Museum Tower study: Proposed louvers would be 'eyesore,' 'hazardous'

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 20 at 9:49 PM

DALLAS –  Dallas’ Museum Tower has firmly rejected a louver idea to control light reflecting off its glass façade.

After extensively reviewing the proposal, the tower released a study late Tuesday calling the shades “aesthetically unpleasant” and something that would become “a visual eyesore” for the neighborhood and homeowners.


Click here to see the full Museum Tower louvers presentation


The proposal called for retractable shades to be installed along the skin of the 42-story luxury condo tower. They would automatically lower during the day to diffuse the glare and protect the nearby Nasher Sculpture Center, which, directors complain, has been damaged by the light.

Yet tower officials say the louvers are not only unattractive, they wouldn’t work. The shades aren’t designed for a building that tall and would blow off in strong winds, the study said.

The shades are only guaranteed for winds up to 53 mph, which is not strong enough for Dallas’ gusty conditions.

The study worries the shades “could be potentially hazardous to the public and neighboring buildings.” Thus, tower officials say, no company would insure the high-rise.

The Nasher’s director posted a call to action on the center’s website this week, insisting the louvers are a “practical 100 percent solution” that would eliminate the problem at its source.

Yet, retrofitting the skyscraper would require more than 20,000 holes in the exterior walls, possibly causing water damage, the tower’s study said.

Aside from the safety concerns, tower officials say the louvers would collect dirt and bird nests. The shades would also obscure views from inside the condos, which cost at least $1 million. Plus, the louvers would require constant cleaning and maintenance, or risk becoming an eyesore in the Arts District, the study cautions.

Museum Tower has insisted the Nasher should re-align the openings in its roof that allow sunlight in. Nasher directors have repeatedly rejected altering the institution to accommodate its new neighbor.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com


Museum Tower Retractable Louver Response Presentation

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