Revive Past Times At The Reunion Tower
The Antiquity Of The Reunion Tower
Reunion Tower is one of the hallmarks of the Dallas skyline. The spherical ball on top of the long narrow tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks, and that’s why it is as likely to appear on postcards as the Dallas Cowboys stadium. The 560 foot tower is the fifteenth tallest building in the city.
Ray L. Hunt bought the first twenty acres for the project back when it was a vacant corner of downtown. The land was cheap because the nearby Union Station had closed. Note that Union Station has since reopened. It is now a hub for Amtrak, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit or DART, and the Trinity Railway Express (TRE).
Reunion Tower opened to the public in 1978. Reunion Tower gets its name from a mostly forgotten French colony. The “La Reunion” Utopian community was established in 1855. The utopian colony disbanded several years later, though some of their descendants remain in the area. Reunion Tower was almost named Esplanade instead. Furthermore, the initial design didn’t include that big ball on the top.
The Reunion Ball weighs 500 tons and is made from two miles of aluminum pipe. This creates the open glass sphere that houses the top three levels of the building. There are lights at every one of the 260 intersections of the aluminum struts. These light up at night, making the Reunion Tower visible from a great distance. In contrast, the original plan included a cap shaped observation deck. There is a restaurant and an observation deck on the top of Reunion. The Five Sixty restaurant was owned by Wolfgang Puck. It permanently closed in April, 2020 due to the economic toll of the government-mandated shutdown in response to COVID. However, the observation deck is still there and open to the public. The Cloud 9 Café on the observation deck is still open, too.
You could take 837 stairs to the top of Reunion Tower. However, most people take the elevator. The trip takes over a minute. Most are going to the restaurant or observation decks on the top. The middle floors were used for special events by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The company doesn’t have offices in Reunion Tower. Those are in nearby Reunion Station. There is a gift shop at the tower’s base.
The tower was closed in 2007 to build the GeO-Deck. That observation deck has a geodesic pattern inspired by the massive glass dome itself. The tower reopened to the public in 2013. This update also added two dozen touchscreens around the observation deck to let visitors use cameras outside the dome to view downtown. Each screen can tell them about landmarks and restaurants in the area.
Reunion Tower used to include a radio station. That station was known as KOAX-FM. Dallas residents can still hear it as KRLD FM 105.3. However, their broadcasting antennas have moved to Cedar Hill.
Reunion Tower is only a thousand feet from Dealey Plaza. Dealey Plaza has been known as the Front Door of Dallas. This is also where President John F. Kennedy was shot. There is an interactive exhibit dedicated to him on the observation deck. That is aside from the Sixth Floor Museum in Dealey Plaza.
Get on I-30 W from Reunion Blvd W and Dallas Fort Worth Turnpike/I-30 Frontage Rd
Head southeast on Reunion Blvd E toward Sports St
Turn left onto Hyatt Regency Hotel Dr
Use any lane to turn left onto Reunion Blvd W
Use the right 3 lanes to turn right onto Reunion Blvd
Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto S Riverfront Blvd
Turn right onto the I-30 ramp
Merge onto Dallas Fort Worth Turnpike/I-30 Frontage Rd
Take the ramp on the left onto I-30 W
Follow I-30 W to S University Dr in Fort Worth. Take exit 12A from I-30 W
Merge onto I-30 W
Keep left at the fork to stay on I-30 W
Take exit 12A for South University Drive toward City Parks/Zoo / Tcu
Keep right at the fork, follow signs for S University Dr/Ft Worth Zoo/Tcu and merge onto S University Dr
Continue on S University Dr to your destination
Merge onto S University Dr
Turn right onto University Rd/W Vickery Blvd
Destination will be on the right