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609 Main at Texas: Hines Next Downtown Tower

3031 posts in this topic

I am absolutely in support of the uber-rich young office upstarts having luxury living near their office, but downtown's health will not be affected by them at all.

when downtown businesses are being harassed for noise levels (la carafe, market square grill, deans, etc) because of the uber rich young office upstarts complaining, yes downtown's health can be affected. we all know how loud la carafe gets. :wacko:

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And shasta's comment was about architecture:

Regardless. Some people want flash and glitz in their architecture with spires and crazy angles. I think a 30 story L-shaped tower is a subtly bold statement.

Shasta's comment was that Hines needs better architecture. Niche's reply as I understood it was that, not being a developer, he is in no position to tell Hines what it needs or doesn't need. My point to Niche was that one does not need to be a developer to decide whether architecture is good or not.

I suppose that Niche could respond that Hines knows better than any of us what is necessary to be profitable in their line of work, and if putting great architecture in downtown Houston is not going to improve Hines' profitability, then why should they care? But I think it could be argued that public opinion has led to better architecture in the past from developers, which is where people like myself and shasta come in.

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This is interesting regarding local architecture awards going to smaller projects.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headli...es/5758979.html

See the thread here.

Shasta's comment was that Hines needs better architecture. Niche's reply as I understood it was that, not being a developer, he is in no position to tell Hines what it needs or doesn't need. My point to Niche was that one does not need to be a developer to decide whether architecture is good or not.

I once joked with someone at Hines about how that company always seems to buy ugly brown stripey buildings (I didn't say "ugly" but I think it was implied). Strangely, I haven't had a contract out of Hines since. :wacko:

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edit: how far up in the public eye will this Hines Tower leak to? swamplot posted the photo on its website today. this is kind of funny. any chance our making it public will hurt the chances of it going up?

http://swamplot.com/the-secret-new-downtow...5-08/#more-1941

I looked at this area from this angle yesterday and just want to make the following observations about the building.

I think the Texas Tower is gone. What appears at first glance to be the Texas Tower, on the northeast corner of block 69, looks more like the back of the old Post-Dispatch building -- now the Magnolia Hotel. The Magnolia has that same L-shape. As far as I am concerned, the Texas Tower is gone in the rendering.

As for this building being L-shaped, why would it be if the Texas Tower is gone? Allow me to engage in rank speculation but when I first see this rendering, the building looks more like a T-shape. With the gentle curve on the facade that forms the top of the "T", you could have fun with the angles from the structure forming the base of the "T". You could have some pretty cool facdes and plazas along Main and Texas.

But regardless of what goes here, I'll always miss that McDonald's that gave one the experience of stopping off for lunch in downtown Grozny.

Edited by capnmcbarnacle

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I just walked by there on my way to Cafe Express. The Shamrock sign is still up. I just saw the back of the Texas Tower, but I was around the other side recently and I believe the tower is unoccupied. I also remember for sale signs and covered windows. This will probably be imploded.

You're right, there is no Texas Tower in the rendering. The building that appears to be in the L-shaped crevice of the new tower is actually across Fannin. I think the L-shape is an illusion. My first impression was that it steps back slightly from the 'face'.

Edited by rsb320

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Losing the Texas Tower would SUCK. That building has potential and they truly don't build them like that anymore. Oh well, I am sure progress and profits will doom it to rubble.

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You know, I once had an economics professor that lamented that he couldn't go to a cocktail party and not have some layman ask what he does, and thereafter not be assaulted with a hairbrained lecture in his own subject from someone who has no idea what they're talking about. I guess that anecdote applys to architecture, too.

I hope Hines doesn't see your comment. Associating it with your name devalues their perceived worth of my alma matter.

Yes, how horrible of you to have an opinion, Shasta. What's even worse is that you have chosen to express your opinion on an internet forum. The nerve!

You know, the world would be a better place if we left everything unquestioned and just relied on the expertise of valued professionals.

Shame on you Shasta, for devaluing my UH diploma with your outrageous behavior of questioning authority. Fall in line, and change your handle to subserviant sheep.

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Losing the Texas Tower would SUCK. That building has potential and they truly don't build them like that anymore. Oh well, I am sure progress and profits will doom it to rubble.

As much as I would like to see the Texas Tower preserved, it is a shell of itself without all of the deco features that used to adorn the top of the building. 99% of the time I'm a knee-jerk preservationist, but I guess I feel like Texas Tower has already been dismantled -- at least the exterior. I have never been inside of it so I can't say what's there. I hoped for ages that someone would find something cool to do with it but I just hope that Hines or whoever follows my first rule of architecture which is that if you must tear an old building down, replace it with something as cool or cooler.

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That's pretty much what it comes down to (in Houston).

But strangely enough, Austin has a percentage growth rate that is even faster than ours, and their downtown area is growing by leaps and bounds, with most of it being residential/hotel/retail. There really isn't much in the way of new office space being built downtown; it's all out in the suburbs. Worse still is Dallas, where their downtown office market keeps on getting new supply but can't quite seem to fill it.

Personally, I strongly perfer our urban growth model. It draws a greater number and diversity of people downtown, as Red pointed out, and as our region grows, having a strong central business district in the context of an urban core with a dense residential population will make developing effective local and regional transit much easier than will be the case in a place like Austin.

I agree. Besides, Austin's downtown is a totally different beast. Downtown Houston residential development is difficult because we don't have 80% of our nightlife crammed into downtown.

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I hope Hines doesn't see your comment. Associating it with your name devalues their perceived worth of my alma matter.

Misspelling 'alma mater' devalues the perceived worth of your alma mater.

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Misspelling 'alma mater' devalues the perceived worth of your alma mater.

