Paper City

 I felt fortunate to be asked to write about the opening of The Perot Museum for Paper City. The natural history and science museum, located just north of downtown Dallas, is an architectural marvel and a model of sustainable building practices. Touring it before it opened to the public proved awe-inspiring.

It’s hard to miss the gray textured cube-like building with its glass-encased escalator climbing up an exterior wall. Upon arrival, visitors no doubt notice the “living” stone roof with its garden of drought-tolerant plants and native grasses. What remains unseen is a rainwater collection system that’s used to irrigate the greenery yet also provides 74% of the museum’s non-potable water needs. It’s one of many eco-friendly design features used in the museum’s construction.

Inside, there are five public floors of interactive fun and natural discoveries for the enjoyment of museum-goers young and older. The T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall features an impressive array of fossil skeletons, including a massive Tyrannosaurus rex; The Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall showcases the most stunning rocks and jewels found on planet Earth; and kids can test their speed and athleticism throughout the Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall. A 298-seat theater with 4K digital projection, plus a café and other permanent and special exhibits, make this a must-see museum that’s guaranteed to impress.