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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The lighting of Reunion Tower Thursday, June 26, at 5:32pm on the Reunion Tower observation deck

George Schrader

City manager George Schrader met oil scion Ray Hunt at 7 am at a Denny’s in 1973 to set the ground rules. Dallas had acquired Union Station, but it had little value. Hunt had purchased adjacent junkyards and lots out of bankruptcy, but it was an awkward parcel, and a previous owner had already failed to realize a planned development. “What would you think about doing something that’s never been done in America?” Schrader asked Hunt.

The idea: a public-private partnership. The city wanted space for a sports arena, to preserve and find an operator for Union Station, and to extend Young Street under the railroad tracks behind the station. The partnership would offer Hunt greater leverage for his hotel and other high-rise developments. But he would have to fund the planning and consulting. 

Schrader’s term as city manager had a tremendous impact on shaping downtown Dallas. Among other infrastructure changes, he was responsible for issuing a stop order forcing Woodall Rodgers Freeway to be built below grade—paving the way for the eventual Klyde Warren Park—as well as bringing in city planner Vincent Ponte, who pushed for moving pedestrian traffic underground. But Reunion was perhaps his boldest and riskiest idea. 

“I said, ‘Ray, it is just a controversy waiting to happen,’ ” Schrader says. He was right. When the pair finally presented their plans to the Council, members were furious. District Attorney Henry Wade and the IRS both opened investigations. But the city manager had been meticulous about keeping things on the up and up, even making sure they each got separate checks at Denny’s.

The deal finally went through. Dallas got its sports arena, and Hunt developed a hotel and the most iconic building in the Dallas skyline, Reunion Tower. It also set a new development model for realizing large, civic-minded projects in Dallas—a model that has spawned the Arts District, Klyde Warren Park, the Convention Center Hotel, and many other high-profile developments.