Mark Lamster | Essays

The Dallas Way

I am pleased to announce that next month I will become the new architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News, and also a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington. This is an extraordinary personal opportunity, to say the least, and one that will place me in a city of Ewing-sized ambition and energy. In getting to know it, I've come to see Dallas as a city engaged in a tremendous effort to progressively reinvent itself for the new century, but one that remains burdened by a built legacy that has left it physically and metaphorically divided. In many ways it is the archetypical American city, and in every way it is a fascinating subject.

It is especially heartening, and I suspect not just for me, to see a major metropolitan newspaper finding a way to add an architecture critic to its payroll in 2013. That speaks to the level of interest in architecture and urban planning in Dallas generally, but also to the leadership at the paper and at the university, who together have found a way to make this position possible. Though there has been a welcome proliferation of architectural and urban criticism online, it is a sad fact that the professional rank in daily print journalism is an endangered species. These positions, in my opinion, have the greatest power to shape discourse and policy in the service of the broadest possible public. I am honored and humbled to be joining this select group of practioners.

For the record, I will not be abandoning my home here on Design Observer, and I will remain on the masthead at the Architectural Review. Above all, I continue work on my biography of Philip Johnson, who had his own very strong connections to Texas in general, and Dallas in particular.


Comments [7]

Brooklyn to Dallas - a big step. Hope it's a good one for you.

BTW, CNU 22 will be in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2014.
john massengale

Slight but significant correction: CNU is in DFW in 2015, Buffalo in 2014.

Wow, congrats Mark, that's good news for you and great news for Dallas, I suspect. I lived there for a bit in the early 1990s, it seems to have changed quite a bit since then, but in interesting ways. If you're looking for Dallas-y reading I highly recommend Lawrence Wright's "In The New World," a great book.
Rob Walker

Welcome to Dallas!
Lisa Lamkin

Mark, a warm welcome to Dallas and to UT Arlington!
Andrew Klein

Thanks folks.
Mark Lamster

Congratulations on your new appointment as critic for ‘The Dallas Morning News’. I would love it if you and Rob Walker wrote a sequel to The Built Villain post from last June. Let us know if the Dallas Museum is still Simmering in the light.
Carl W. Smith

Jobs | May 22