How Tall is Reunion Tower and What Should We Know about It?

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No conversation about famous structures and iconic buildings in Texas would be complete without a nod to the Reunion Tower. When you find yourself in Dallas, seize the chance to snap a selfie with this landmark in the background.

The Reunion Tower is instantly recognizable – you can easily see a glowing sphere dominating the Dallas skyline, visible from miles around. More than just the centerpiece of city views, the tower offers an observation deck that locals are proud to share with visitors, showcasing the best of what Dallas has to offer. Known affectionately as “The Ball,” it stands as a symbol of local pride.

Today, Reunion Tower is primarily a tourist destination, beloved by all who visit and witness its grandeur firsthand. Let’s learn how tall it is and what makes it interesting.

Specifications of the Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower under a cloudy sky

The Reunion Tower stands impressively at 561 feet, making it one of the most noticeable features in Dallas since it was completed in 1978. With its distinctive geodesic dome, the tower lights up the night with a brilliant LED display that can be seen for miles.

A prominent feature above the Hyatt Regency Dallas, the Reunion Tower includes three floors with circular layouts set atop a series of poured-in-place concrete shafts. The central shaft houses stairs and mechanical equipment, while three surrounding rectangular shafts contain elevators with glass panels that offer stunning views of Dallas during the 68-second ride to the top.

Previously, the tower’s floors were distinctively used: the first level for the observation deck, the second for a revolving restaurant named Antares, and the third for a nightclub called The Dome. These levels are now encapsulated within an open-air sphere characterized by a geodesic dome constructed from aluminum struts. Each intersection of the dome is marked with an aluminum circle that features a central light.

At night, this structure is transformed by 259 LED fixtures, making it a standout in the Dallas skyline. These LEDs use far less electricity than the old incandescent bulbs. The LEDs, protected by opaque glass covers, work together to create any visible color. This technology allows for dynamic light shows on the globe, displaying everything from slow fades to quick flashes.

The tower’s lighting is versatile, marking different events and holidays: it lights up in green for St. Patrick’s Day, red, white, and blue for patriotic events, and rainbow colors for special celebrations like the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. This makes the Reunion Tower a landmark and a part of the city’s daily life and celebrations.

The History of Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower, affectionately known as “The Ball” due to its distinctive spherical top, is a key piece of Dallas’s skyline and history. The tower was completed on February 2, 1978, alongside the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion. This was part of a broader urban redevelopment project that brought new life to the area and included the renovation of the historic Union Station.

Today, Union Station serves as a vital transport hub, accommodating Amtrak, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, and the Trinity Railway Express, which links Dallas with DFW International Airport and Fort Worth.

The construction of the Reunion Tower was spearheaded by the Henry C Beck Company, establishing the structure as a prime example of the architectural and engineering prowess of its time. Originally, the tower housed the radio station KOAX-FM, now known as KRLD-FM 105.3 FM.

The station, once owned by Westinghouse Broadcasting, famously broadcasts “Live twenty-four hours a day from five hundred feet above the city.” Although Reunion Tower is not utilized as a broadcast tower, which is why it doesn’t appear in the FCC Database, its impact on local media and culture was significant.

After decades of operation, the tower’s restaurant level underwent major renovations, closing on November 16, 2007, and reopening on February 9, 2009. The observation deck was revitalized and reopened on October 5, 2013, marking the tower’s 35th anniversary with a renewed visitor experience offering spectacular views and amenities.

Strategically located about 1,000 feet from Dealey Plaza, the site of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Reunion Tower offers a unique historical perspective on the city. Its proximity to such a significant site links it not only to the joyous and celebratory moments in Dallas’s development but also to its most somber and reflective.

Today, the Reunion Tower remains a beloved landmark, symbolizing Dallas’s resilience and dynamic growth. It continues to attract visitors from around the world, drawn by its historical significance and the panoramic views it offers of the growing urban landscape.

Attractions and Features at Reunion Tower

Dallas skyline featuring the Reunion Tower

Visiting Reunion Tower is a multi-faceted experience filled with exciting entertainment, dining, and education opportunities. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect:

GeO-Deck Observation Area

Positioned high above Dallas, the GeO-Deck offers breathtaking 360-degree views that stretch far across the horizon. It’s the perfect spot for panoramic photography or just enjoying the cityscape.

