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The Big Green Tower – Coming Back With More Green

by Jerome Weeks 11 Sep 2013 7:48 AM

You may have noticed. The big, green, Bank of America tower has been dark since July. No worries. Just a serious upgrade in luminescence. So it’s coming back brighter and greener – and more colorful as well.


downtownzPhoto by Guy Reynolds

The Bank of America Plaza in downtown Dallas became an icon because of its green, argon lighting. But in July that glowing outline of the 72-story-tall skyscraper went dark for a major renovation. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports, when the lights come back on, they’ll be noticeably different.

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The Big Green Building will be a bit more ‘green’ – that is, the lighting will be a little more environmentally friendly. LEDs are more efficient than old-style argon tubes, they use less energy. And they’re brighter. The Bank of America building already could be seen from jet planes flying in and out of Dallas. After this upgrade, maybe it’ll be visible in Oklahoma.

Another big advantage of LEDs? They’re programmable. They can dim or flicker on and off, they can change colors – just like the flashing displays on the Omni Hotel.  Sarah Hinkley is a senior vice president at Peloton Commercial Real Estate, which leases the tower. She says the Bank of America tower will have similar technology to the Omni, “but we won’t be constantly changing it like the Omni. You’ll mostly see the building light up green, and then for special events, if the Cowboys win the playoffs or something like that, we can light it up blue and white.”

The lights’ll be brighter, they’ll change colors and there’ll be more of them. Refurbishing the bank building’s signature outline is one part of a larger redecoration going on, especially at ground level.

“We are renovating the plaza level as well,” Hinkley says, “and adding a valet lane and making Main Street more of a grand entrance. So we are going to extend the lighting from the building on to the plaza level. That will be new.”

Finally, the new lights will just be, well — they’ll be seen more often. LEDs are hardier than the argon. There’s less likelihood of broken glass – and a patchy-looking display, which has plagued the tower in the past, Hinkley admits. “We had a lot of issues in storms with argon lighting. We had to do constant replacement.”

There’ll be a re-lighting ceremony for the Bank of America building at dusk on November 14th.