October 13: Sailing on Lake Lewisville
April 20-27: A Week in Hawaii
Return to the Index for 1985


July 12-15, 1985
My Sister Judy Visits Dallas

 

Once we were settled, I thought it would be nice if my sister, Judy, could come out to Dallas to visit. We arranged it and I sent her a plane ticket. By this time, the guest room was all set up, so she had a nice place to stay. She arrived on July 12th and returned home on the 15th. This was my sister's first trip ever to Dallas, and of course her first visit while we have been living here.

 

The Mustangs at Williams Square

While my sister was here, we wanted to take her around Dallas to see the sights, and one of them is Mustangs at Las Colinas, a sculpture installation out in Las Colinas.


Of course, as I write this in 2017, I am intimately familiar with getting back and forth to Las Colinas, having actually worked there for a year in the mid-1990s, but today would be our first trip out there from the townhouse on Inwood. The townhouse is very convenient for any destination west of central Dallas- like Las Colinas. A block north of the townhouse, we turned west on University and then northwest on Lemmon Avenue.

Just past Bachman Lake, we headed west on Northwest Highway, and we simply followed that for about four miles all the way to Las Colinas. Once there, we turned onto O'Connor Drive, and took that around in front of Williams Square.

Originally called El Ranchito de Las Colinas ("the Little Ranch of the Hills"), Las Colinas was developed in 1972 by cattle ranching millionaire Ben H. Carpenter. It was one of the first planned communities in the United States and was once the largest mixed-use development in the South, with a land area of more than 12,000 acres. Urban planners were consulted to lay out the entire town.

During the early 1980s building boom, Las Colinas became a popular location for relocating companies and office developers, attracting many corporations— including the global headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies and offices of more than 30 others, such as Exxon Mobil Corporation, GTE Telephone, Kimberly-Clark and Associates Corp. This year, I have read, the first sign of financial trouble has appeared at Las Colinas and throughout Texas as the state seems to be coming out of a real estate bubble fed by a bubble in the oil industry. Time will tell, but I am told that expansion here in Las Colinas has slowed considerably since we arrived in town earlier this year.


At right you can see an aerial view (courtesy of Bing Maps) of Williams Square. Behind the complex is one of the three artificial lakes that are part of the Las Colinas development; another lake, Lake Carolyn, is across O'Connor Boulevard from the Square. And, even from this height, you can see the artificial stream and mustangs.

The four buildings comprising Williams Square were completed earlier this year, and the signature sculpture in the middle of them was completed and dedicated just a few months ago. Designed as Las Colinas’ centerpiece, the four-building, Class A+ Towers at Williams Square flank a massive granite plaza and its a larger-than-life bronze statue of nine wild Texas mustangs.

The towers are clad in pink granite, topped by copper mansard roofs, and linked by glass-walled arcades. The buildings’ interiors are classic, elegant and inviting. Lake Carolyn can be seen from almost any window, and many offer stunning views of the Las Colinas Urban Center, Downtown Dallas, and the surrounding area. The buildings are reputed to offer amenities such as valet parking, a concierge, private executive dining club, fitness center, 24-hour on-site security and a conference center.

From Williams Square, you can walk to just about anyplace in the new Las Colinas urban development; there are hotels, shops, restaurants and, soon, there will be condominiums and apartment towers.


At left is an extreme closeup of the middle of the plaza at Williams Square, with the artificial flowing stream and larger-than-life mustang sculptures.

Mustangs at Las Colinas is a bronze sculpture by Robert Glen, that decorates Williams Square in Las Colinas; it the largest equestrian sculpture in the world. The sculpture commemorates the wild mustangs that were historically important inhabitants of much of Texas. It portrays a group at 1.5 times life size, running through a watercourse, with fountains giving the effect of water splashed by the animals' hooves. The horses are intended to represent the drive, initiative and unfettered lifestyle that were fundamental to the state in its pioneer days.

The work was commissioned in 1976 and installed last year. SWA Group's design created a shallow watercourse extending 400 feet from northeast to southwest across Williams Square, a gently sloping granite-paved open space about 300 feet square. The plaza setting for the sculpture won a National Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The buildings around the square rise 358 feet on the north and 217 feet on the east and west sides, with the south side open to O'Connor Boulevard. The sculpture is substantial, but the scale of the surrounding structures keeps it from dominating the space. The Mustangs of Las Colinas Museum is located adjacent to the sculpture, in East Tower at Williams Square Plaza. The museum features exhibits and a film about the work's creation, as well as additional sculptures by Robert Glen.


We just took a couple of pictures out here today; I probably should have taken more. The first is the picture at right: Grant with one of the bronze mustangs in the sculpture installation at Williams Square. Each mustang is, according to the signage, 1.5 times life size.


I asked Judy to take a picture of Grant and I (when what I should have done is ask one of the passersby to take a picture of the three of us); she did, but, sadly, I was adjusting my glasses right when she snapped the shutter.

(I can't help but comment that had I had a digital camera this year- their widespread use is still fifteen years in the future- Judy could have seen the picture immediately, and seen that it needed to be retaken. Then again, on a visit like today, I would have taken maybe fifteen or twenty pictures, since neither film nor developing would have been wasted on any that I didn't keep. If you have already seen album pages from 2004 and subsequent years, you will have noticed how the raw number of pictures on the various pages took an exponential leap from previous years.)

I want to do one other thing on this page, and that is show you a panoramic view of this sculpture installation. Of course I didn't take this picture (panoramic cameras being very much a novelty in 1985); it was taken by professional photographer Wesley Fryer in 2006. But it shows the breadth and power of the sculpture installation:

 

My Sister Gets the "Dallas Treatment"

One of the surprises that we planned for Judy was to give her a complete makeover at the Galleria at one of the major stores. We checked Elizabeth Arden, but they were too expensive. We settled on Saks Fifth Avenue.


We took Judy up to the Galleria early Saturday morning. Her first stop was to have her hair cut. She usually wore it in a ponytail, but we had the stylist give her a whole new look. She was very apprehensive (and told us later she almost cried when he started cutting her hair) but she liked the end result. (And I can report here that the new hairstyle was the main thing that she kept up with.)

Then we took her downstairs to Adrian Arpel where an expert did her makeup and nails and we bought her some items so she could keep up the look when she got home.

Finally, we went upstairs to the women's clothing department and had her pick out an entire new outfit, the one she is wearing here. The end result was quite a change! We hoped we had injected some style into her routine. My sister is a very nice-looking woman, but between working at the middle school and taking care of everything around her house and barn, she doesn't really have the time to perfect her "look" each morning (like our Mom does). I completely understand that.

But Grant and I hoped that once she became more aware of just how smashing she can look, that maybe that will influence her and Bob to perhaps get out more to places where they can both dress "up".

Fred and I took my sister to a party at George Pelletier's house this evening, and I think that the rave reviews that my sister got from just about everyone there had a positive effect. Here are some more pictures that we took out here on the patio this afternoon with my sister and her new "look":


Grant and I really enjoyed my sister's visit, and I am hoping that she can come to Dallas frequently.

 

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


October 13: Sailing on Lake Lewisville
April 20-27: A Week in Hawaii
Return to the Index for 1985