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Nasher-Museum Tower Negotiations Have Reportedly Soured

by Jerome Weeks 26 Jun 2012 1:12 PM

An attorney for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System — funders of the Museum Tower — blames “public criticism for the failure of the talks and threatening the $200 million building’s viability.”


Reporter Brooks Egerton on the Dallas Morning NewsInvestigates Blog says that negotiations between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the financial backers of the Museum Tower — over the tower’s reflected glare possibly damaging the Nasher’s artworks and garden — “have all but broken down.”

An attorney for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, Gary Lawson, blamed public criticism for the failure of the talks and threatening the $200 million building’s viability.

Purchasers of condominiums have canceled contracts and sales of additional units have been “substantially adversely affected,” Lawson stated in a letter he provided to The Dallas Morning News.

“It is reasonable to anticipate that litigation will take place within the very near term, days if not weeks away,” Lawson wrote.

Richard Tettamant, the pension fund’s administrator, confirmed in an email message Tuesday morning that a lawsuit is being considered.

“I believe that the Nasher and the Pension System wish to resolve this issue amicably,” he said in an email, “but we have to protect the Pension System’s and Museum Tower’s legal rights.”

A joint statement by the Nasher and the Museum Tower reps is supposed to be made this afternoon — by Tom Luce, the attorney who was attempting to facilitate negotiations.

  • So, the people who built the Nasher should have considered the possibility that the gleam from nearby buildings may damage things. If they had known about that problem from the start, they would have needed to include a solution in the building plans, and pay for it as part of construction costs. It would not have been the responsibility of any building owner, Museum Tower included, to put up money to shield a new property from the glare it is legally allowed to produce everyday.

    Thus, it’s very difficult for the Nasher to ask for money to fix this problem. The Nasher’s value is not in question; what is in question is whose responsibility is it to pay for a solution. That responsibility belongs to the Nasher, alone.

    But it’s not like the Nasher doesn’t have help. If the Dallas community didn’t support the Nasher, then it would have never been made. Since the Nasher is here, however, this may actually be a opportunity in disguise. Instead of looking to the Museum Tower for the solution, the Nasher should look to the Dallas community that supports it. Installations by local artists could be erected in the short-term to protect the sculptures and gardens. Solar panel fixtures could perhaps be used as a mid-range solution, and could gather energy to help make the Naser more green. Someone could always just design a more permanent, architectural plan at a cost that could be achieved through fundraising.

    Some of these ideas may not be viable, but that’s not the point. If you want what’s best for the Nasher, you need to find answer from other than Museum Tower – just start looking for them.