Discussions about famous structures and iconic buildings in Texas won’t be complete without mentioning the Reunion Tower. Whenever you’re in Dallas, you don’t want to miss the moment of taking a selfie with the Reunion Tower behind you.
Indeed, the silhouette of this magnificent tower, crowned by a glittery sphere that can be seen from a few miles away, defines the iconic Dallas skyline.
Besides being the focal point of the Dallas skyline, the Reunion Tower is also very much a vantage point. Thanks to its observation deck, it’s also the place that locals love to bring tourists to show off what Dallas has to offer. The spherical landmark illustrates the pride of the Dallasites, who fondly call it “The Ball.”
Today, Reunion Tower serves mainly as a tourist destination, as anyone who has gone there can testify.
How tall is Reunion Tower?
Reunion Tower measures 171 meters (561 feet) tall, making it the 15th-tallest building in Dallas.
The cylindrical shaft the in the center contains the stairs and the mechanical equipment. The three rectangular shafts, on the other hand, contain the elevators, which rise parallel to the central shaft. It has a total of ten elevators.
It has 50 stories. The “ball” itself, on the other hand, has three floors. Before the 2008 renovations, the first was the observation deck, the second housed the restaurant called Antares, and the third contained a club called The Dome. The three levels are encased in an icosahedral (not geodesic, as it’s commonly believed) dome formed with aluminum struts. Each of the struts’ 260 intersections is equipped with customizable LED lights.
Upon entering the premises, an elevator transports visitors 50 stories up by way of a scenic (or nerve-wracking, if you’re acrophobic) 68-second ride to the top. Once you’re up there, visitors can admire panoramic views of the city extending as far as Fort Worth, which lies 32 miles away. But it depends on the weather – if it’s clear, you’re lucky.
At night, the tower’s dome sparkles as it is illuminated with LED lights, which continue to dazzle locals and tourists alike.
A little history about Reunion Tower
Construction of the tower was completed on February 2, 1978, along with the Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion, as part of a major renovation project that also included the historic Union Station. It took only 68 days to complete the tower’s construction, which cost around $35 million.
When the Reunion Tower first opened, it included the KOAX-FM radio station, which is now KRLD-FM 105.3 FM.
It underwent a major renovation that started in November 2007. The renovation resulted in the opening of a restaurant level on February 9, 2009. The observation deck reopened on October 5, 2013, in the tower’s 35th year.
Does the Reunion Tower rotate?
Yes, the Reunion Tower spins! At least, the restaurant on the second level does. The outer floor would make a single full rotation every hour, meaning you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the city straight from your dining table.
But as of this writing, the restaurant, as well as the bar and lounge space, are currently closed for renovations through the rest of 2020. Let’s just hope that the restaurant will make a comeback very soon!
The tower and the tornadoes
We know that Texas, with its vast size, attracts tornadoes. You may be wondering whether Reunion Tower can withstand those menacing twisters. 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.