Critic’s Choice Award: Magnolia Service Station – Not Really “Unbuilt”

Back in May, the day I.M. Pei died, the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) held their annual awards for unbuilt projects along with a separate student design award. As I walked around the entries with our founder and publisher, Candy Evans, I began to notice that the buildings I liked most were almost always outside Dallas and Texas as a whole. You see, the awards are for Dallas-based design firms’ work, not necessarily projects in the Metroplex.

So yes, I could go on a riff about bland Dallas architecture, but you’ve heard that before. The “Aha!” moment was that Dallas-based architectural firms were capable of producing interesting work – it’s their Dallas-area clients that are to blame for lacking in imagination and fortitude. This means that my series “Why Can’t Dallas Have Nice Things” is a larger indictment of local developers than it is of local architects.

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