Along with the views, interactive touchscreens are available to visitors. These provide detailed information on key landmarks visible from the deck, enriching your understanding of Dallas’s landscape with historical facts and trivia.

Dining Options

  • Cloud Nine Café: By day, this café offers casual dining where you can enjoy a meal with a spectacular view. At night, it transforms into a cozy lounge, ideal for enjoying cocktails in a relaxed setting under the city lights.
  • Crown Block: This is the new culinary highlight at Reunion Tower in Dallas, offering a premium dining experience from its lofty perch atop one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. This high-end steak and seafood restaurant is the brainchild of the James Beard-nominated duo Elizabeth Blau and her husband, Chef Kim Canteenwalla.

Events and Unique Experiences at Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower is more than a stunning viewpoint- it’s a hub for a variety of events and unique experiences that resonate throughout the year.

Tower After Hours

Experience the Dallas skyline at its best with live music or DJ sets at the Tower After Hours events. It’s an ideal escape from the routine, offering a night of entertainment and breathtaking views.

Seasonal and Themed Events

  • Valentine’s Day: Celebrate love with special themed events that add a touch of romance to the panoramic views.
  • Fourth of July: Enjoy vibrant celebrations with spectacular views of fireworks and festivities from above.
  • Halloween and Winter Holidays: The tower transforms with seasonal decorations and themed events, from costume parties to festive gatherings, catering to both families and individuals.

Sporting Events

For those who enjoy a physical challenge, the tower hosts stair climbs and yoga sessions. These activities combine fitness with fun and offer a unique way to experience the tower’s breathtaking views.

Special Occasions

Reunion Tower offers a stunning venue for weddings and private events. The customizable lighting and the city lights below create a dramatic and unforgettable setting for any special occasion.

Interesting Facts About Reunion Tower

Dusk view of the Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower is filled with intriguing aspects that enhance its iconic status:

  • The tower is named after La Réunion, a utopian community of French, Belgian, and Swiss idealists who settled in the area in the 1850s. This name reflects the tower’s deep historical connections and its significance in celebrating Dallas’ diverse cultural heritage.
  • Since its opening in 1978, the tower has been at the center of major city events, including the millennium celebrations. It’s a focal point for New Year’s Eve festivities, marking each new year with a spectacular light display.
  • Since it opened, the restaurant on the second floor of the tower rotates. The outer floor would make a single full rotation every hour, so visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the city straight from your dining table. But in 2023, the new restaurant that took its space, Crown Block, decided not to feature a revolving floor.
  • Reunion Tower has been home to three restaurants since it opened. In 1978, Antares was the original restaurant positioned in the tower’s revolving floors. It closed in 2009 and was replaced by Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck. This upscale restaurant brought a fresh, modern twist to the tower’s dining experience with a menu that featured Asian-inspired dishes. However, it ultimately closed in 2020 due to the pandemic and was replaced in 2023 by Crown Block, a high-end steak and seafood restaurant.
  • The Reunion Tower was built to withstand tornadoes. Since Texas is an area that attracts tornadoes, the tower was designed to ensure that it can stand up to menacing winds. A structural model was constructed at Texas A&M University’s wind-testing facility in College Station to ensure that the tower could stand up to winds as fast as 125 miles per hour.
  • Reunion Tower uses its LED lights to participate in national awareness and celebration. It lights up in specific colors for various causes, such as pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and rainbow hues during Pride Month, showing support and raising awareness.
  • Beyond public events, the tower is a witness to many personal milestones. It’s a popular spot for marriage proposals and anniversary celebrations, making it a backdrop for countless personal memories and stories.

Conclusion

Reunion Tower is more than just a landmark – it’s a vibrant part of Dallas’ community and history. From its towering height and dazzling light displays to its role in personal milestones and citywide celebrations, the tower offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, and recreational activities.

Whether you’re dining high above the city, learning about local landmarks, or simply enjoying the panoramic views, Reunion Tower promises memorable experiences for all who visit. Next time you’re in Dallas, make sure to stop by and see for yourself why Reunion Tower is considered a must-visit destination in the heart of Texas.

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