After Voters Pass on Bond Issue, Texas Billionaires Build Cultural Zone

Dallas billionaires found a way to get an art museum, concert hall and opera house when voters rejected a $47 million bond issue for financing: They
forked out their own money to build a cultural zone.“What we did instead was so much better” than the 1978 plan, said Margaret McDermott, the Dallas arts benefactor and widow of Eugene McDermott, co-founder of Texas Instruments Inc. “We were lucky it failed.”The final piece of the Dallas Arts District, the $392 million AT&T Performing Arts Center, will be dedicated Oct. 12. Its 10-story theater and cylindrical, 2,200-seat opera house join three museums and a symphony hall built during the past three decades. The district covers 19 blocks in downtown Dallas, the eighth-largest U.S. city.Ross Perot, Charles Wyly and other Dallas billionaire and millionaire arts supporters persevered through the mid-1980s collapse in oil prices, the Texas savings-and-loan crisis, eight mayoral administrations and today’s recession. After spending almost a billion dollars, they have just $30 million still to raise.
By Thomas Korosec, Oct 9, 2009 Bloomber

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