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Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas Convention Center)

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1957–2011. 650 S. Griffin St.

The Convention Center complex occupies a site nearly as large as John Neely Bryan’s original Dallas town plat. The initial facility, the 10,000-seat Dallas Memorial Auditorium (1957, George Dahl) is a crisp cylinder in rose brick with projecting concrete buttresses and a long cantilevered concrete canopy and is the most coherent scheme as each successive addition screams for attention: 1973 (Harrell + Hamilton Architects); 1984 (OMNIPLAN); 1993 (JPJ Architects and Loschky, Marquardt and Nesholm).

Standing clear of the cacophony, the city-owned Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel (2011, BOKA Powell and 5G Studio Collaboration) at 555 S. Lamar Street is a boomerang-shape sheathed in dark blue-green glass. The Pegasus, a flying red horse that was a Dallas landmark from 1934 to 1999 atop the Magnolia Building (DS16), was salvaged, restored, and reinstalled on an oil derrick-like pedestal on the hotel grounds in 2015. Art by local artists is featured throughout the hotel.

The north part of the convention center site on Griffin and Young streets is occupied by Pioneer Plaza (1994, Slaney-Santana Group), an artificial terrain of rock ledges and a creek, along which trail fifty bronze longhorns. The appropriation by Dallas of the Texas cattle drive history is curious, since the trails were not a part of Dallas’s history, but rather that of Fort Worth, thirty miles to the west. To the south of the mythical herd is Pioneer Cemetery (1848 and later; 1428 Young Street), resting place of early Dallasites.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (Dallas Convention Center)", [Dallas, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 145-146.

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