Trammell Crow, the visionary Dallas developer whose empire included the Dallas Market Center, Peachtree Center in Atlanta and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, died Wednesday night at his farm in East Texas. He was 94.
Crow had Alzheimer’s disease and had withdrawn from public life in the last decade.
He made his biggest imprint in Dallas, where he built the DMC, three downtown skyscrapers and many other properties. He also developed the Brussels International Trade Mart and commercial and residential projects in Hong Kong, Miami, Washington, Kansas City and Minneapolis, among others.
Crow pioneered the use of atriums in offices and hotels and was respected for his ability to identify opportunities and inspire his employees.
“His sense of what customers needed and wanted guided him more than anything,” said Bill Winsor, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Market Center. “He had extraordinary vision.”
In 1998, the Crow family established the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art next to the Dallas Museum of Art to showcase works that the couple had collected over a lifetime.
Born in Dallas, Crow worked in a bank after high school and studied in the evening to become a certified public accountant. He joined the Navy in 1941, where his work as an auditor enabled him to observe businesses. Crow’s first taste of real estate came in 1948 when he leased some vacant space and built a warehouse in the Trinity River Industrial District near downtown Dallas.
Inspired by the Chicago Merch-andise Mart, Crow laid the foundation for the Dallas Market Center with the successful opening of the Dallas Decorative Center for interior design in 1955. In the next 29 years he added seven more wholesale trade buildings, including the Dallas Apparel Mart in 1964, the World Trade Center in 1974 and the Menswear Mart in 1983.
Crow is survived by his wife, Margaret; daughter, Lucy Billingsley; sons Robert, Howard, Harlan, Trammell S. and Stuart Crow, and 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
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