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'Travel & Leisure' Names Winspear A Top New Venue, Ahem, in the World

by Jerome Weeks 20 Dec 2011 6:26 PM

And the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth is ranked second among ‘top new museums.’ The two buildings also appear among the 60 “most visited landmarks” chosen by the readers of Travel & Leisure.


And the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth is ranked second in ‘top new museums.’

In the January 2012 issue of Travel & Leisure, readers were polled about various new and old landmarks, buildings, bridges, skyscrapers, you know, the usual urban, architectural folderol. The Winspear places fifth among the top 9 new arenas and performance venues — joining such celebrated beer halls as the Disney Concert Hall in LA, the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Beijing’s National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest where the Olympics were held) and Wembley Stadium in London (coincidentally, designed by the Winspear’s architect, Sir Norman Foster, who’s also represented by London’s Swiss Re Building — i.e., the Gherkin — and France’s Millau Viaduct. A busy man.).

The two Dallas-Fort Worth joints also appear among the 60 “most visited landmarks.” Which makes one wonder. Who are all these people visiting the Winspear and not buying tickets for the Lexus Broadway Series?

What’s also a surprise: Nothing else in all of Texas ranks on any of the lists. Not a bridge, skyscraper, museum, park, landmark, restroom or scenic overlook, not in Houston, Austin or San Antonio. Zilch, nada, rien de tout. Makes one wonder, too.

The full press release from the AT&T Performing Arts Center follows:

Iconic Performance Venue Noted in Two Travel + Leisure Rankings
(DALLAS)  Travel + Leisure magazine readers have ranked the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House as No. 5 among Top Arenas and Performance Venues around the world. The magazine’s readers also listed the Winspear in the AT&T Performing Arts Center as No. 36 among the Most Visited Landmarks.
The rankings appear in the article 2012 Top New Landmarks in T + L’s January 2012 edition. They appear online at
“This just reaffirms the significant investments that Dallas has made in the arts,” said Mark Weinstein, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. “These iconic structures were designed to be among the finest performance venues in the world. But with their stunning architecture, they make a powerful statement about Dallas today, and the role that culture and the arts play in our community.”
The 2,200 seat Winspear Opera House opened to national and international acclaim in 2009, along with the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and the Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park.  The open air theater, Annette Strauss Square opened last year. All are part of the Center’s 10-acre campus.
The Winspear Opera House was designed by Foster + Partners of London under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster and deputy chairman Spencer de Grey. It is a 21st century interpretation of the traditional “horseshoe” shape of traditional European opera houses which utilizes technological advances to be a very cost efficient venue.
The Winspear is the home to the Dallas Opera, one of the Center’s resident companies. It was designed to be an intimate hall with superior acoustics providing a premier showcase for the Opera. Texas Ballet Theater, TITAS, the Center’s Lexus Broadway Series, Brinker International Forum and other programs are performed at the Winspear as well.
About the AT&T Performing Arts Center
The AT&T Performing Arts Center, a new multi-venue Center for music, opera, theatre and dance opened in October 2009, completing the 30-year vision of the Dallas Arts District. Located at 2403 Flora Street, the Center serves as a gateway from downtown Dallas’s business center to the Dallas Arts District. Featuring multiple state-of-the-art facilities that are woven together by a ten-acre urban park, which creates a dynamic cultural destination that is unparalleled in the world, the Center includes:
• The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, designed by Foster + Partners in a modern horseshoe configuration, seats 2,200 (with capacity up to 2,300).
• The Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas, seats up to 600 and uses a superfly system to rapidly change the performance hall’s configuration to proscenium, thrust or flat floor, depending on the nature of the performance.
• The Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park, designed by Michel Desvigne, is a lush urban park that unifies the Center’s venues with the Arts District and surrounding neighborhoods of Dallas.
• The completely new Annette Strauss Artist Square, designed by Foster + Partners, is the Center’s outdoor entertainment venue.
• Two underground parking areas accommodate more than 850 vehicles.
• The Center’s Resident Companies are:  The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico.
More information on the AT&T Performing Arts Center is available at