours and interviews at the AT&T PAC that he knew about the rooftop company trademark.
“I think that’s fine,” he said. “They’ve given a substantial amount of money to the project [no figure has been made public]. When you’re at ground level that obviously is not so visible. But when you’re flying into Love Field or whatever, you’ll see it from up above.”
Although AT&T’s headquarters are in One AT&T Plaza at Commerce and Akard in downtown Dallas, the company is also a close Arts District neighbor. It owns a brown, nondescript brick building directly across Ross Avenue from the Wyly Theatre. Since buying naming rights in September to what had been called the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, AT&T has increased its visual presence in the area. On the ground level, the company already has its name and logo on the several black, flat-screen, video monitor signs that dot the landscape between the Wyly Theatre and the Winspear Opera House. These provide a guide to the center with a calendar of events, photos of performers and a map — all of which rotate with an image of the corporate logo.
Norman Foster of Foster + Partners was not aware of the rooftop logo. But when told about it, he said, “That’s a great American tradition, actually, a longstanding tradition of philanthropy and patronage of the arts by companies, by institutions and, wonderfully in this case, by families and individuals” — a reference to the 130 area families and organizations that had donated more than $1 million to the AT&T PAC.