The Oak Cliff Bank Tower at Zang and Twelfth celebrates its 50th anniversary this month — the “50” will be lit up on the north and south sides of the building until the end of the year. If you’ve never ventured into the building, it’s worth a peep. The building’s managing partner, Ralph Isemberg, is an art collector and history buff, and there’s always something new to see.
1. Vintage cars — a ’64 Chevy Impala and a ’57 Cadillac El Dorado coupe — are on display in the lobby in celebration of the 50th anniversary.
2. The building commissioned an enormous painting from Oak Cliff-based artist Daniel Yanez to celebrate the 50th anniversary. The painting, in the building’s main lobby, depicts the building itself, composed of Yanez’s signature block letters.
3. A nearly lost piece from California-based metal artist Russell Holmes, commissioned by the tower’s owners in 1964, is in the ground-floor elevator bank. Previous building owners wanted to get rid of the piece, made for the bank’s boardroom, but building manager Tim Alonzo pulled out of the trash.
4. A basement hallway displays signed lithographs from Alexander Calder. They are Calder’s “Flying Colors of the United States” design for Braniff Airlines, and these prints came from the Braniff headquarters building.
5. Built in 1964, the Oak Cliff Bank Tower originally housed a designated Office of Civil Defense community fallout shelter. It had a 5,000-person capacity, and blast doors can be seen in the basement of the building, along with a display of items that would’ve been found in a 1960s nuclear fallout shelter.