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Williams Tower - formerly known as Transco Tower

Height: 901 feet

64 stories

Circa: 1983

Architects: Johnson Burgee and Morris Aubry

Facts

- Then Transco Tower became Williams Tower when Transco Energy was bought out by Williams Energy Corp. in 1999

- Tallest building outside of any CBD

- Rotating beacon at night on roof every 15 seconds

- Williams Tower functions as two 32-floor towers stacked on top of each other, complete with separate lobbies, elevators, and garages.

- South of the building is a 3-acre park with a large fountain called the "Waterwall" (aka Transco Fountain), designed by the building's architects with Richard Fitzgerald & Partners. The fountain is a stunning work of hydraulic engineering.

- The top of the building features a beacon that sweeps the night sky over the Galleria area.

- Construction took only 16 months, a remarkably short time for a tower of such height.

2 Pics by Patrick Benders

ac9kg.gif

ac9yq.gif

WilliamsTower-001.jpg

Next four Pics by Mancuso

25470724.jpg

25470727.jpg

25470409.jpg

Former

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Even though Wiliams Tower is not apart of DT, it is still, to me, one of the most popular skyscrapers Houston ever has. Stunning art-deco architecture and glass facade.

The only thing I hate is the name change -- it is just corny to me.

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Just like Intercontinental, it's always going to be Transco to me.

I didn't like the new lighting when I was down for X-mas. It doesn't do anything for the building except make it look planer than it appears during the day. I hope it was just the uptown x-mas lighting and not something permanent.

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Ach, turn off those light stripes! Turn some lights on inside the building, and turn the beacon on at 6 instead of 7! (and don't turn it off til sunrise!)

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When I came back down to Houston 2001 I was disappointed to hear about the name change. It was really strange because it has always been the Transco Tower to me and Williams Tower just doesn't have the same ring to it. I remember when they built it. I passed it on my way to work every morning. I think it's a beautiful building.

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Williams Tower - formerly known as Transco Tower

Height:  901 feet

64 stories

Circa:  1983

Architects:  Johnson Burgee and Morris Aubry

Facts

- Then Transco Tower became Williams Tower when Transco Energy was bought out by Williams Energy Corp. in 1999

- Tallest building outside of any CBD

- Rotating beacon at night on roof every 15 seconds

- Williams Tower functions as two 32-floor towers stacked on top of each other, complete with separate lobbies, elevators, and garages.

- South of the building is a 3-acre park with a large fountain called the "Waterwall" (aka Transco Fountain), designed by the building's architects with Richard Fitzgerald & Partners. The fountain is a stunning work of hydraulic engineering.

- The top of the building features a beacon that sweeps the night sky over the Galleria area.

- Construction took only 16 months, a remarkably short time for a tower of such height.

2 Pics by Patrick Benders

ac9kg.gif

ac9yq.gif

WilliamsTower-001.jpg

Next four Pics by Mancuso

25470724.jpg

25470727.jpg

25470409.jpg

Former

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The guy who built it owned the Galleria, and he wanted a signature tower for the area.

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The guy who built it owned the Galleria, and he wanted a signature tower for the area.

Maybe he would consider building another one for the 21st century??????? or is he now bankrupt. You know how the 80's were. :rolleyes:

m.

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^ hines intrests (the developer) has grown immensly since the 80's but has focused much of attention overseas.

You probably all know this...........but.............just FYI................Hines is behind much of the First Colony expansion.

Also.............overseas?..............where?.............. and why?

thanks.

m. :)

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^ Where? Argentina, China, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Mexico

Why? There's money to be made.

They are plenty active in the United States too. They managed the construction of the new ChevronTexaco Tower, they built and own Calpine Center. They still own a lot of properties around Houston and manage still more. Almost half of the "new devlopments" listed on their website are in the US.

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^  Where?      Argentina, China, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland,  Russia, Mexico

Why?  There's money to be made.

They are plenty active in the United States too.  They managed the construction of the new ChevronTexaco Tower,  they built and own Calpine Center.  They still own a lot of properties around Houston and manage still more.  Almost half of the "new devlopments" listed on their website are in the US.

The NEW TexecoChevron Tower?? Enlighten me. :)

m.

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I was referring to 1500 Smith.  It's a new tower.  It's ChevronTexaco's.  Thus, the new ChevronTexaco Tower.  (I don't know what they are officially calling it.)

ahh, got it. Thanks.

Do you think there are any future plans (near future, I mean) for another tower in the Galleria area.............either residential or commercial? Or will the tower formerly known as Transco, be the icon for several more years.....maybe even decades? I just wonder.......if under the table...........or even above the table........there is some sort of unspoken rule for developers in that area........

