Dallas has one of those skylines that is recognizable right away, even in silhouette. Of course, that’s very much by design. The unique architecture of the city has given it some of its most defining features and when it comes to the skyline, there are a few buildings that are distinctly Dallas.


Reunion Tower

Let’s get this one out of the way first. This observation tower might not be at the heart of Dallas commerce or real estate, but nothing gives away the Dallas silhouette like the orb rising over the city. Completed in 1978 by Welton Becket & Associates, the tower is part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel complex and rises 561 feet above the city. It is formed as a geodesic dome with aluminum struts, lights at each of the struts’ intersections allowing for the globe to shine over Dallas at night.


Bank of America Plaza

The distinction of the highest building in Dallas goes to Bank of America Plaza, a 921 foot, 74 floor skyscraper down in the Main Street District. Designed by JPJ Architects, the late-modernist structure is admittedly a bit severe, but outlined in nearly two miles of green argon lighting around the corners of the tower, it’s a sight at night and a distinct feature that can be seen from miles away. Today, Bank of America Plaza houses local FOX, ABC, CNN, and TBS affiliates, among others.


Fountain Place

A skyscraper with a bit of a twist, Fountain Place is Pei Cobb Freed & Partners designed building that is really only half of the story. The original plans called for twin towers, the second rotating 90 degrees from the original on the adjacent block. A combination of the collapse of Texas oil and savings and loan scandal in the 1980s halted the completion of the second tower, leaving Dallas with just one very distinct structure. The slants placed throughout the prism cause the building to have a different profile from all angles, and at 720 feet, the closer you get the more prominent the sweeps and turns in the building become.


Renaissance Tower

This modernist skyscraper is a bit of a box, but the distinct diamond pattern running up and down the building’s faces give it a look all its own. Measuring in at 890 feet, it is second only the the Bank of America Plaza in terms of height, and features an accompanying glass pyramid structure at the base of the building that houses an underground food court and cafeteria.


Chase Tower

Chase Tower’s rounded off top, distinct keyhole-lie slat, and bevelled edges make this one of the most structurally unique towers in Dallas, and there’s a reason for that. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the architects behind the Sears Tower, the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, One World Trade Center, and NATO Headquarters, this building was bound from the beginning to be innovate and distinct. At 738 feet, it’s not the tallest building in Dallas, but it’s one unlike any other, and that counts for a lot.