Spotlight on glare at Dallas museum

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 7:42 PM

DALLAS — More steps were being taken Wednesday to put out a fiery dispute between the Nasher Sculpture Center and the neighboring Museum Tower in downtown Dallas.

Both sides met again with a mediator and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

This controversy reflects on the Nasher Sculpture Center and the neighboring Museum Tower in a way no one wants — especially at City Hall.

"We certainly welcome the economic development in the Arts District; we welcome the Museum Tower," said City Council member Angela Hunt. "But we also have to preserve and take care of the Nasher, which is a gem."

The Nasher, open since 2003, saw the afternoon sunlight sharply reflected on its garden as workers installed windows on the new 43-story condo building next door.

The Nasher says the light affects sculpture viewing, and harms the plants in its garden.

"The sun was shining directly on the on the building and the glare was pretty intense and extreme," said Nasher visitor Scott Carlson.

But Mayor Rawlings isn't saying the Museum Tower is responsible. "Look, it's not a matter of who's responsible... it's a matter of us as a city coming together and finding a solution," he said. "And we will find a solution."

The Nasher also claims reflected light impacts its indoor gallery, too.

The owner of the tower, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, says the reflective effect is minor.

The Nasher has already rejected a consultant's suggestion to install shading on the museum's roof to reduce reflections.

Rawlings asked respected Dallas attorney Tom Luce to get the two sides together. Rawlings is pleased that all sides are communicating.

"We talked about having the right attitude, and I think we've got that," the mayor said.

After another day of talks, there is still no solution — only rays of hope, since more mediation is planned.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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