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Everything posted by Specwriter

  1. Specwriter

    Brewster Mccloud

    Might "Brewster McCloud" become a local cult classic along the lines of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show?" Of course, one can sing along to "RHPS."
  2. Specwriter

    Best books

    I might also add "The Big Rich" by Bryan Burrough. It is not entirely about Houston but it is the story of four Texas oil men and their families that made fortunes in the oil industry, one of which is Hugh Roy Cullen. I can also highly recommend Kirkland's "Captain James A. Baker of Houston." I believe it is the quintessential history of Rice University and Baker's tireless efforts to bring that institution into being in the face of very difficult circumstances. Thanks, mkultra25.
  3. Specwriter

    Latest Astroworld Plot redevelopment news

    I got no sound on the video except for the commercials but I get the gist. So where is the detention area being built to compensate for all that impervious surface? Maybe the plan is to turn the dome into a big cistern. 😖
  4. Specwriter

    Vacant lot south of Robbins Bros.

    Yes, the city has many underground parking facilities that almost never flood. It takes something like a Harvey or lack of maintenance of drains or pumps to cause any true trouble.
  5. Specwriter

    Vacant lot south of Robbins Bros.

    It looks like this building will have basement-level parking which should allow for more extensive landscaping. Just remember to move your car when it starts raining.
  6. Specwriter

    Best books

    Houston’s Forgotten Heritage, Landscape, Houses, Interiors, 1824 – 1914. Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton, Barrie Scardino Bradley, Sadie Gwin Blackburn; Texas A&M University Press. +1 on Houston Lost and Unbuilt. Stephen R. Strom; University of Texas Press. Mr. Strom was the former curator of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center (The Texas Room) in the Julia Ideson Building, Houston Public Library.
  7. Specwriter

    201 Fannin

    Rivited. See the first image of ekdrm2d1's February 1st post. We're loosing some interesting period stonework on the facade but "wadda ya gonna do?"
  8. I wonder if Junior's will have samples. I know, that is awful but I couldn't help myself.
  9. I agree with Luminare and add my opinion that the movie theaters most likely to succeed inside the loop are those that do not show main-stream movies. Think smaller, more intimate, and better designed theaters; indie productions; and more limited hours/days and showings. Of course this will mean higher ticket prices but for a quality movie and viewing experience I believe a sufficient number of people will pay. It's not like these places will put Landmark or Edwards out of business.
  10. Truer words were never written. I started shopping at HEB when I went away to college. There were no HEB stores in the Houston area at the time and Randall's was in its ascendancy in the late 1970's and early 1980's in Houston. HEB has adapted to the changes in the market better than Randall's. Note too that HEB does not have a single model. The new super store at 1604 and Bulverde in San Antonio is quite different from the store at Buffalo Speedway and Bissonnet as is the store at El Camino Real and Bay Area Blvd. in the Clear Lake area. I picked those three because I am most familiar with them. I do hope that Randall's survives. I remember how much my mother favored it over other grocery stores in our neighborhood back in the day. But, as one Randall's store manager told me when I asked about the availability of a certain item, "We are now part of Safeway/Albertson's and pretty much have to take what we are given."
  11. Specwriter

    Mayor's Mansion

    I'm surprised this almost 10 year old thread has been revived. I believe there is another that mentions the Kirby house as being owned by the same entity that owns the Cadillac dealership that is more recent. It also mentions the vulnerability of the mansion due to the possible wishes of its current owner. I was "taken to school" regarding my mis-information on the Gracie mansion in that one. I still believe it would be nice for the City of Houston to have an "official mayor's residence" even if that person did not actually sleep there. It would be nice for receptions and visiting dignitaries. Bob Lanier had a much larger and fancier place when he was mayor IIRC.
  12. I met Doug Miller through a mutual acquaintance and encountered him again at a TUTS production at Miller Theater (no connection I assume) sometime later. I found him to be friendly, intelligent and very witty. I had no idea he was the son of Ray Miller but learning that does not surprise me. Doug's reports were always professional, polished, and well prepared. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree. Bob Phillips does a creditable job with "Texas Country Reporter" but I don't believe anyone will ever best Ray Miller and "The Eyes of Texas." I can watch a 40-year-old re-run of that show and still be taken away to the places he described.
  13. Specwriter

    Old Blueprints, do they still exist?

