Republic Center

Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, Republic Center is a Class A, mixed-use office and retail project residing on one of the largest contiguous blocks. Republic Center has been a Dallas landmark since 1954 and was completely restored in 2000 with a $75 million renovation to create a state-of-the-art facility.


Republic Center’s aluminum-plated façade with four-pointed stars has long been a recognizable part of the Dallas skyline.

The project was originally constructed in 1954 as the Republic National Bank Building. Bank officials wanted a building that would stand out boldly and represent an optimistic future for Texas and the Southwest. The design needed to be entirely original and unique, but familiar and traditional at the same time. Legendary architect Wallace K. Harrison was selected to design the project. Harrison incorporated the use of an exterior shell of interlocking aluminum plates to create the now-familiar star motif to create Republic Center’s shimmering façade. The complex was built in three stages, with Tower I opening on December 1, 1954. Dallas society turned out for the elaborate festivities held at Fair Park. Major R.L. Thornton, whose Mercantile National Bank had been Dallas’ highest building before Republic’s completion, enviously quipped, “It’s a fine building, if a bit too high to suit us.”

Reaching New Heights

At the time it was built, Republic Center was the tallest building west of the Mississippi, topped only by the skylines of New York, Chicago and Cleveland.

No expense was spared in creating one of the most remarkable buildings of its time. Engineering feats such as a column-free lobby expanse are extravagances that would not be replicated today. In order to create the unobstructed lobby, upper floors had to be hung from above. The lobby was finished with exquisite marble, inlaid wood and 3,000 square feet of pure gold leaf.

In 1964, a 50-story tower was added to the complex. In 1980 an eight-story building connecting the two towers was completed.

By today’s standards, Republic Center is over-engineered. In fact, most of the specifications were double the legal requirement. Enough structural steel was used to lay more than 65 miles of railroad tracks, and the blueprints weighed more than three-and-a-half tons. Innovations such as underground drive-through banking and valet parking were incorporated within the building. Elevators sped at a phenomenal rate of 1,400 feet a minute, which makes them among the fastest in the nation even now.

Republic National Bank symbolized an optimistic view of the future and helped make Dallas a financial center for the Southwest. The restored Republic Center will lead Dallas into the 21st century while reminding future generations of the spirit and commitment that made our city great.


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