This chapter provides a history of high-technology industries in Dallas, from their postwar origins in manufacturing, through the boom and bust of the computing, telecommunications, and dot-com industries, and into the post-9/11 recession and jobless recovery. It focuses on Infomart, a $97 million, 1.6 million-square-foot facility that was built to showcase the technological innovations of a new information age. Opened in January 1985, Infomart was designed as a trade mart for computers, a “high-tech bazaar” with seven floors of showrooms, exhibition space, lecture halls, and meeting rooms, all equipped with cutting-edge computing and telecommunications equipment. Over the next two decades, Infomart's prospects, and public perception thereof, waxed and waned. Although the space never achieved its intended goal—the computer mart concept was scrapped after only a few years—the story of how (and how much of) Infomart's space was in use at a given time intertwines with the broader history of Dallas' high-tech industries and the region's efforts to establish itself as a high-tech region on par with California's famed Silicon Valley.
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