Now that's funny! :lol:

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Shasta's comment was that Hines needs better architecture. Niche's reply as I understood it was that, not being a developer, he is in no position to tell Hines what it needs or doesn't need. My point to Niche was that one does not need to be a developer to decide whether architecture is good or not.

I suppose that Niche could respond that Hines knows better than any of us what is necessary to be profitable in their line of work, and if putting great architecture in downtown Houston is not going to improve Hines' profitability, then why should they care? But I think it could be argued that public opinion has led to better architecture in the past from developers, which is where people like myself and shasta come in.

I guess that I was trying tactfully to make the comment that a lot of commentators on this architecture forum don't know a lick about architecture. It so happens that Hines does know a thing or two about architecture. And heck, I even took a couple courses there, myself.

And granted, some aspects come down to taste. I really like Hines' parking garage, specifically because it looks so skeletal, for instance, but I can see how others don't like it. But when it comes down to which direction the tower's facade is oriented, that really and truely does not matter; what matters is that the first few floors are articulated from the tower and that they are designed with the street level in mind. Whether that was done properly is not known to us at this time because we're only working off of one rendering.

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I think both sides have made their points. Now let's get back on topic.

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Is Texas Tower that building that smells really bad when you walk by it?

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Is Texas Tower that building that smells really bad when you walk by it?

If you think urine smells bad, then yes.

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As much as I would like to see the Texas Tower preserved, it is a shell of itself without all of the deco features that used to adorn the top of the building. 99% of the time I'm a knee-jerk preservationist, but I guess I feel like Texas Tower has already been dismantled -- at least the exterior. I have never been inside of it so I can't say what's there. I hoped for ages that someone would find something cool to do with it but I just hope that Hines or whoever follows my first rule of architecture which is that if you must tear an old building down, replace it with something as cool or cooler.

Agree completely. Texas Tower/Sterling Building lost its architectural merit when the top was "modernized". What isn't clear is if it is going to be demolished. It looks like the new building wraps around that quarter block. Might it just have been left out of the rendering to give a better view of what the new tower will look like?

In the rendering the south wing of the tower looks impossibly thin. It looks nice, but I wonder if it is the final design. I can't wait to see how this is proposed to look at street level. Main and Texas was traditionally considered the center of downtown. I would really like to see something really special here.

Btw, it seems that the project has been yanked off the page at the link. Someone must have seen it on HAIF and panicked.

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it looks like the rendering has been removed from the original link. did anyone save it?

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it looks like the rendering has been removed from the original link. did anyone save it?

See post #23.

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it looks like the rendering has been removed from the original link. did anyone save it?

I did before the Wylie page was deleted. It's back up on the first post.

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As much as I would like to see the Texas Tower preserved, it is a shell of itself without all of the deco features that used to adorn the top of the building. 99% of the time I'm a knee-jerk preservationist, but I guess I feel like Texas Tower has already been dismantled -- at least the exterior. I have never been inside of it so I can't say what's there. I hoped for ages that someone would find something cool to do with it but I just hope that Hines or whoever follows my first rule of architecture which is that if you must tear an old building down, replace it with something as cool or cooler.

A good picture of it before the top was sheared off was just posted in this topic.

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I also posted a photo of the building without the top cut off on the previous page of this thread.

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A good picture of it before the top was sheared off was just posted in this topic.

That's not at all the building in question at Texas and Main.

Actually, the building is on the northeast corner of that block at Texas and Fannin.

Edited by rsb320

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That's not at all the building in question at Texas and Main.

Actually, the building is on the northeast corner of that block at Texas and Fannin.

There is a pic of it at post #32

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There is a pic of it at post #32

I was referring to the "this topic" link on post 95. That is not a picture of the Texas Tower. Also, on post 32, I just see a block map, not a picture of a building.

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Agree completely. Texas Tower/Sterling Building lost its architectural merit when the top was "modernized".

In the rendering the south wing of the tower looks impossibly thin. It looks nice, but I wonder if it is the final design. I can't wait to see how this is proposed to look at street level. Main and Texas was traditionally considered the center of downtown. I would really like to see something really special here.

That's not what capnmcbarnacle was saying - in fact he took pains not to - and I would take pains not to have this sound abrasive, but as far as I can tell, you may as well be happy with whatever sterile prism pops up, because (the value of street-level accommodations notwithstanding) if the existing tower's architectural merit was so reducible, you have to that extent already bought into the postmodern thought that its substance is in its skyline statement.

And the present proposal (if you trace the perspective line of the rendering back two blocks onto Texas Commerce Tower, count the storeys down from the top, and divide the remaining storeys into 1002 feet) is noticeably over 500 feet (if you forget to trace the line back two blocks, and just do it straight across, it's 600' ), which will matter to some fans, as far as something special at the top goes.

(not far)

The public realm gets a bit of discussion, and I'm really glad you care about the pedestrian streetscape. I'll just take this moment to point out something else.

Ignoring tops, and ignoring interiors - which I can't speak about any more than capnmc can - just compare something as simple as its windows to what you see of Chase Center across the street. Besides rising on vertical folds, the openings in the older building are individually upright, but in Chase Center they're black oblong (horizontal) slabs. Could be futuristic mausolea for all we are able to relate to them. Mirroring the face entirely (MainPlace, etc) or stretching a facile grid up the thing like pantyhose (1000 Main, the rest of downtown Houston) are no more suited for acknowledging their function as places where people are spending millions of hours a year in close working proximity... All [of the recent strategies] are unsuited except maybe for being a bleak commentary on how forgettable and overstreamlined we have made the time we spend in such places. To inhabit a place is the most we can do for it, can say for it (since additive personal modification is NOT allowed, the more the place is supposedly "worth", and it seems all the world's an investment property). These new places ought to make that process dignified, but they don't.

Anyone can message me for a 'rest of the story'.

Edited by strickn

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