Joule Opening Party

I can't believe this is the former SPG Building at 1530 Main. It's now the Joule, one of Starwood's newest Luxury Collection hotels. Back in the late 80s, I used to run a small international magazine store on the first level. The store and the building were owned and renovated by Gabriel Barbier-Muller, who renovated the historic 1920s Gothic Revival structure and made it a vibrant place. Then the recession hit and everyone pulled out of downtown.

Gabriel's office was in the penthouse, which has been turned into a dazzling suite for the hotel. I just finished a story about it for Modern Luxury, and interviewed the Joule's architect, Adam Tihany, who told me a great story about how -- and why -- the swimming pool ended up cantilevering off the building. You'll have to get a copy of the November issue to find out.

There was a big bash this weekend to celebrate the opening of the hotel, which Adam says lasted from Friday night until Sunday afternoon. His son Bram Tihany also flew in for the party. Bram, a cinematographer and filmmaker in New York, shot dozens of black and white photographs for the hotel, documenting downtown Dallas. His office sent me a few, below. See if you can figure out where they were shot.

Bram wasn't so eager to do the project at first, he told me, because he wasn't sure he could get a "dialog going" with Dallas. He'd never been here, and wasn't sure there was anything to document. Starwood shipped him out for an afternoon and he ended up shooting several rolls of film.

"After I spent a day here, I said absolutely I can work here," he remembers. Bram came back to shoot more, later. "What makes great cities is history. Dallas' great history is evident from the architecture. For my money, Dallas has some remarkably beautiful architecture. The city is experiencing a resurgence now, and you can see all of the new development growing out of what was."