The Dallas Arts District provides a rare, walkable and vibrant urban space in downtown Dallas. The space is also the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States. The 68 acre, 19 block area is home to over 13 venues, including the Meyerson Symphony Center design by I.M. Pei, the Nasher Sculpture Center designed by Renzo Piano, with three more venues recognized with the Pritzker Award for Architecture.
Beginning in 1978, the city of Dallas launched an initiative to centralize their performing arts and cultural centers to an easily accessible junction in northeast downtown. The opening of the Dallas Museum of Art in 1984 marked the first institution in the newly formed district. The following 20 years saw a flood of new, influential centers including The Crow Collection of Asian Art, The Nasher Sculpture Garden, The Wyly Theatre, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Meyerson Symphony Center, Winspear Opera House, City Performance Hall, and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Today, not only is the district home to leading cultural institutions, but also commercial properties such as the One Arts Plaza (restaurants, office space, residential), the Trammell Crow center, the corporate headquarters of HALL Arts, and the HALL Arts Hotel & Residences, which are soon to be under construction. Historic buildings like St. Paul United Methodist Church, The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, and First United Methodist Church, along with the Booker T. Washington High School for The Performing & Visual Arts, which recently celebrated its 40-year anniversary, helped inspire the city of Dallas when envisioning the neighborhood as the Arts District.
A new development, Flora Lofts, is a mixed market rate and affordable housing project aimed at making the Dallas Arts District a neighborhood for artists. Modeled after a work/life space development in Minneapolis, MN, Flora Lofts will have 43 affordable housing units right in the middle of the flourishing district. Slated for completion in 2019, the lofts will provide artists with an inspiring place to live and work while simultaneously turning the district into an even more vibrant, 24/7 destination for residents and visitors.
The district strives “to enhance the value of the city’s creative and economic life by engaging artistic, educational, and commercial neighbors through excellent design, practices, and programs.” Dallas Arts District is a nonprofit that advocates for downtown Dallas, focusing on collaboration, community, and artistic inspiration.