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ArchFan last won the day on June 17 2014

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  1. It's not one of I.M. Pei's most eye-catching buildings, but it's nice. (Earlier on, didn't he design the Brutalist Boston City Hall?) Perhaps the people who don't like the Houston building would prefer one of his group's later buildings in Dallas, which I think is/was named Fountain Place -- more glass and a non-flat top. I always rather fancied his building in Hong Kong that (I think) was named after the Bank of China, at least for a while. I was told that it was designed with Chinese feng shui principles in mind ... i.e., glass facing both the mountainside and the ocean, such that (supposedly) a dragon could pass through it coming down to the ocean.
  2. I'm reminded of the old Wizard-of-Oz tune that began with the words "Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead". :-) But ... upon reflection it may be that greater damage was done by Bob Lanier, who as mayor, raided the giant nest egg Metro had accumulated by the early 90s. I don't recall the exact amount, but I think it was in the neighborhood of $700-800 million. What would that be worth today? A lot!
  3. I like the design, but there is something that bugs me ... which is very common in Houston. The first two pics show what I think is mildew, which is surprising for a new building. I have my own ongoing battle with mildew on the concrete balconies of my condo. Chlorine bleach applied with a stiff brush is the best solution I've found for the smooth surfaces at my place. I suspect that solution is a bit more difficult for some of our older buildings that have facades of fossiliferous limestone (e.g., City Hall and older ones at UH). As I recall, the facade of City Hall was cleaned by power-washing (or maybe even sand-blasting) years ago. That's very destructive to the surface. My place has some exterior surfaces that are artificial stone (actually cement) that some guys cleaned by power-washing, but it was obvious that the process eroded the surface and left it less smooth.
  4. I have lived as high as the 25th floor in a building and worked as high as the 22nd floor in another. I now live on the 8th floor of yet another building, which is about as high as I'd like to be. That's high enough to have a view, but still low enough that its not too bad taking the stairs to go down when the fire alarm goes off. What I really hate is that when the fire alarm goes off, its usually in the middle of the night. The alarms have all been either malfunctions or due to the smoke detector going off in someone's kitchen.
  5. I wondered about this too, since they seem to have disappeared from Houston. Turns out there is a Wikipedia entry for "Tony Roma's" that tells the history. Also, their company website lists the US states and countries they currently operate in: USA LOCATIONS California Florida Hawaii Illinois Iowa Nevada New Jersey Texas [in Laredo and McAllen; one in San Antonio is listed as temporarily closed] WORLDWIDE LOCATIONS Aruba Australia Bahrain Bangladesh Brazil Canada Chile Costa Rica Dominican Republic El Salvador Germany Guam Guatemala Indonesia Ireland Japan Malaysia Mexico CuraƧao Panama Peru Philippines Saipan Singapore Spain Thailand United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Venezuela
  6. I don't know enough to judge how racist he was in private words or actions. Regardless of how bad he was in that way, he did publicly say and do some good things. Some people evolve over time ... perhaps he did, too. I dunno. As president, at the signing ceremony for the Higher Education Act of 1965 in 1965, Johnson reminisced: BTW, after finishing his teaching degree, he went on to teach public speaking at Sam Houston High School, here in Houston.
  7. On a related note, I really think "they" (probably the Uptown TIRZ) should construct some safe ways for people to cross Westheimer between The Galleria and stuff on the north side of Westheimer. It's ridiculous (and quite unsafe) how people feel they have to run for their lives to cross Westheimer and and also navigate across the median landscaping. The crosswalks at Post Oak and McCue are pretty far apart and many people don't want to take long detours to use them. I suppose the most practical solution would be an overhead walkway. Beyond that, as more development occurs on the other side (east) of 610, the need for safe pedestrian passage to there will only grow. Currently, I seriously feel that I'm risking my life trying to make that crossing. As a resident of the area, at least I know what I'm getting into when I cross there. I worry even more about the out-of-town visitors who have to scurry through that gauntlet of crazy drivers.
  8. I assume you mean the strip mall on the east side of Post Oak, just north of Westheimer. Unless it's changed hands while I wasn't paying attention, I assume it is still owned by the Weingarten REIT, along with the property across the street where Sakowitz used to be. Its interesting how they have kept these properties for so many decades, without developing them with higher density. While I'm not a big fan of the dedicated bus lanes going in (but I do like the Boulevard Project aside from that), I wonder if it will make some higher-density redevelopment more attractive there.
  9. That is a good question. Personally, I wouldn't invest in one right now, if it were only to rent it out. There are so many downtown rental units on the market now, with more on the way.
  10. I agree. And even if I don't particularly care for the facade, at least someone is building a condo building downtown, rather than more rental apartments. Consequently, I hope this one sells out quickly and helps induce more downtown condo development.
  11. No need to get fancy. The sun is far enough away to make it good enough to calculate plane-wave reflection coefficients and also it's not necessary to introduce frequency dependence. In the past, I experimented with a lot of various equations for sound waves in the earth. I imagine that for visible light this far from the sun, it would be sufficient to use an equation that allows for angle dependence and there is no mode conversion to speak of, as would be the case for sound waves. In any case, just to my eyes, I don't need to fuss over which equation to use: Randall's new building starts hurting my eyes once the sun comes up. Ultimately, its just another building that is better to live inside of, so that one doesn't have to look at it from nearby.
  12. Well, the sun is about to rise. Time to put on my sunglasses so that the Arabella won't melt my eyeballs. It has the highest reflection coefficient of any building I can see from where I live.
  13. There had been talk of a luxury boutique hotel on the empty lot north of ROD, across Bettis. If the hotel mentioned above is in the property to the west, formerly occupied by Sullivan's and Le Peep, I suppose it might preempt the other one. I also agree that it will be great to see the old convenience store and nail salon building go away.
  14. I gotta say, putting an urban Target in the old Sakowitz building sounds like a great idea. I'm not sure whether the investment community is ready to fund something like that yet, but I think that ultimately it would quite successful as more residential buildings open nearby.
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