An Icon in the Dallas Skyline
The most iconic structure in the Dallas skyline (and maybe all of Texas) is the Reunion Tower. Designed by Welton Becket & Associates from Los Angeles, California, the tower was completed in 1978. It stands 561 feet over the Hyatt Regency Dallas, and is the 15th tallest building in Dallas. The shaft of the tower features four concrete cylinders poured in place. The three outside columns are used for elevator shafts that give passengers an un-paralleled view of either the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex or the Dallas skyline as they take the 68 second ride up to the observation deck. The center column houses a stairwell with 837 stairs to the top and a mechanical shaft for the elevators. Encircling the roof structure is an aluminum geodesic dome. At night, 259 light fixtures at the intersection of the aluminum members illuminate, giving the dome a “web” of light. Originally, the lights around the dome were golden, but in 2011 the were changed to multicolored LED fixtures which made their debut with a spectacular light show on New Years 2012. This “web” of light is controlled by computer generated patterns and colors giving the Reunion tower its iconic light show that has drawn visitors from all over the world. Adding a touch of personality and fun, the lights have special programming for occasions and holidays throughout the year, such as:
- citywide events
- local sports team victories
- green for St. Patrick’s Day
- a patriotic show for July 4th (Independance Day)
- a jack-o-lantern for Halloween
- a “Take the Tower” show for the Red River Shootout
History of the Reunion Tower
The grand opening of the Reunion Tower on April 15th, 1978, caused quite a commotion with motorists. Within 90 minutes of the opening, traffic on highways leading in and out of downtown Dallas came to a stop. Emergency switchboards were overloaded for fifteen minutes. A police car with a PA was eventually dispatched to Stemmons Freeway to encourage drivers to keep moving. When it first opened the tower housed KOAX-FM (now KRLD-FM 105.3) with it’s famous “Live twenty-four hours a day from five-hundred feet above the city.” call. Visitors to Reunion Tower could watch the KOAX DJs in action behind glass on the tower’s observation level. In the first season of the infamous TV series Dallas, producers (not knowing how famous the tv show or the tower would be) attempted to pass off the Reunion Tower and the connected Hyatt Regency Hotel as a Las Vegas resort. The tower has undergone many renovations and changes since then but many say it is better than ever. In the fall of 2007 the observation deck was closed to the public for renovations. After a six year long renovation it reopened on October 5th, 2013, as the GeO-Deck (named after Buckminster Fuller, the architect who created the geodesic sphere). The renovation brought the latest technology to the finger tips of visitors with an interactive digital display named the “Halo”.
Visiting Reunion Tower
Level One: The Observation Deck (GeO-Deck)
Visitors arrive at a three level structure at the top of the tower, each with a different function. The first level is the observation deck, known as the “GeO-Deck”. From here visitors can view the surrounding Dallas area from indoor and outdoor observation decks. The outdoor area offers a 360 degree walk around covered by the level above with high powered zoom telescopes that each have amazing views. Though you are in downtown Dallas you can see the skylines of downtown Fort Worth, Las Colinas, and other groups of buildings across DFW. The interior area of the deck features a digital interactive experience (Halo) with information about Reunion Tower, the JFK assassination, live HD cameras and more.
Level Two: Cloud 9 Cafe
When you reach the second level you’ll find Cloud 9 Café. With a variety of meals and snacks like espresso drinks, pastries, salads and sandwiches, Cloud 9 is the perfect stop for lunch after exploring the observation deck. They offer seasonal items on their menu and they have a special treat called the Cloud 9 Chocolate Tower. Beer and wine is also available as well as local, Dublin sodas.
Level Three: Five Sixty By Wolfgang Puck
The third level is by far the most popular destination of the 3 levels. On February 11, 2009, celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck opened a fine dining restaurant named Five Sixty in reference to the building’s elevation. The restaurant offers an unforgettable experience as it sits on a revolving floor that completes a revolution every 55 minutes, giving patrons an aerial tour of DFW as they dine. The restaurant’s menu is centered around an Asian fusion theme, offering a large selection of sushi with nearly a dozen brands of sake as well as a Grilled Double Cut Bone-In Prime Beef Rib Chop (for two) and over 400 different wines to choose from. Five Sixty also offers a happy hour from 5pm to 7pm in each of the two immaculate bar areas. Five Sixty is guaranteed to be a special dining experience and is a favorite for couples celebrating special dates. The second level is available for special events and is managed by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
A Roof as Iconic as Texas
As a roof, the Reunion Tower may be the most iconic in Texas. The tower has often been described as a ‘Spanish-style exclamation point’ on the Dallas skyline. It also has been compared to a dandelion on the prairie. Whatever you call it, The Reunion Tower certainly holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the locals of Dallas Fort Worth.
When you’re ready to make your residential or commercial roof an iconic touch, call the Pros at Old Pro Roofing. We’re the most trusted roofing contractor in Ft Worth for a reason. We’re ready to handle any roof you have.