The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas is one of the nation’s largest convention centers, and the first major facility named for a woman. It is an economic driver for North Texas, bringing millions of visitors and billions in tourism dollars to the region annually. Like her namesake, Kay Bailey Hutchison’s impact to Dallas is also monumental.
When she was elected in 1993, Hutchison was the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, and became one of the most powerful women in America before her retirement in 2013. She served on the U.S. Senate’s committees on Appropriations; Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Rules and Administration. Over the course of her storied career in public service, Hutchison helped secure more than $225 million for the Trinity River Corridor Project, including the Dallas Floodway Extension, Margaret McDermott Bridge, Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, and the I35-E Bridge. Her efforts to rescind the Wright Amendment and ensure federal support for the Love Field Modernization Program reopened Dallas Love Field to competition following decades of federal restrictions. And with her support, Dallas Area Rapid Transit was able to create the nation’s largest light-rail system with four lines serving Dallas, both airports, and seven suburbs.
Individually either of these accomplishments would warrant recognition; but combined, the impact of her work transcends the scope of any single project. Dallas is now more connected to the world and its neighbors for commerce and recreation because of her leverage and influence. For these reasons, in recognition of her exemplary service to the people and City of Dallas, the Dallas City Council on April 24, 2013, unanimously renamed the Dallas Convention Center to honor former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.