Way back in the prior millennium in the late 1990’s, David M. Schwarz Architects use to pride itself on the fact that a number of our projects were pictured on the front of local phone books – Bass Hall and The Ballpark in Arlington to name a few. Phone book covers were perhaps the best testimony that the community had accepted their buildings as memorable and beloved landmarks. This community buy-in meant more than being on the cover of glossy architecture magazines, which are the purview of self-appointed arbiters of taste. However, as we approach the end of this millennium, printed phone books have joined the ranks of the quill pens, T-squares, and ink on linen drawings. Most of today’s architectural graduates have never used a phone book.
Yet, there is a Twenty-first Century equivalent. Surfing the net late one evening, DMSAs Principal Craig Williams stumbled across the 5.0 average rating for Severance Hall, out of 509 reviews on TripAdvisor. Furthermore, Severance is ranked #2 of 175 things to do in Cleveland. Likewise, The Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville has a 5.0 average rating out of 633 reviews and is ranked #7 out of 224 things to do in Nashville. TripAdvisor and other social media platforms are today’s indication of broad public acceptance and approval. These glowing reviews come from both travelers and locals, alike. “It’s a modern seal of approval,” Craig noted.
These favorable reviews are not isolated examples. All of DMSAs’s other performance venues – Bass Performance Hall, Charleston Gaillard Center, Smith Center for the Performing Arts, The Palladium in Carmel, and Chapman Cultural Center – all average between 4.5 and 5.0 on TripAdvisor and rank amongst the top destinations in their communities. The overwhelming majority of individual reviews are 5.0 out of 5.0. These accolades are not limited to DMSAs’s performing arts work. Most of our sports venues, civic buildings, entertainment projects and commercial centers achieve equally high ratings.
So, the luddites amongst us might bemoan the extinction of the phone book cover, but those who believe in progress can take comfort in knowing that DMSAs’s buildings are as much loved and admired today as they were last century.