Sometimes things that seem delightfully and coincidentally whimsical don’t hold up to even the tiniest bit of research. I was just enchanted that, from inside the lobby of the Joule Hotel in Dallas, I could look across the street and see the famous giant eyeball sculpture. I sort of felt like I was an important Art Explorer to have noticed this Most Amazing Thing.
And, then: Google struck. I learned that the sculpture, by artist Tony Tasset, was originally part of temporary installation in Chicago. And then in 2013, it was purchased and brought to Dallas by the Headington Companies. Who are the Headington Companies, you may be asking yourself? Turns out it’s who owns the…Joule Hotel.
So what I assumed to be coincidental whimsey is much more likely to be a purposeful placement of both pieces of art.
(And so this ends today’s installment of Another Time I Wasn’t As Smart As I’d Hoped. Thank you for your interest.)
The Statler Hotel was built in 1956, for the unbelievable cost of $16 million. It was a showplace of mid-century architecture, with long lines, geometric details, a teal-colored exterior curtainwall system, and (naturally) a heliport. It was the first building to feature piped-in elevator music.
It closed in 2001 and was nearly demolished in 2003, but fortunately that was avoided and a $175 million renovation restored the place to its previous glory.
I don’t have the tiniest idea why there was a cache of shoes in the entryway of the flagship Neiman Marcus store. And I had walked all the way past them before the fact that one shoe said JESUS registered in my mind. I did that super annoying pedestrian thing – stopping suddenly on a busy sidewalk and turning around* – because there was no way I was skipping the chance to photograph some authentic religious footwear.
*I make u-turns on highways all the time. A sidewalk u-turn seemed somehow a lot more hostile.