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Monday, February 26, 2007

Eerily beautiful

For all my ranting about the poor decision on the part of the city of Arlington to be the sole provider of public money for the new Cowboys stadium, I must admit that the new stadium looks like it will be an impressive building.

At an estimated cost (now) of $1 billion, the building will represent about 25% of the Arlington economy (currently around $4b per year). There are not too many projects in the country that can claim to be as large as the Cowboys stadium is relative to its host economy, and for that reason the Cowboys stadium is a relatively risky play for the city. On the one hand, the stadium might (and I sincerely hope) provide a tremendous stimulus for the city of Arlington. On the other hand, the stadium costs might prove a millstone around the city's collective neck and restrict the ability for the city to keep up with the other (increasing) costs of providing public services for a city of 360,000 people.

The stadium is purported to be about 30 stories tall (give or take a few) which would likely make the stadium close to 300 feet tall (I think). There is no other building in the city of Arlington that is 30 stories tall (at least I don't think so) and the nearby Ballpark in Arlington is only about 15 stories tall at its highest point.

My point is that the building will be an impressive and imposing fixture on the horizon. At the construction site there are several large cranes erected. I am not a construction engineer, but it seems to me that the cranes are likely at least as tall if not a little bit taller than the building to which they are contributing construction assistance. Therefore, I take the cranes as a proxy for the approximate height of the stadium. Over the next few weeks I will try to take some pictures from around the city to display exactly how imposing the stadium will be to the Arlington skyline (such as it is).

My first picture, however, is from the Walmart parking lot directly across the street from the new stadium. We visited the stadium site the other night and I took my first "night" pictures with my Casio digital. My first attempts are a little amateurish, and I hope to get better, but I hope this picture conveys (in part) the eerie beauty the the cranes and the construction site had that evening:

You’ve probably seen this. An architect friend gave me the link to their design statement for the stadium / “Jerry’s World” http://www.hksinc.com/news/images/Cowboys%20Stadium/cowboys_stadium_unveiling.pdf
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