Museum Tower Vows to Continue Nasher Negotiations, Despite Luce Departure

Published October 25, 2012 by Candy Evans

You may have heard earlier today about the latest in the Museum Tower-Nasher Sculpture Center battle.

Battle. Is that a strong word? Perhaps. Disagreement may be a better term, but I do know what it feels like to be in a disagreement with a neighbor and feel you are right and not just right, but passionately right.

So, battle.

This morning The Morning News got an email from Dallas attorney Tom Luce, who is was basically the mediator, saying he has resigned from that volunteer post. The email was sent to pension system administrator Richard Tettamant: “resignation as facilitator.” Definitely read between the lines that Luce was P’Oed, but here’s what the News said:

Richard; recent events have made clear that the conditions and spirit under which I agreed to serve to help find a mutually beneficial solution for all parties are not being adhered to by you. This saddens me because I believe this is such an important issue for our City as a whole together with the financial future for our wonderful police and fireman. From the sideline I will be hoping this situation can be mutually resolved with your approach.

Beautiful. Luce signed on as a mediator/facilitator in May, and asked both parties to keep their mouths quiet, as most attorneys do. Then yesterday there was a visit to the Nasher by the DPFP’s trustees. And mouths were not only NOT QUIET, they flowed. According to the DMN, he and others said “outside consultants” had recommended a reorientation of the conical light-receptors on the Nasher roof as the very best solution. That went over like a ton of bricks.  The “outside consultant” is Cy Cantrell, who is a professor at the University of Texas, and a pretty smart dude. And then we learn Pension trustee board chairman George Tomasovic also apparently wants the Nasher to consider re-orienting their roof. The Nasher thinks the reflective glass issue is Museum Tower’s problem to fix, not their’s, so there.

Typical I’m right, you’re wrong. So deadlock and a brilliant mediator who says, see ya.

Later Wednesday, Mayor Mike Rawlings issued this official statement:

Tom Luce has worked hard to resolve the issue between Museum Tower and Nasher Sculpture Garden and I am grateful for his leadership and commitment to our city.

I don’t blame Tom for resigning. To be effective, he must have leadership on both sides that are forthright and working tirelessly on this issue; unfortunately, he has not had that. I know that attitude does not represent the sentiment of the Police and Fire Pension Board of Trustees. They have told me they want to resolve the issue quickly because the financial success of Museum Tower, the retirement security of our brave fire fighters and police officers as well as the future of Nasher Sculpture Garden is at risk. We need to work harder.

Did you think it was Miller time? No. About 4 o clockish on Wednesday, Museum Tower issued this statement to all basically saying we are uncovering every single stone looking for a solution to this problem, and we will continue to do so.

Don’t give up on us.

Have you ever had a fight with your neighbor? It’s tough, it’s tough to think you are in the right and they are in the wrong. Where is the point that you toss it in and say your ego is gone and the battle is not worth the end result? I don’t know; we are told they sure did not do this at The Alamo. Museum Tower says that in Texas, air space over a property belongs to the property owner. How high does that go, and does that kick Google out of the scenario?

All I know is it in in the nation’s best interest for these units to be sold. They are gorgeous. I have been conducting an informal poll whenever I am in a group of 50 plus folks who start talking about selling their homes, moving to a condo. or downsizing. I would say 80% of the people I talk to COULD CARE LESS about the Nasher debacle. Indeed, in the letter, Tettament says that the glare is not harming the Nasher’s outdoor gardens. Rather, he says the turf damage at The Nasher was from extensive foot traffic.

“Would you buy at Museum Tower with the current Nasher complaint?” I asked a contemporary-loving couple contemplating a move to downtown Dallas last Friday.

Absolutely, they told me. We do not think the lawsuit will affect owners, and we love the meticulous planning of that building.

“It’s a Yuppie Dream: gorgeous, indulgent, yet sleek and energy efficient. It’s kind of a symbol or a brand for the 50-plus generation,” he said. “We want to be there. And it’s tremendously advanced when it comes to climate control.”

Museum Tower Homeowner Letter

— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at