Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

The Barbier-Mueller family, from L to R: Alexis Barbier-Mueller, Niña Barbier-Mueller Tollett, Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Ann Barbier-Mueller, and Oliver Barbier-Mueller at the the Samurai Collection traveling exhibition in Quebec City. All photos: Gabriel Barbier-Mueller

Many diners at Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar and passers by admire the Virgin de Guadalupe monument standing outside, a tile-and-brick structure that murmurs the history of the area.

This Harwood Avenue location was Dallas’ first school for Hispanic children, the 1927 St. Ann’s school house. It was located in the heart of Little Mexico, in what is now the Harwood District of Uptown, the signature development of Gabriel Barbier-Mueller, Founder and CEO of Harwood International.

After buying the historic schoolhouse, Barbier-Mueller’s company brought in an art preservationist to refurbish the tile mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They kept the original brick school building and transformed the interior into a sophisticated-yet-comfortable eatery in 2010. The second level houses The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum: The Samurai Collection, an assemblage of samurai armor and related objects that is one of the largest and most complete in the world. Outside, the patio is one of the biggest and most lovely in the city.

This is just a tiny part of the Harwood empire, which spans the globe and has offices and developments in select parts of Dallas, Beverly Hills, Sunnyvale’s Gold Coast, Geneva, London’s West End, Paris, and Zurich’s Golden Triangle. But it speaks to Barbier-Mueller’s vision and European sensibilities when it comes to his work.

It’s not “out with the old, in with the new,” but rather a reimagining of space, with a focus on robust capital investment, energy conservation, leading-edge technology, green spaces, and designs that are built to stand the test of time.

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The Park District is a new development planned for a 3-acre tract just north of Klyde Warren Park between Pearl and Olive streets.

The Park District is a new development planned for a 3-acre tract just north of Klyde Warren Park between Pearl and Olive streets.

Trammell Crow Company announced plans today for two separate towers on the land occupied by a Chase motor bank next to Klyde Warren Park. The development, a joint venture with MetLife, will form the self-described Park District, with structures designed by Dallas’ own HKS Architects. The Park District will include 916,000 square feet of space, including a Class A office tower, a luxury residential tower, ground-floor retail, below-grade parking, and a plaza designed by the same landscape architect that dreamed up Klyde Warren Park. All of this will sit on three acres between Pearl and Olive Streets just north of the park, and construction should start this year.

It’s a development that’s been in the works for a few years, according to MetLife’s Dallas real estate director Kurt Day.

“This project began almost ten years ago when we bought a small well-located parcel of land in Uptown,” Day said. “Uptown’s evolution and the effects of Klyde Warren Park over the last few years have been exciting, and we think Park District will raise the bar to the benefit of Uptown residents and workers.”

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