In Grapevine, a building so weird you have to see it

28 Jul 2021


A few weeks ago, when I posted an image of the building known as Grapevine Main on my Instagram feed, the replies were, well, a lot: quizzical comments, derisive comments, approving comments, emojis of all kinds.

What exactly is Grapevine Main? I’m not sure how to answer that question, but I can tell you this: It is quite easily the weirdest new building in North Texas, a $105 million train station that’s not a train station, with a historicist design that is unlike any other building, anywhere. So, yes, it is an oddity.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. “It’s a crazy project,” says John Allender, who led the design of the building for Dallas-based Architexas. “It’s bizarre. There’s nothing else like it.”

The Frankenstein building is many things jumbled together: a tourist attraction, a food hall, an entertainment venue, a 120-room hotel, a 38,000-square-foot public plaza, and — North Texas being North Texas — a 552-space parking garage. This last element is a bit ironic, given the project’s railway station theme, a product of its location adjacent to Grapevine’s TexRail stop and its historic railroad station, now a museum.

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