UPDATE: Downtown Dallas and Parkland hospital turned purple Sunday
UPDATE at 10:20 a.m. March 30, 2015: Sunday night, six of downtown Dallas' lighted buildings turned purple in honor of the upcoming opening of the new Parkland Memorial Hospital. Here's a quick video of a pretty downtown:
Original story posted at 8 a.m. March 26, 2015: If you find yourself near downtown Dallas after dark Sunday, it'll be purple, purple everywhere. Six downtown Dallas buildings, plus the west side of the new Parkland Memorial Hospital, will be plum lit up on Sunday night in advance of the public hospital's dedication ceremony on Monday.
The Parkland construction project has been more than five years in the making. Its $1.3 billion price tag -- paid for by Dallas County residents, hospital reserve funds and private donations -- is located at Harry Hines Boulevard and Medical District Drive in Dallas. The 2.8 million square-foot hospital is nearly the size of the giant AT&T Stadium in Arlington, says Mike Malaise, interim senior vice president of external affairs at Parkland Health and Hospital System.
Why purple? That's one of Parkland's colors.
The opening of the hospital in August and the invitation-only dedication on Monday mark a significant date in Dallas health care. The six buildings turning purple Sunday night mark a kind of community solidarity, Malaise says. No money was exchanged.
The lighting up of Parkland's main entrance, however, is a paid, three-evening ordeal. Jim Garrison, owner of Logistix Media, will lead a team of about a dozen technicians who will point 32 robotic lights at the building, making for what he believes could be the biggest lighting event in Dallas and perhaps even in Texas.
"The only other projects I can think of that could be bigger would be in Vegas," Garrison says.
The hospital and the hospital's foundation will spend $30,000 on the lights show at Parkland.
Garrison explains the set-up as "like search lights, but incredibly high tech." The lights will look like 32 egg-shaped cannons pointed at Parkland. (Want to see what it looks like? You'll have to wait till Sunday. This has never been done before, so there aren't existing photos or videos to offer as examples.)
Garrison calls it "painting with light."
There's no electrical source at the new hospital that can handle that kind of power, so the Logistix team will use two generators, each the size of an SUV, to provide power.
The lights at Parkland will be visible from Interstate 35 and from downtown Dallas. Testing begins Saturday night and the building will be officially lit at sundown on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Lights will stay on until the wee hours -- 4 or 5 a.m. each day.
The five downtown Dallas buildings -- Omni Dallas, Hunt Oil Co., Bank of America Plaza, Bain & Company and Reunion Tower -- will be awash in purple Sunday night only.
[UPDATE at 10:15 p.m. March 26: The Davis Building in downtown Dallas will also light up purple, which brings the total count to six buildings, not including Parkland.]