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Museum Tower v. The Nasher: Another Round…And Another (Update)

by Anne Bothwell 20 Nov 2012 6:01 PM

Museum Tower says Nasher cancelled a meeting today about the proposed retractable louvers; in an update, the Nasher says the Tower team was “working publicity stunts.”


Museum Tower says the louver system isn’t the way to go. Photo: Jerome Weeks


UPDATE, 2 p.m. Wednesday:  Museum Tower sends word, and copies of e-mails, they say shows that a meeting between the Tower and the Sculpture Center set for Tuesday had indeed been confirmed back on Nov. 7.

This back-and-forth has been eye-opening, and paints a picture of the level of tension between the two parties as both sides maneuver.  But I think we’ve got the idea and will pick it up again when the conversation moves forward.

Meantime, Tim Rogers’ raises questions that might do that on FrontBurner. (Tim’s D magazine cover story in April is a primer on what’s at stake in this fight.) The Dallas Observer‘s take. And Robert Wilonsky’s wrap of the sniping on

Museum Tower’s response to the Nasher’s response:

The Nasher Sculpture Center’s spokesperson, Jill Magnuson, falsely claims that there was no formal meeting to brief the Nasher on the results of Museum Tower’s Feasibility Study on Retractable Louvers. The meeting was requested by Richard Tettamant, administrator for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, and Museum Tower’s technical team. The meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, November 20th at 10 am in David Haemisegger’s Northpark offices as confirmed by phone calls and emails with Mr. Haemisegger.

On Monday afternoon, Mr. Haemisegger called Mr. Tettamant to ask that the meeting be delayed to 10:30 am to accommodate the personal schedule of Nasher consultant Rick del Monte. The meeting was suddenly cancelled Monday evening by Mr. Haemisegger in a phone call to Mr. Tettamant. We are baffled and dismayed by the erroneous information being disseminated by the Nasher’s spokesperson. It’s deliberately misleading and designed to harm Museum Tower and the Dallas Police Officers, Firefighters, retirees and their families who have invested in Museum Tower. Given the very public nature of the Nasher’s complaints and their communications, we do not understand how the public release of a feasibility study can be derided by the Nasher as a publicity stunt. We have an outstanding team of experts who are continuing to work to find a viable solution.”



UPDATE, 11 p.m.:  Shortly after I posted late afternoon, the Nasher Sculpture Center passed on this statement saying that the meeting between Nasher and Museum Tower to discuss research into the retractable louvers was not, actually, a month in the planning. In fact, they say, Museum Tower proposed a check-in meeting yesterday afternoon, and later,  the Nasher team intuited that meeting might be leveraged as “publicity stunts.” Here’s the statement from the Nasher:

“In the media statement released by the leadership of Museum Tower today they falsely accused the Nasher of cancelling an important meeting scheduled one month ago. Yesterday afternoon Richard Tettamant contacted David Haemisegger to request a stop-by visit with one of the Tower’s architects who was in town from Los Angeles. Mr. Haemisegger learned last evening from a member of the media that the Tower leadership intended to make a media statement and release a report following this meeting today. Mr. Haemisegger then cancelled the impromptu meeting when it was clear that Museum Tower was working publicity stunts rather than working on solutions to the problems they have created for the Arts District. In their telephone conversation last evening, Mr. Tettamant claimed to have no knowledge that a report was to be issued by Museum Tower.

For 14 months we have maintained open and honest communication and will continue to do so. But we call upon the leadership of Museum Tower to work in good faith and recognize their responsibility to the community.”



OUR ORIGINAL POST: A few more salvos today in the battle between Museum Tower and the Nasher Sculpture Center.

First, this morning, Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick put out a mass e-mail  “call to action,” telling museum supporters what they can do to help the center to “encourage a positive resolution” to the  glare from the condo tower, which the sculpture center says is damaging its art and gardens.  Strick’s  plea: call, e-mail or contact your city council person and make your voice heard.

His e-mail comes on the heels of a Dallas Morning News op ed, signed by 11 arts leaders and philanthropists, which urged the Tower to implement a retractable louver system on some of its windows to block light during parts of the day.

Round two, late this afternoon: Museum Tower issues a statement saying the Nasher team last night  cancelled a meeting arranged a month ago in which Tower consultants were to report on the feasibility of that louver system.

Museum Tower also released the presentation that was to be made today. It outlines numerous issues with the louvers, including that wind gusts could send them falling off the building.  From the statement accompanying the presentation:

“Museum Tower has had numerous conversations with the Nasher’s consultants and had requested today’s meeting to report on its findings. Museum Tower representatives reviewed German louver manufacturer Clauss Markisen’s technical data, engineering reports and wind tunnel test data. In addition, Museum Tower representatives inspected a building in Singen, Germany with a similar louver system. The manufacturer’s representative, Richard Wilson, said “ Clauss Markisen has confirmed that they have not installed the system on a building as tall as the Museum Tower.” A complete study, modeling, engineering, testing, manufacturing and installation will take about two years.”

Two years? Sigh.