CenterPoint Energy Tower in Houston

Photo of CenterPoint Energy Tower in Houston, Texas
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
Photo of CenterPoint Energy Tower in Houston, Texas
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz
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Photo of CenterPoint Energy Tower in Houston, Texas
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz

CenterPoint Energy Tower
Also known as:The Tower of Power
Also known as:Kilowatt Tower
Formerly:CenterPoint Energy Plaza
Formerly:Reliant Energy Plaza
Formerly:Houston Industries Plaza
Formerly:1100 Milam

1111 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas, Downtown 77002
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This building is an example of what can be achieved with a little imagination. Like a number of other skyscrapers in Houston, it was a boring block of black glass. Sure, energy efficient, but not very attractive. Then in 1996 something wonderful happened. The building was transformed into a Houston landmark by the architectural firm of DMJM Keating. It added a six-story cap to the skyscraper with a big hole cut into it. In text, it sound stupid. But from the ground, from the air, and from neighboring buildings it's a treat by day and a beacon when illuminated by night. Many people ask us if it is possible to access the inside of the pavilion. The answer is yes, as demonstrated in a 2001 television commercial for Reliant Energy. People also ask if helicopters land there. The answer is no. It's too tight a space, and too windy, which is also the reason that banquets are not held up there. Sure, it would be dramatic, but the candles would blow out and there would be napkins and gravy all over the place, so please stop asking. The crown is lined in white to reflect the floodlights, and occasionally those lights will be changed to red, green, or blue to reflect certain holidays. Would any company go through all this work just to make an architectural statement? Not exactly. Inside the pinnacle is all sorts of radio, microwave, and other communications equipment, and the space rental fees make money. The building once had a large slanted atrium, but it was removed in the 1994 renovation.

Quick Facts
    >This building was designed by Richard Keating.
    >1994 - A contest is held among Houston Industries employees to rename the building. The winner was the flaccid "Houston Industries Plaza." According to the Houston Chronicle, the losers included The Tower of Power, Kilowatt Tower, Houston Rocket Socket, Electronic Super Hi-Rise, and Fortress Gump.
    >1995 - The address of the building officially changed from 1100 Milam to 1111 Louisiana. Louisiana Street is a more prestigious address, especially for energy firms.
    >2004 - The building is renamed CenterPoint Energy Tower.
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