Dallas is fairly new city, having experienced significant economic growth from the late 50's up until the early 80's. This period of rapid expansion is still on full display in the city's commanding skyline, which is filled with beautiful modern and mid-century structures. If I had to generalize, I would say that Dallas architecture is defined by clean lines and bold, geometric patterns. This is best represented in a few of the city's most famous landmarks by renowned architect, I.M. Pei. Fountain Place, City Hall and the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in downtown are perfect examples of the architect's contemporary style.
However, to get a true sense of Dallas design at its best (and worst), you need to dig a bit deeper and go slightly further afield. My parents used to drive me and my sister around different neighborhoods simply to check out homes in varying architectural styles. We would excitedly look upon the luxurious mansions in Preston Hollow and the ostentatious million dollar listings in Highland Park. These family excursions would always include a stop at North Park Center. If you look beyond the department stores and boutiques, you will find a mall that is an architectural gem and public art space in its own right.
Thankfully, the city's identity isn't solely built upon the past. Dallas continues to evolve and reinvent itself in surprising ways. The newly developed Dallas Arts District in downtown houses some great attractions, including the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, Klyde Warren Park and the Winspear Opera House. The nearby Design District is home to dozens of art galleries, outdoor exhibits, new restaurants and microbreweries.
If you venture south of the Trinity River to Oak Cliff, you will find the Bishop Arts District - a quirky neighborhood brimming with character and awesome, new independent shops. Nearby is Kessler Park - a beautiful neighborhood nestled amongst rolling hills and home to some of the most striking mid-century houses in the city.