Architecture critic David Dillon, who wrote for The Dallas Morning News for a quarter-century, died of a heart attack on June 3 in Amherst, Mass. The 68-year-old New England native held degrees from Boston College and Harvard University. He taught English at Southern Methodist University before joining the Dallas paper as its architecture critic in 1981. His tenure included the period when the city made great leaps in architectural development—including the downtown Arts District's collection of cultural institutions designed by world-famed luminaries such as I.M. Pei, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, and Rem Koolhaas. Among his more memorable quips, he dubbed the city's overbloated, pastiche-filled new homes as "North Dallas Specials."
He left the paper in 2006, splitting his time between Dallas and New England, where he taught courses in the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Architecture+Design department. He continued to contribute articles to the Morning News and other publications as a freelancer in the years since. A contributing editor for Architectural Record, Dillon wrote 10 books, including Dallas Architecture 1936–1986, The Architecture of O'Neil Ford, and The Architecture of Kallmann McKinnell & Wood.