The cornerstone and catalyst for creative vitality in the region, the Arts District is home to the city’s leading visual and performing arts institutions, whose range and depth make Dallas a destination for the arts that is unique in our country.
Starting as early as the 1970s the city hired a series of consultants to determine how and where to house its arts and cultural institutions. In 1978, Boston consultants Carr-Lynch recommended that Dallas relocate its major arts institutions from different parts of the city to the northeast corner of downtown. This location would allow for easy access through a vast network of freeways, as well as local streets, and leading into an area that would become a lively mix of cultural and commercial destinations, further defined by a mix of contemporary and historic architecture.
The city progressed to define the boundaries and design guidelines with the assistance of Sasaki Associates. With the adoption of the Sasaki Plan, developed by Sasaki Associates, and the opening of the Dallas Museum of Art, designed by Edward Larabee Barnes (1984), the formation of the Arts District was underway. Throughout the next 20 years, the development of the Arts District continued with the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect I.M. Pei (1989); the Crow Collection of Asian Art in the existing Trammell Crow Center (1998); the Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano (2003) and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, recently opening a new addition designed by Brad Cloepfil (2008). In 2009, with the opening of the AT & T Performing Arts Center the planned relocation of many of the major cultural institutions was complete. The 2012 opening of City Performance Hall, a commitment to small and mid-sized groups of the city, will complete the cultural build-out of the district.