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strickn

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Everything posted by strickn

  1. This building, the New York Daily News on 42nd Street, was built from 1928 to 1930, but its designers were familiar with the illustrations you mention, and so were Philip Johnson and John Burgee. An interesting new interview on Rice Design Alliance's "Cite Digital" website reveals the exact source of Transco Tower's squarish shoulders (which IMHO make it so much better architecturally than the rounded slender tapering slopes of many bland new supertalls in HK, South Korea, San Francisco, China and Southeast Asia). They include a photograph of its 1927-1928 inspiration: https://www.ricedesignalliance.org/cpk-ko-interview
  2. Aren't there noise and asthma/air quality reasons not to put a residence for young adults along Gulf Freeway? Even in the middle of Houston Botanic Garden you can't forget the uncomfortably close sounds of this traffic.
  3. Is there any evidence that Houstonians who would have been "locked up" for property crimes and other misdemeanors have a great attraction to violent felonies? The original poster's Insurance Journal link cites an uptick in 30 of the 34 largest cities (2019 to 2020). Here is a good group for statistics: https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=7046
  4. In urban evolution those are less of a cul-de-sac than this is. They will be torn down and replaced piecemeal. After its "phases" are finished East River will be finished and difficult to upgrade.
  5. It is surprisingly hard to get an urban atmosphere without financing it the way urban atmospheres were actually financed. These building blocks are never going to add up to that feel. Midway cannot fake one management/decisionmaking process as another, and a unique neighborhood atmosphere involves thousands of different owners' choices, not a couple of design firms decorating for one owner. Houston Heights was promoted by a central player with an 1890s financing stack, yes, and so were denser parts of many cities all over the country that now have lofts and offices and workshops -- but the pieces were small enough that many could add to them and modify them personally over time. Look at these plans and ask yourself where that would ever happen here.
  6. Kbates2 is right to use supertall to mean buildings in the 300-600m range. But Transco/Williams at 275m still has more appeal than this one. This 98 Red River design is like a joke that's especially edgy because it's at the exact present edge of political correctness but if you were to hear the comedian again in a decade it would be a useless joke. The best possible outcome is that, if equally tall towers are ever built near I-35 on the old waterfront newspaper headquarters site, then they will form a visually dramatic river gateway together with this.
  7. I was wrong in that I just found where CTBUH says they don't generally count entrances below grade as significant since the building entrance ought to bring the public to elevators that permit access to higher floors. Rather than to GFR storefront spaces and that sort of self-contained thing (the 30 Rock entrance to and from the ice rink comes to mind). But if Dallas' and Houston's unusual system of ped tunnels mean that elevator lobbies are present on both levels, or even that elevator cabs have double-decks to serve two elevator lobbies at once, then in these sorts of cases, by the SkyscraperCenter logic, an outdoor entrance admitting visitors from the Lousiana Street plaza to that space is the lowest outdoor door to measure from. 992' is not because the CTBUH staff went back and double checked their listings for correctness before making a line diagram; this figure pre-dates their mid-1990s invention of the official definitions, since it was appearing in World Almanacs for years before then. It probably just hasn't ever been remeasured according to the uniform reporting standards (which, within 2 to 3 years of their invention, infamously made the world's tallest buildings ones that were visibly less tall in all but rulebook than Sears Tower, 1WTC and John Hancock too.)
