300 N. Ervay - 1954
When Republic National Bank constructed their new headquarters between St. Paul and Pacific Streets on Ervay, it was the first building of any size located on the 45 degree street grid. What originally was one office tower and banking hall, the center grew to include an even taller office building in 1964 and a smaller 8 story building in 1980, expanding the complex to an entire city block. See Republic Center Tower II.
Republic Center Tower I was designed by Harrison & Abramovitz of New York and is clad with anodized aluminum panels that are embossed with the banks logo. When the building was complete, it was the tallest in Dallas, taking over the title from the Mercantile National Bank Building which had a 115 foot ornamental tower on top of it. Republic Bank also had to a decorative element added to the top of their building. On the west side of the structure, a 150 foot tower and beacon was placed on top of the building. The tower and beacon originally was illuminated at night, but has been dark for years. On a clear night, it could be seen from miles as it towered over Mercantile and the flying red horse on the Magnolia Building. The beacon revolved and the tower had neon tubing that pulsated and flashed. Pilots from Love Field complained about the beacon and it was the first to be darkened. A few years later, there were more complaints about the neon, and soon it was turned off as well. On September 16, 2000, the tower was illuminated once again, but this time with flood lights shining up on it from the roof.
Through a series of takeovers, Republic Bank eventually became part of the Bank of America system, which closed the branch. The complex is undergoing a major renovation that has the second and third buildings complete. Tower I has been brought up to code and is now slated to be converted to apartments. It is also located on a DART Rail Line and is one block from a rail station. The skyscraper is 452 feet tall with 36 stories, making it the 21st tallest building in the city. The tower is not included within the height of the building.