Have you ever wanted proof that the earth is actually rotating? You can find that in Dallas.
Head to the heart of Downtown Dallas and look for a corporate office tower that sits across from Klyde Warren Park. Here, you will find North Texas’ only Foucault Pendulum positioned inside the Hunt Consolidated Inc. Corporate Headquarters.
In 1851, a thirty-two year old French medical school drop out named Leon Foucault invited a group of scientists to see the earth turn. He suspended a pendulum from the ceiling of the Paris Observatory and demonstrated that the earth did indeed rotate on an axis based upon the change in plane of oscillation. A month later, he opened the experiment up to the public by suspending a 61-pound weight from a 220-foot cable in the Paris Pantheon and marked the change in sand to visibly show the world that eventually the lines would change. Until then, scientists might have understood that the earth rotated but there had been no experiment to mark the rate with which it actually turned.
How do I get inside an office building?
Firstly, keep in mind that this is a place of business and should be visited during working hours from Monday-Friday. When you enter the building, head straight for the guard at the desk before taking any photos. In your kindest voice, ask for a quick peak, and explain that you would like to respectively gaze upon proof of the rotating earth.
Is it worth it?
Ultimately, this means the amount of time spent watching the Foucault Pendulum in the lobby of the Hunt Consolidated, Inc. Headquarters won’t be long enough to actually see any real visible change. Length of time aside, find comfort in the fact that you will be able to experience this marvelous work of art that intersects with the mechanics of science.
In the end, it is hard not to be mesmerized by the swinging motion of this two-story beauty surrounded by 2,600 stone pieces scattered about its base. The dramatic walls of glass surrounding this scientific instrument allow you to clearly view the busy Downtown scene around it. As you focus in on the glass that wraps around the pendulum, you can see a reflection of buildings and sky. And, if you get just close enough, you can even see a reflection of yourself.
Have some energy left for more sightseeing? Don't miss two things while in the area.
Klyde Warren Park is an expansive urban escape built over the freeway. It is right outside the Hunt Oil building, and it features a children's play area, lending library, and lawn games like croquet.
Or, too hot to hang outside? Don't miss the Dallas Museum of Art a short hop away from the lobby. It is worth a pop in even if you and your kids aren't big on art because admission is free to most of the exhibits.
Hungry? Check out the many food trucks there, or go for something more formal like Savor with excellent ambience, craft cocktails, and high-end food choices. All are within walking distance to to Foucault Pendulum, and they have gluten free options available at both.
Need more tips for food & fun in the Dallas area?
For more ideas, check out other great family friendly activities and dining options we love in DFW on our Dallas Page.