You are here

Comerica Bank Tower (Bank One Center, Chase Center, Momentum Place)

-A A +A
1987, Johnson/Burgee Architects, and HKS and Partners. 1717 Main St.

The insistent barrel vaults on the roof of the sixty-story office tower and on each of its setbacks provide a distinctive identity on the Dallas skyline. This normally desirable effect was unfortunately lost by the building’s troubled financial history. The tower and its banking lobby on S. Ervay Street were built as headquarters for MBank Corp, formerly the Mercantile National Bank, one of Dallas’s oldest financial institutions, which crashed in 1987, with developers and financiers suing over ownership. After several foreclosures and sales, the building was acquired in 2007 by Comerica. The project was also the last collaboration between architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Johnson’s biographer Frank Welch noted in his Philip Johnson & Texas (2000) that “its huge budget and reach for attention with celebrity architects are sadly symbolic of the entire 1980s hubris of greedy excess that infected Texas to a greater degree than it did the rest of the nation.” The basic cruciform plan has detailing that is vaguely classical, including exterior cornices with oversized dentils, Greco-Roman X-patterns on glazing and balcony rails, and more big dentils on balcony spandrels, implying an imperial power and stability that soon proved to be fragile.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Comerica Bank Tower (Bank One Center, Chase Center, Momentum Place)", [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, 150-151.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.