"Nothing Supercedes the Williams Tower"........

Anyone know anything???

m.

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I don't think there will be anything taller in Uptown Houston in the near future, or for that matter, the far future. Certainly not an office building in the near future. I believe the vacancy rates are currently too high for any substantial new office construction.

I would also be quite surprised to see anything residential go higher than Transco, especially in the near future. Personally, I think Uptown would look better with more shorter buildings (in the 35-40-50-60 story range), to fill in the area and make it more dense and urban.

Having said that, I would love to see a 70 story residential building, but I'd prefer to see it go downtown.

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I don't think there will be anything taller in Uptown Houston in the near future, or for that matter, the far future.  Certainly not an office building in the near future.  I believe the vacancy rates are currently too high for any substantial new office construction.

I would also be quite surprised to see anything residential go higher than Transco, especially in the near future.  Personally, I think Uptown would look better with more shorter buildings (in the 35-40-50-60 story range), to fill in the area and make it more dense and urban. 

Having said that, I would love to see a 70 story residential building, but I'd prefer to see it go downtown.

Yeah,...............honestly, I agree.

Having more mid and low rise buildings fill in Uptown would be great.........

and having a 70+ storey stucture in the DT area would be a feather in the Houston cap............. But..who would fund such a deal? any thoughts?

m.

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Guest KOKON Steel

'member when that dumb blond headed kid climbed up it a few years back??? Then he jumped off.

HAHAHA that was funny.

'course, he died.

LATER KOK

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I don't think there will be anything taller in Uptown Houston in the near future, or for that matter, the far future.  Certainly not an office building in the near future.  I believe the vacancy rates are currently too high for any substantial new office construction.

I would also be quite surprised to see anything residential go higher than Transco, especially in the near future.  Personally, I think Uptown would look better with more shorter buildings (in the 35-40-50-60 story range), to fill in the area and make it more dense and urban. 

Having said that, I would love to see a 70 story residential building, but I'd prefer to see it go downtown.

I just wonder if the Donald would even consider developing a highrise hotel/condos in the Uptown area? He seems to be everywhere these days.

I have been reading the posts. Is the plain truth this?? There really isn't a market for residential/commercial highrises right now? I mean a really tall one like Trump tower in Chicago, or Tampa, or Miami, or Las Vegas??

Give me hope...........somebody :(

m.

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Guest KOKON Steel

You Know the "Spider-Man" guy

the Steel K.

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Guest KOKON Steel

You Know the "Spider-Man" guy.

But isn't Donald Trump an architect- does he pick the locations?

the Steel K.

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You Know the "Spider-Man" guy.

But isn't Donald Trump an architect- does he pick the locations?

the Steel K.

Donald Trump, to my knowledge, is only a developer. I think he has some say in how he wants his towers to look, but i believe he hires architects to create his vision.

m.

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Guest KOKON Steel

well im only 17, but i thought he designed the AT&T building in NYC as well as Trump Taj Mahal.

And trump tower. I was watching the apprentice last night and i thought he said he designed his apartment really well. It was full of gold and stuff everywhere, and marble and whatnot.

it was a beautiful space. Very expensive which usually means very good design.

Thanks for the clarification.

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Donald Trump is NOT an architect. Hes involved with real estate and does his own designing...which is way to gaudy for my taste but thats just me...i wouldnt say that something has a good design just because its expensive but thats your opinion...

Trophy Property...i understand what you are saying about K STEEL, the steel K, steel KOK??? what is up with that crap? based on what ive read i dont think you should go into the architecture profession KOKON...it doesnt seem like you have the background knowledge or wits about you that an architect should possess.

On the topic of the transco..err williams tower i think it is a very intriguing building...i like the tapered facade and angles of the building...and of course the search beacon on top like a crowning jewel...

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And trump tower.  I was watching the apprentice last night and i thought he said he designed his apartment really well.  It was full of gold and stuff everywhere, and marble and whatnot. 

it was a beautiful space.  Very expensive which usually means very good design.

Oh dear...no, "very expensive" does NOT mean "very good design." It usually means tasteless, tacky, and very nuveau riche. Those with new money never

know how to properly use it.

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The transco is one of my favourites. Please clarify my statement: Is it true that the light on top was inspired by the light on top of the light towers? The light always indicates to me (on 59S) that I am getting closer to home.

