Jump to content


Member Since 04 Apr 2004
Offline Last Active Aug 31 2017 05:49 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Central Tourism District

31 August 2017 - 05:47 AM

I can't speak for Doohickie, but I'm sure the implication isn't that the idea is wrong, just that the tagline is used with every...single...new...development.


As long as they aren't describing it as "awesome."  That word was so overused a few years ago that I groaned anytime I heard someone use it - and I was hearing people use it constantly.


How about "Vegetate. Innovate. Recreate"?  And for good measure we could add "procreate."  That would spice things up a bit - and perhaps help increase demand for the units with extra bedrooms.  .

In Topic: SBC/AT&T Building

20 August 2017 - 12:54 PM

As a follow up:  I just followed a link on the link I just provided and found this page about the Dallas phone exchange building - with interesting information and multiple photos of its tower




The same site shows other central offices in other Texas cities.  Observe the trend - the ones that were built in the 1930s and before are usually very attractive. The ones built after that tend to be butt ugly.  (The old Pershing Exchange in Fort Worth's West Side is a very attractive building apart from the modern elements that have been added to it).  



In Topic: SBC/AT&T Building

20 August 2017 - 12:46 PM

I am guessing that this building serves as a local hub for the switching and the mechanical processes of their business; and is a result of a time when rotary phones were the thing of the day. I am guessing that a hub such as this one would not be located here given today's technology.



That building actually dates back to well before rotary phones and to the days when one had to call up a live operator who would patch through the call.  If you were calling a different exchange the operator in your local exchange would have to patch it through to the other exchange.


Long distance calls were also very complex in those days.  Basically the call had to be patched through multiple offices in order to reach its final destination. Telephone offices actually had people on staff that would determine the most appropriate route to patch a call through.


So, for example, if you were to place a long distance call from Fort Worth to San Francisco (which would not have even been possible for a number of years during the building's early history) it might have been patched through to the phone office in El Paso which would have patched it though to the office in Phoenix and from there to Los Angeles and from there to San Francisco where an operator would have put the call through to the local number.  This process could take twenty minutes or longer.   So the person who originated the call would usually hang up and the operator would call back once the party on the other end had been successfully reached.   You will sometimes catch a glimpse of this process in old movies from the 1930s -  you will see an important business person being notified that "your call to San Francisco is on line."


As you can imagine, long distance phone calls were extremely expensive for many years and something used only for important business or extreme emergencies.


I remember as recently as the 1980s certain areas of the Metroplex did not yet have direct dial calls to the UK -  and I remember having to call an operator to put one through to my British grandparents.


As for the old phone exchange buildings - my understanding is that they are still very much useful.  If one has AT&T U Verse all of that is routed through the old phone exchange buildings.  And I strongly suspect important parts of the Internet are probably located in such buildings.  Given today's technology, however, I wonder if they need as much space as they once did.   At some point the old pre-Internet LAN lines are going to have to go away as it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a network that has fewer and fewer subscribers - so I would think that would further minimize their space requirements.


Here is an article that describes a bit of the background as to what those towers on the Fort Worth and Dallas phone buildings were used for http://www.drgibson.com/towers/  


That microwave relay technology was actually what was responsible for the eventual demise of the AT&T's phone monopoly.  MCI stood for Microwave Communications Incorporated which built its own network of microwave relay towers.  Key FCC rulings made it legal for outside networks to be connected to AT&T's local phone systems - something which AT&T fought for years.  I remember some people I knew having this really odd but nifty service called MCI -  they would dial a certain phone number and then dial in their account number and the number of the person they wished to call and the call would be completed at rates lower than what AT&T charged.   A couple or so years later an anti-trust suit broke up the AT&T monopoly and made such dial around unnecessary.

In Topic: SBC/AT&T Building

20 August 2017 - 12:08 PM



A few years back, the communications tower was removed from the AT&T Building on Live Oak in Dallas.  The building was located outside of downtown and the communications tower was built out of concrete and was a part of the building's structure.  It looked like a large drum on the roof of that building.  When it was removed, the height of that building definitely appeared to be diminished. 



Yes.   The big difference between the tower in East Dallas and the one in Fort Worth is that the East Dallas tower was kinda cool and, in my opinion, made the building look more interesting and enhanced its appearance.


I moved to Fort Worth before the Dallas tower was taken down.  I only noticed it after it had been removed - and to this day the building to me still looks very odd and incomplete without it.


At some point in my childhood I remember the building being expanded.  I also remember the tower being expanded from one level to a second level with a smaller circumference added to the top.  I seem to think that the expansion of the tower occurred later than the expansion of the building - but my memory is fuzzy.


My understanding is that the East Dallas building, like the one in Fort Worth, is actually a much,much older building that had been expanded many, many times over the decades due to the complexities of physically moving a big city phone exchange to a new location..


I think they should have kept the tower on the Dallas building.  It enhanced the building - and my guess is that its being made out of concrete would not have added too much of a maintenance burden.  And, whether it would have been structurally possible or not, it certainly would have made for a really neat place to locate a revolving restaurant.


Here is a link to a photo I found online of the building before the tower was taken down.  You can see the original portion of the tower at the bottom and the newer portion on top of it.  https://www.emporis....i-dallas-tx-usa


As I mentioned - the skyline over East Dallas simply has not looked "right" ever since the tower was taken down.

In Topic: SBC/AT&T Building

20 August 2017 - 11:30 AM

Yeah this is definitely Soviet Block style architecture at it's worst. Lol


Yes.  That tower box is where Big Brother's big sister Ma Bell would sit and eavesdrop on and record our phone calls.  They don't need the tower anymore because Ma's getting up in years and they were able to outsource the job to the NSA.  


And the designer of the building, while trained in Moscow, was actually North Korean.  The massive windowless wall was originally put there on the premise that it would hold a giant poster of our Dear Leader.   But, as it turned out, Big Brother is camera shy and does not allow himself to be photographed.