    Again, good luck, Rusty. It seems you are on the right path. Stayton Nunn and Milton McGinty were two well known architects in this city during the last century. Hopefully, some of their drawings have been preserved in the HMRC including those of this building. Perhaps they also did the mid-1950s remodel. That would not be unusual given the short time between the original construction and the remodel.
  14. Specwriter

    The Regalia at the Park: 100 Crawford

    If from an underground storage tank they are looking at some costly soil remediation. I hope contingency funds were allocated.
  15. Blue Dogs, I didn't want to make you more sad. We do feel the loss but, at the same time, I will always remember that Doug Johnson made something as mundane as the weather forecast fun to watch. mkultra, I can think of some Houston natives who are local affiliates today and I appreciate their perspective though they are all younger than I. Those who come immediately to mind are David Paul, Mia Gradney, Melanie Lawson, and Katherine Whaley. I know I am overlooking more than a few. BTW, if my arithmetic is any good David Paul is only about eight years my junior. 😊 Ah yes, Larry Rasco - our local version of Walter Cronkite who, while not actually a Houston native, spent his formative years in our city.
  16. Doug Johnson seemed to be a very affable person. He made watching the weather fun. I grew up watching Sid Lasher then Doug Johnson. I like to be around, or at least observe, people who appear to be enjoying what they do. Rest in peace, Doug. You brought many smiles to the residents of this area.
  17. Specwriter

    Old Blueprints, do they still exist?

    Rusty, I'm assuming you are referring to the Russell Ivey automobile dealership from another thread. If you can find who the architect was there might be drawings on file in the Houston Metropolitan Research Center of the Houston Public Library which is in the Julia Ideson Building adjacent to the main library. I was able to find drawings for an automobile dealership on Main Street that is now the Ensemble Theater back when the structure was first altered to become the Ensemble. IIRC the building was originally completed soon after the second World War and was a Mercury dealership but I'm not certain. Memories tend to fade also after 25+ years. Most significant buildings or those designed by significant architects could have original prints located in the HMRC. Understand that these are not available for "check out" and some may only be viewed in archived form such as microfiche. You used the term "blueprints" which is exactly what most drawings that were used to construct buildings of that era were. Originals may have been ink on vellum (or even ink on linen in earlier times) but the copies were printed on a relatively light-weight paper using a diazo process. Blueprints, unfortunately, are not very stable and tend to fade or even disintegrate if not stored properly. I wish you good luck in your endeavor. It sounds like a very interesting project.
  18. Specwriter

    The Moody Park Riots of May 1978

    I remember the TV coverage. It surprised me that a reporter for KPRC (Channel 2), Jack Cato, was stabbed while reporting on the riot. He survived but the idea that being in the midst of such a thing was dangerous, whether one was "involved" or a by-stander, really came home to me that night.
  19. Specwriter

    1300 Capitol Street---New HSPVA campus

    Thanks for posting the pictures bobruss and UtterlyUrban. About the new building all I can say is "WOW!" I hope the students, faculty, and staff enjoy it for many years to come.
  20. It might be Solvay on levels 8 & 9 or it might be Cannon Design on level 12 (or both).
  21. Specwriter

    Big Butt-Ugly Building at 1500 OST

    Thanks for that, isuredid. Alicia was one of the few Houston events I missed. I went off to college in 1979 and returned to Houston in 1987. As catastrophic as this was for Shell it was probably a back page item considering all the other destruction that was caused by Alicia. Another lesson harshly learned.
  22. Specwriter

    Big Butt-Ugly Building at 1500 OST

    That would explain the very serious cooling apparatus located to the left of the building in the aerial photo. Big rooms full of servers, etc. generate considerable heat which is bad for the equipment. Most have dedicated cooling systems apart from the rest of the building. I can imagine those mainframes from 45+ years ago created even more heat than modern equipment. I had a secretary back in the early 1990's who would apply nail polish to her finger nails then speed the drying by holding her fingers near the fan exhaust on her desktop computer. She did other unusual but practical things like placing her car keys in the break room refrigerator on top of the container with her lunch leftovers so she would not forget to take them home.
  23. Specwriter

    Rise of Residential Towers

    A direct trip from any one floor to the ground level would not take long at all even in a 40 story building but if the elevator had to make several stops along the way the time would increase dramatically. This is most likely in an office building at the start or end of the work day or during lunch time. It is probably not an issue in a residential tower since the coming-and-going would be more spread out. Residents "trickle" in or out of their apartments over an extended period of time whereas office workers have a generally shorter arrival and departure window. Consider the similarity of a residential parking garage versus an office parking garage to the elevators in those buildings. One other thing, the super fast elevators are usually intended for those that make the jump directly from the ground floor to a much higher floor like the 40th. Their higher speed capability would be wasted on an elevator that starts on the ground floor and may make stops on the first 20 floors for example. I am in awe of our elevator consultants who can figure out how many cars are needed for a certain size building and how they should be deployed within the building. Of course, now there are now algorithms to help with the programming. My current office building has 48 floors and three banks of five elevators each. Each bank of five serves a set group of floors.
  24. Specwriter

    Rise of Residential Towers

    Not really. That distance is about 500 feet and 500 ft./min. was the norm for that type of elevator in that building at that time. The building opened in 1983. Things have improved though with elevator speed. Currently the Schindler 7000 high-rise has a range from 500 to 1600 feet per minute. Believe me (I'm an architect and I've been in a lot of elevators) you will certainly get a sensation of acceleration and speed going from zero to 1600 feet per minute.