Bank of America Plaza (Dallas)

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Bank of America Plaza
Bank of America Plaza - Dallas.jpg
Former names Dallas Main Center
Interfirst Bank Plaza
Republic Bank Plaza
First Republic Bank Plaza
NCNB Plaza
NationsBank Plaza
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 901 Main Street
Dallas, Texas
Coordinates 32°46′48″N 96°48′14″W / 32.7799°N 96.8038°W / 32.7799; -96.8038Coordinates: 32°46′48″N 96°48′14″W / 32.7799°N 96.8038°W / 32.7799; -96.8038
Construction started 1983
Completed 1985
Cost US$146,000,000
Owner Dallas Main LP
Management Peloton Commercial Real Estate
Architectural 280.7 m (921 ft)
Roof 279 m (915 ft)
Observatory 268.4 m (881 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 74
Floor area 1,844,000 sq ft (171,300 m2)
Design and construction
Architect JPJ Architects
HLM Design
Structural engineer Brockette Davis Drake
LeMessurier Consultants

Bank of America Plaza is a 72-story, 280.7 m (921 ft) late-modernist skyscraper located in the Main Street District of downtown Dallas, Texas. It is the tallest skyscraper in the city, the 3rd tallest in Texas and the 22nd tallest in the United States. It contains 1,900,000 sq ft (180,000 m2) of office space. The building was designed by JPJ Architects and developed by Bramalea LTD of Toronto. The original owner was a joint venture arrangement including Prudential Insurance, Bramalea, LTD and First National Bank of Dallas under parent company InterFirst Corporation.[5] Construction commenced in 1983 and the tower was completed in 1985.



Bank of America Plaza as viewed from Reunion Tower in August 2015

Original plans for the development, initially called Dallas Main Center, called for two 72-storey towers, a 600-room hotel, and a parking garage. Original designs for the tower were capped with stepped pyramid crowns and were initially intended to be clad in a silver glazing with gold accent band curtain wall. In order to gain FAA approval to build the tower, the stepped pyramid was removed. Another design change altered the curtain wall materials, which were replaced with blue glazing and grey marble accent bands.[6]

As a result of the collapse of the price for oil, real estate, and banking industry in Texas in the mid-eighties, the twin tower and hotel were never completed. The hotel site remains a surface parking lot, and the site of the second 72-story tower was purchased by the City of Dallas after a 2006 bond election. The surface parking lot was converted into Belo Garden Park.


The building's facetted facade is accented at night by nearly two-miles of green argon lighting running primarily at the edges and corners of the tower. Green was chosen over red or blue because it is more visible from a distance. It has also been reported that the second tower, if built would have been accented with purple lighting.

Several months later, many of the argon tubes had burnt out due to the design and engineering flaw. The initial problem was the failure to factor in the tempestuous weather playing havoc on the lighting system. The other contributing factor was continuous and ever-changing flow of strong winds that buffed against the tubes, vibrating them and causing the cracks at the ends where they were anchored to the mounting system. The building management switched off the entire lighting system and planned to remove the tubes permanently. In 1986, a young girl who was so disappointed to see the darkened skyscraper started the drive to replace the entire system by donating one dollar, prompting the Dallasites to do likewise. The strong support and vocal desire to relight the whole building changed the management's mind. All of the tubes were replaced with stronger and more durable ones.

In a renovation project that began in May 2013, the original green argon lighting was replaced with multi-colored LED tubes. The renovations were 90 percent complete by November 14, 2013, when the LED outline was showcased at the re-lighting ceremony. This was made possible by lighting designers of Lang Lighting Design in Dallas, Innovative Lighting in Irving, and Turner Construction.[7]

Dallas Bank of America Plaza top night.jpg


Alexander Liberman's sculpture "Venture" (1985) was located in the front plaza of the building until April 2013. The 38-foot tall sculpture is composed of twelve wide steel tubes of approximately 1” thickness cut into various lengths and stacked end-to-end and painted red. The current building owners removed the sculpture to make room for a valet parking entry to the building. The sculpture was donated to the City of Dallas in hopes that it would soon be relocated and on display as part of the city's 300-piece public art program.

During the 2013 renovation of the building's lighting, the nearby OMNI Hotel's LED system was host to the 2nd edition of the Video Association of Dallas' EXPANDED CINEMA video exhibition. One work in the program, "Ar City" by Dallas based artist Michael A. Morris, poetically addressed the transition from the argon lighting to the new LED system, drawing attention to the absence of the green light on the skyline by reproducing the color with the OMNI's lights and musing on the uses of liquid argon.[8][9][10]

Broadcast and communications center[edit]

The top two floors function as a broadcast communications tower using the building itself as a broadcast tower structure. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and The CW operate television transmission facilities on the 72nd floor and 74th level roof as well as most federal law enforcement agencies. All point-to-point microwave and fixed-service antennas are concealed within a specifically designed glass communications parapet on the top floor. The base of the 73rd floor parapet opens to the 72nd floor data and communications center below allowing for easy and safe access during installation and servicing of wireless devices. It also protects the hardware from weather. The building operates a sophisticated in-building distributed antenna system as well as a shared tenant data center. Telecommunication Properties, Inc. designed this facility in 1985.

Amateur radio operators also install repeater systems on this building.

Floor directory[edit]

The 72nd-73rd floor is house to the brocasting and communication and it is used for television facilities including FOX, ABC, CNN and TBS. Access to the 73rd floor is used for the shuttle elevator that transfers to the 70th and 71st floors respectively.

The express elevator takes you to the 70th floor, which is housed to the observatory. It sends you from the Lower lobby to level 70 in about 40 seconds.

13 is considered an unlucky number in the North American culture, so what would have been the lobby is used as the 3rd floor. The 5th floor was replaced by level 4 that is compensate for the skipped floor number which considers that 13 skipped at that time.

The lower level contains retail such as shops and restaurants and it also connects to the underground.

The double deck elevator is used to serves both odd and even floors.


Bank of America Plaza features a lower Observation deck (69th and 70th floor) and an Upper Observation deck (71st floor). Both offer 360-degree views and attract visitors from around the world. The Lower Observatory stands 264.6 m (868 ft) above ground. One more trip to the elevator takes the visitors to the upper observatory.The Upper Observatory, at 268.4 m (881 ft) above ground is the second-highest observation deck.

The Observatory is open 7 days a week as well as on special occasions. Tickets can be purchased either on the 3rd floor or Lower Retail (2nd Floor). Tickets cost $10 for Kids, $35 for adults, and $50 for seniors that takes an express double deck elevator to the 69th through 71st floors via high-speed elevator.


The development was originally called the Dallas Main Center, but has taken many names over its short history. Upon opening the tower was called InterFirst Bank Plaza and has been renamed several times because of the mergers and acquisitions in the banking industry. In 1986 the tower was renamed First Republic Bank Plaza after InterFirst Corporation's merger with Republic Bank Corporation. First Republic Corporation later failed and was sold in 1988 to Charlotte-based North Carolina National Bank by the Resolution Trust Corporation becoming NCNB Texas. The tower was renamed NCNB Plaza. In 1991, in order to reflect its growing national portfolio NCNB rebranded themselves and the tower took the name NationsBank Plaza, and finally the building was renamed Bank of America Plaza in 1998 after NationsBank acquired San Francisco-based Bank of America and taking their name and operating under their charter.

In popular culture[edit]

Exterior shots of the building were used as the home of JRE Industries in Season 11 of the 1980s television series Dallas.[11]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]