  8. Had been wondering the height of 1301 McKinney's nonarchitectural rooftop lattice tower: 794' https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistration.jsp?regKey=128410
  9. Thank you. A fresh post on 1000 Louisiana / WFP, of interest to this thread's readers, is in a different thread:
  10. I would like our valiant editor to ask Keating if he knew from blueprints that 1000 Louisiana was taller than 600 Travis, and just kept it impishly to himself all these years. I'm afraid Austin's Rainey Street building proposals, if they get out of the ground, won't accidentally build a few feet shy of the tallest mark. Sources, of course: 600 Travis used to be measured from the ground as 1,006' but had to be remeasured from the lowest public outdoor entrance, four feet higher (the three basements beneath the raised plaza and four beneath the tower lack outdoor public entrances other than loading docks and the like, which are not officially counted), for 1,002' 1000 Louisiana, starting from the same terrain level of about 50' elevation, is officially measured from the tunnel level because the plaza has outdoor entrances accessible by public stairs. Its recorded height of 992' starts from about 20' below street level. But government records show that the top of its penthouse is 999' above ground. For instance when it received a 14' temporary antenna on top in 1984, it reached 1,063' above mean sea level, 1,013' above the 50' site elevation, with the building being all but 14' of that. Other records typically run within a foot of this figure; moving from the FAA in 1984 to the FCC in 2005, for instance, we have a report of 304.8m or 999.99'. Adding a recorded 14.9m or 48.88' above mean sea level, this time, their rooftop without antennae is at a total height of 319.7m or 1,048.87' above mean sea level, again very close to the comparison 1,049'. ...Whether we use 999 or 999.99, we have to add the height from the official starting point at about 29' or 30' above mean sea level where the public entrances are. For comparison, CTBUH took away 18' from the World Almanac height of Dallas' tallest tower because its pedestrian tunnel plaza level didn't have outdoor access from street level; it is a private patio court but not a primary entrance. They did not do so from 1000 Louisiana. So it means that we can accurately answer the first HAI rhetorical question, "But does the tower's essential subterranean element count towards this goal, and would it change the ranking?" The answer is that it already is being measured, and does count officially; the real question is why they are not already officially including the oval, teal colored, integral penthouse of Wells Fargo Plaza in the measurement figure, which would total somewhere between 1,019 and 1,021. It was never intended to be able to be replaced or changed independently of the rest of the architectural design it is part of; it should be clear that it was not a mechanical tack-on. Rectifying this oversight would answer the second HAI question, and would change an additional ranking error as well -- the Library Tower in Los Angeles, built 1,018' tall to eclipse 600 Travis, was never tallest west of the Mississippi River 1989-2016. Have a good Friday evening.
  11. Ok, answered. 2929 Allen Parkway (AIG formerly America Tower) https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/licenseLocDetail.jsp?pageNumToReturn=1&keyLoc=14681311&licKey=1836847 Terrain elevation 18.0m or 59' Mast 207.0m or 679' Mast 208.0m HAAT (height above average terrain in a larger radius than the immediate site's terrain -- makes sense since downtown is about 10' lower at 49'), indicating that the 207.0 meter height is not measured above mean sea level but above the ground onsite here.
  12. This graphic from that brochure shows the space as being on the plaza level. Can anyone report whether Adair Downtown restaurant, which opened in this spot a year ago this week, has an entrance door from the plaza, as finally constructed, or entrances only from WFP lobby and the tunnel? Thanks!
  13. Its architectural height either officially included the flagpole (so it equals the height to top of building) or did not (so it is equal to the roof height). Either way, one of the three heights has been misreported.
  14. Have we settled how tall the flagpole is? The online databases I've seen tend to do like Emporis and say that the height to tip, architectural height, and roof height are all identical. https://www.emporis.com/buildings/117718/american-general-center-houston-tx-usa
  15. At first I didn't understand the new address right, 2701 Main, and thought that the Fitzroy will destroy the Pacific Mutual Life building at 2701 Fannin. Whew. Caydon has gone ahead and bumped a previous 2019 inquiry to the FAA seeing if they can now get anything up to 600' at their parcels with the address 2606 Fannin. For those who click through, "Work in Progress" just means that the proposed limit has not received its determination letter yet, not that the building is in progress now.
  16. It's attractive all right. Less elegantly modern than Chase but much more likeable. San Felipe Plaza in the distance was designed by the same firm (Houston had a Skidmore, Owings and Merrill office at that time; Chase's designer IM Pei had a Dallas office in the 1980s) that designed Wells Fargo Plaza, with the quarter-circles offset a different amount in the footprint. Here's a picture of SFP that shows it, from the May-June 1982 Texas Architect article (with a lot of other fun pictures) on the state's crop of new towers. Many of them were post-deregulation investments from prosperous lenders who required heavy taxpayer-funded bailouts a few years later, to help keep the state's cities from becoming world-class tumbleweed farms.
