The University of Texas at Arlington
announces the establishment of the new David Dillon Center for Texas
Architecture, an initiative of the School of Architecture that will honor the
legacy of the longtime architecture critic for The Dallas Morning News.
The center will support the research of faculty and students as they
investigate how the region and its architecture have changed across the past
several decades. It
also will promote public dialogue about architecture and urbanism in North
Texas and beyond.
Kate Holliday, an architectural
historian and assistant professor of architecture, has been named director of
the new center, which will formally debut with “Architecture Criticism Today,”
the inaugural David
Dillon Symposium scheduled April 26-27 at the Dallas
Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The symposium is open to the
public, but seating is limited.
“The establishment of the David
Dillon Center for Texas Architecture marks another significant milestone
for UT Arlington's transformation to a major research university,” said Ron
Elsenbaumer, UT Arlington provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The
rich information the center provides will be invaluable to any serious student
of Texas architecture.”
Robert Decherd, chief executive officer
of the A.H. Belo Corp., parent company of The Dallas Morning News, said the new
Dillon Center is an appropriate recognition of the architecture critic’s many
“David’s body of work over nearly three
decades influenced urban design and architecture in Dallas and throughout Texas
to an extraordinary degree. His expertise was recognized nationally,” Decherd
said. “This symposium marks the beginning of the important next phase of
David’s impact on design standards and the livability of our region.”
Dillon, who died in 2010, kept his meticulous
notes, manuscripts and recorded interviews about Texas architecture and
architectural journalism itself. He wrote more than 1,000 pieces about
architecture for The Dallas Morning News and authored several books, including “Cowboys Stadium: Architecture, Art,
Entertainment in the Twenty-First Century,” “Dallas Architecture: 1936-86,” and “The Architecture of O'Neil Ford: Celebrating Place.”
Colleagues credited Dillon with helping
shape civic debate on issues across North Texas, from underdevelopment in South
Dallas to sprawl in the northern suburbs, famously questioning in a 1980 D
Magazine cover story: “Why Is Dallas Architecture So Bad?”
His wife, Sally Dillon, donated her
husband’s papers to UT Arlington last year. The materials are currently being
cataloged and processed by the Special Collections division of the UT Arlington
Library. When the process is complete, the papers will be open to the public.
“David was witness of the evolution of
this metropolitan landscape during a formative period from the late 1970s to
2010,” said Don Gatzke, dean of the School of Architecture. “We want to learn
from that breadth of knowledge.”
Holliday has already called on the
Dillon Papers for her research. The materials include letters and diaries of
the architect O’Neil Ford, which Dillon consulted for his 1999 book. Holliday
consulted the same documents as she prepared a recent lecture titled “Writing
O’Neil Ford,” presented at Trinity University in San Antonio. Ford designed
much of the original campus in the 1950s and 1960s.
The April symposium will explore the
changing role and venues for architectural criticism today.
About the David Dillon Symposium
Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center in downtown Dallas
The symposium is open to the public, but attendees must pay nominal
registration fees. Details are available online at http://www.uta.edu/architecture/research/dillon/symposium.php
or by calling 817-272-2313.
Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker, is scheduled to give
keynote remarks at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow
Auditorium, 1717 Harwood St. Panelists include Stephen Fox, Anchorage
Foundation; Benjamin Lima, UT Arlington Department of Art and Art History;
Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News; Tom Fisher, University of Minnesota;
Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times; Alexandra Lange, Design Observer; and
Stephen Sharpe, Texas Architect.
sponsors: The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Architecture Forum, the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Deedie and Rusty Rose, Nasher Sculpture
Center, Museum Tower, a joint venture of Brook Partners and Turtle Creek
Holdings; and One Arts Plaza by Billingsley Co.
About The University of Texas at Arlington and the School of
The University of Texas at Arlington is
a comprehensive research institution of nearly 33,500 students in the heart of
North Texas and the second-largest member of The University of Texas System. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.
The UT Arlington School of Architecture offers professionally accredited and
internationally recognized degrees in Architecture, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture. The school’s newest program is a graduate-level
Certificate in Property Repositioning and Turnaround added in 2009.
The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.