by Paula Bosse
The AIA Dallas screening last night of “The Walls Are Rising,” a 1967 film made by the AIA about Dallas’ somewhat chaotic urban planning, was a huge success! Not only were there upwards of 250 people in attendance at the Sixth Floor Museum to view the film and listen to a panel discussion afterwards, but, for me, it was something of a surreal experience to have a large group of people discussing a film I had researched and researched but had been unable to find any trace of after 1972. I contacted the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects with my “re-discovery,” and they enthusiastically set out to find it.
Thanks to AIA Dallas’ Anna Procter, the film was found and digitized. Other related archival materials were also found, including a wonderful series of drawings, one of which (above) shows one of the many grand and occasionally outrageous visions for a new
Trinity River Town Lake: an amphitheater facing a bandshell set IN the water, replete with the ubiquitous sailboat that always seems to accompany renderings of just about every view of Trinity development I’ve ever seen. I would love to see this series of drawings collected in a book. I would buy it.
It was a great event, and it was so nice (and, again … surreal) to meet so many people who told me they enjoyed the blog. Thank you! (And, guy-who-told-me-about-losing-an-hour-of-time-at-work-reading-the-blog … thanks — but get back to work!)
I loved the film. It was weird and kooky and definitely of its time. It’s interesting to see how the city has improved in the past 40-something years, but it’s also frustrating to see how LITTLE it’s changed.
The film will be available in the near future for online viewing, which is great, because not only will more people be able to see it, but also because we’ll all be able to pause it to look more closely at some of the many, many photos used in the film. UPDATE: Watch the film online, here.
Thanks to AIA Dallas/Dallas Center for Architecture, panelists Howard Parker, Larry Good, and Jack Gosnell, moderator Robert Wilonsky, and the Sixth Floor Museum for an entertaining night. And thanks to everyone who attended!
Sources & Notes
A few of the reviews/recaps of last night’s film and discussion:
- Mark Lamster, Dallas Morning News: “The Walls of Dallas: Still Rising?”
- Peter Simek, D Magazine: “What a ‘Lost’ 1967 Film Can Teach Us About How to Build Dallas’ Future”
- Patrick Kennedy, D Magazine: “Dallas Noir”
- Candy Evans, Candy’s Dirt real estate blog: “The Walls Are Rising: And They Sure Build a Whole Lot of Fences”
- Robert Wilonsky, Dallas Morning News: “AIA Dallas to Screen ‘Lost’ 1967 Film About the Future of the City, ‘The Walls Are Rising'”
- My original post: “Urban Crisis — 1967”
- My follow-up: “‘The Walls Are Rising’ — FOUND!”
Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.