  17. Found an early analysis of that shape published in Texas Architect in a 1981 article. Little known fact -- URL linking to a specific page number 64 within a PDF requires (or used to require) you to type #page=64 after the '.pdf' for some browsers to handle it, and #page64 for others. Here's the link, and here's another if that didn't take your browser straight there.
  18. Going from postmodern architecture in Houston to postvernacular now? I wonder what our city would look like, if that were to become a wave as widespread as the earlier ones.
  19. There's not a lot of space to buy low and sell high when a field is already as superheated as life sciences has gotten. This literal field owned by 2ML, can still sell higher, yes; but the industry itself? TMC is great, but as an industry cluster, if you look at the burn rate required of the top ten areas just to stay in the top ten, Houston has almost no shot to ever break into the top six or eight, let alone five. So is rising from third tier to second tier in a currently important prestige niche actually important enough to justify the opportunity cost? The cost of not putting that toward an area that is more distinctive to our local character and would make us more headway? IMHO no. Life sciences are just something like "cyber" that seems totally investable and inevitable -- that is to say, lucrative without the risk of looking professionally foolish that, say, going to bat for something more creative but less recognizable would carry. In that sense, this highly costly upside opportunity is the functional equivalent of what mixed use development itself suddenly became for the commercial real estate and institutional investment fields of business.
  20. I still hope William S Transco doesn't have to hang out on the skyline with such a square.
  21. From other threads, Brookfield is the owner who has been renovating Total Plaza, Allen Center and Heritage Plaza (though that one's not quite along Louisiana & Smith) too.
  22. TMC's monetary orientation (in 2017 the State Senate got upset at them for seeking to extend tax exemption to purely private for-profit land leases) means that the innovation flagship TMC3 is going to be looking to the participating institutions for a whole lot of funding. If TMC3's costs were to go up by the time it opens, would TMC plan on passing some of that increase on to the participating institutions? I don't know, but having McNair Campus next door (across Staffordshire, but broadside for the length of both campuses) means that Baylor St. Luke's will already enjoy close proximity to the facility even if it isn't onboard -- which is not true of the other participants. Colorado-based CHI promised to contribute over $1 billion toward an Episcopal health foundation when it acquired St. Luke's in 2013. It took on too much debt to expand (within five years its bond rating dropped five notches from Aa2 to Baa1) and it has since merged with another Catholic hospital group and decided to move their administration to Chicago. Instead of investing in both the central and McNair Campuses, as originally planned, it was then decided that the old complex along Bertner will be left behind by CHI when they move the Duncan Cancer Center, the medical center, and ultimately the Texas Heart Institute to the McNair Campus. If TCH, Methodist, and UTMDACC are interested in purchasing some or all of those older buildings adjacent to them, and the Catholic group could defray its costs with a sale, then I wonder whether TCH and MDA can reach an agreement to extend the MDA skybridge level across Bertner and along the north side of Bates Avenue. Because if they found a mutually agreeable way to connect to TCH Feigin Tower (the center for their pediatric cancer research, so not out of place) and cross Holcombe to the Mays Clinic complex, then there would be a complete circuit for MDA's patients and workers to circulate -- something most of them have wanted for as long as there has been a Mays Clinic. Plus the Prudential teardown land would then no longer be so far by skybridge from the Main Building.
  23. http://offcite.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2010/03/NeverMindTheBollards_Barna_Cite371.pdf Great title, author, and article, which I found in making a timeline of all Greater Houston mixed-use development
  24. when people need to detour off of Gray to get around something, it really helps to have Webster and Hadley intact. These streets don't go all the way from Fourth Ward over across 288 like it does, but connect almost as well. The city or the management district should recognize, especially if Whole Foods has made this the development epicenter, that they don't need to give up streets here to help Midtown develop anymore. After Rosalie, we'd have only Anita and McGowen for cross-street rights of way to serve as grid distributors. That holds true all the way from Elgin to Hadley-Webster-Gray, because too many have been severed already.
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