This inverted pyramid-style building is one of the most distinctive structures in all of Dallas. Planning for the new City Hall was initiated in 1965. The building was designed by the world class architect, I.M. Pei. The funding was authorized in the 1967 Bond Program. Construction began in 1972 and was completed in 1978 by McKee Contractors. The 691,000 square foot building, which has seven floors above grade and two floors below grade, is cast-in-place concrete, featuring a cantilevered front facade. A seven acre plaza provides the setting as the entry to the building, which has a 1500 car garage underground. The plaza contains some Henry Moore sculptures and is the site for numerous outdoor festivals and special events.
Planning for the Dallas Municipal Center, today known as Dallas City Hall, commenced in 1964 when the Dallas City Council appointed a Citizen's City Hall Site Committee to select an appropriate location for new municipal administration offices.
Construction of the new Dallas City Hall commenced on June 26, 1972 under the direction of contractor Robert E. McKee and world-renowned architect I.M. Pei.
The project was completed in three phases. The City accepted the garage parking areas in November 1974; the Park Plaza in May 1976; and the building in December 1977.
The cost of design and construction of the building, the Park Plaza and the garage was over $70,000,000.
The first Dallas City Council meeting was held in the building's City Council Chamber on February 1, 1978. The City Council Chamber is three-stories high with theatre-style seating for 250 persons.
The facility was formally opened and dedicated on March 12, 1978.
When it opened in 1978, City Hall contained 1,400 workstations. It had few floor-to-ceiling walls, using instead five, six, and seven-foot high partitions to create separate offices. The absence of walls allowed employees and visitors to have window views from all areas. There are 1,039 windows in Dallas City Hall.
The second floor of Dallas City Hall is referred to as the Great Court because of its 250-foot length and the uninterrupted height to the vaulted ceiling approximately 100 feet above.
The overall square footage of Dallas City Hall is approximately one million square feet, including over 374,000 square feet of useable office space, two levels of underground parking for 1,426 cars as well as public space including the Council Chamber, Flag Room and Great Court.
Dallas City Hall is situated on an 11.8-acre site near the center of downtown Dallas. The official address is 1500 Marilla, Dallas, Texas. The zip code is 75201.
The Park Plaza is two blocks long and one block wide and is bounded by Young, Ervay, Marilla and Akard streets. The Plaza includes a 180-foot diameter reflecting pool, a variable height fountain and three distinctive 84-foot high flagpoles. The Plaza is landscaped with trees native to Texas—live oaks and red oaks.
Recent improvements to Dallas City Hall include a state-of-the-art Conference Center that includes a 156-seat auditorium and three conference rooms.