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Dallas' Tallest Skyscraper Lights Up Downtown Again

They’re back. The emerald-green lights on Dallas’ tallest building switched back on last night after months in the dark. Crowds cheered the light show on the rekindled Bank of America building.

“Ten, nine, eight…” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings led the countdown, remote control in hand, as the green lights went back on just before 7 o’clock last night. (cheers).

“I’ve always believed in a strange way that Dallas is my Oz,” said Rawlings. “The totem for that Oz has always been the Bank of America Plaza.”

The green glow outlining Dallas’ 72-story high-rise was five months in the making. After 28 years in place, the argon gas bulbs were switched to nine thousand feet of LED lights. Building owner Tom Prescott, with Metropolis Investment Holdings, says they’ll burn brighter, last longer, and cost less, making them environmentally green, too.  

“We think it’s absolutely worth it in the sense that the green lighting is what really defines Bank of America plaza as an iconic building in Dallas,” said Prescott.  

To 10 year-old Harry Wilonsky, who barely noticed the lights were gone, seeing them again was cool.

“I’ve seen stuff like it,” said the 5th grader. “I saw the Reunion Tower fireworks, and saw the hotel with all the lights many times, but it’s still pretty cool.”

The lights won’t always be green. They’ll change for special occasions. Attorney Wayne Malecha can’t wait.

“It’ll add a little more variety, be more fun. I think when the Cowboys win a game - if they win another game - it’ll light up blue, and it’ll be really a fun thing.”

But Lynn Armstrong likes the green. She missed it when the building went dark in July.   

“It’s always been Dallas,” said Armstrong. “It’s always been the green monster and it’s the symbol of money.”

Actually, Tom Prescott says the lights are green because they’re the most visible at the greatest distance. . .more than 26 miles, says the fact sheet. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.