My view of the clock tower at the Centrum Building in Dallas will soon be blocked by a new apartment building. While I will no longer be able to see it from my condo, it will remain the most prominent landmark in Oak Lawn. That’s why I was dismayed when plans for a Centrum redo showed the clock replaced with an electronic sign. That would be a shame.
One thing contemporary architecture often fails to do is take advantage of assets like this. While the design now looks like the clock tower may be saved, I couldn’t help but imagine a better use for it. Many cities have very small coffee shops, about the size of those little suburban drive-thru stands. Holy Spirit Coffee in Santa Fe comes to mind, as does a shop along a main thoroughfare in Vancouver. There are many other examples. There is enough room for coffee machines and a barista, not much else.
The key to making this work at the Centrum would be an attractive, perhaps animated sign. That would also invite retail customers into the interior of this building, something I understand has been quite a challenge over the years.
Instead of sealing this space up, why not make it into a viable retail spot. Why not Clock Tower Coffee?