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17 sensational observation towers that aren't in Paris

By: Matt Hickman on Aug. 5, 2016, 10:39 a.m.
Reunion Tower in Dallas

Photo: f11photo/Shutterstock

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Reunion Tower

Everything is indeed bigger — and taller — in Texas, observation towers included.

While not the tallest structure in skyscraper-heavy Dallas (it actually holds the 15th spot with the 72-floor Bank of America Plaza holding onto first since the mid-1980s), the 561-foot-tall, geodesic dome-topped concrete edifice known as the Reunion Tower — a.k.a. the Dandelion, a.k.a. the Ball, a.k.a. God'ss Golf Ball, a.k.a. the Microphone and a few other select monikers too crude to mention — is among the most instantly recognizable.

Completed in 1978 as a freestanding structure until two decades later when an addition to the adjacent Hyatt Regency Dallas, also completed in 1978, wrapped around the four-cylinder base of the tower proper, the Reunion Tower is pretty standard as far as observation towers go.

A quick run-down: Rotating fine dining restaurant. Check. Telescope-equipped indoor/outdoor observation deck with sweeping, 360-degree views. Check. Colorful LED lights up top. Check. High-traffic souvenir shop down below. Check. Love/hate relationship amongst the natives. Check. It's all here in Dallas.