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I am starting to wonder if Kokon Steel's posts are jokes or not.    Donald Trump is no more an architect than I am (for the record I am not).    Like Marc said he is a developer.  He is building the buildings, selling or leasing the space and managing the proccess from that point on.    The Donald rose to fame with ability to make mega deals in the 80's.  His father developed apartment buildings in Queens and was extremely successful.  Trump took over the company and levereged the portfolio to make large deal in Manhatten.    He almost lost it all in the 80's and 90's but managed to hold on to most of his trophy properties.    He owned and I think lost the Taj Mahal in Alantic City.  He is now famous for being famous.  Much like Paris Hilton if you ask me.  While he is extremely talented and Paris is a twit, they both bath in the public attention and are more famous than they should be in my opinion.

I am sure most already know all of this about Trump.    But he is not an architect whatsoever.

Even though I am a screaming liberal, I have a special affection for The Donald.

His perseverance; rise and fall.........amuses me.

And yes, sometimes, he does "design" some of his buildings.....but usually, in my opinion, those he has are awfully gawdy and have his name plastered all over them. Shameless self promotion. But thank you for affirming what I thought to be the truth. The Donald is a developer, not an architect.

m. :)

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Guest Professional Hornblower

I met The Donald's older sister Gloria Trump back in '79. Her wig was gold. Her toothpicks were gold-plated. She knew a lot about architecture. She eschewed Central Park due to it's impedence into the real estate. She was an avid supporter of tearing the trees down (which I think we'd all agree) in order for more land to build beautiful skyscrapers on. She loathed the AT&T building as well as the Chrysler building and was once heard calling the World Trade Center towers "the tallest and most beautiful buildings in all the land." She also was a huge proponent in the construction of the Meadowlands (stadium where the Giants and Jets football teams play). She described it as "beautiful design, although lacking some surface-lot parking. Also, too many trees."

She called Lady Liberty "wonderful, and inspiring."

She called The Guggenheim by Frank Lloyd Wright "an error in judgement", and "another mistake by yet another horrible thinker."

She relieved herself on the Empire State building, saying "This was built by slave-labor! I do not stand for this! I do not think buildings should have been built by slave-labor, if we cannot use slaves ANYMORE! It's just not right. Our forefathers benefitted from cheap labor yet my brother has to go with a silver filling instead of a platinum filling when he visits the dentist."

Gloria Marcusus Trump b. (1934) d. (2001)

She'll be missed by this, and all righteous, architects.

:(

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I've also heard that Gloria Trump blew her share of the family fortune expurging her name from Google searches, and died a broken woman. B)

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She relieved herself on the Empire State building, saying "This was built by slave-labor!  I do not stand for this!  I do not think buildings should have been built by slave-labor, if we cannot use slaves ANYMORE!  It's just not right.  Our forefathers benefitted from cheap labor yet my brother has to go with a silver filling instead of a platinum filling when he visits the dentist."

I am not sure what all that means, but Trump made a play on the Empire State Building a few years back. I am not sure how all that panned out but there is a great book on the subject (called Empire). I read it about 4 years ago and do not really much except that the Gross Lease of the building was eventually sold and there was a huge bidding war for the right. I am not sure if this was before or after Helmsley took control of the building.

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I don't think there will be anything taller in Uptown Houston in the near future, or for that matter, the far future.  Certainly not an office building in the near future.  I believe the vacancy rates are currently too high for any substantial new office construction.

I would also be quite surprised to see anything residential go higher than Transco, especially in the near future.  Personally, I think Uptown would look better with more shorter buildings (in the 35-40-50-60 story range), to fill in the area and make it more dense and urban. 

Having said that, I would love to see a 70 story residential building, but I'd prefer to see it go downtown.

yeah, we need something like this that is going up in nyc. but honestly think it would be better suited for downtown than uptown.

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does anyone know the future of the plot of green adjacent/west of the waterwall? hidalgo and mccue?

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Well she may have been right about the Empire State Building being built by slave labor - at the time the pay was good but 32 deaths!!!!!!!! Come-on, just to be the tallest in the world another year!!!! The Chrysler Building :D , was constructed in about 2 years and I believe no one was killed either. Still the most beautiful Art Deco Building anywhere, still the most beautifull skyscraper anywhere.......

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Well she may have been right about the Empire State Building being built by slave labor - at the time the pay was good but 32 deaths!!!!!!!!  Come-on, just to be the tallest in the world another year!!!!  The Chrysler Building  :D , was constructed in about 2 years and I believe no one was killed either.

All the sources that I have seen say only 5 people died in the construction of the Empire State Building.

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Your right!

I looked it up to, and I must have been thinking either about the Hoover Dam, or Golden Gate. Sorry for the incorrect figures.

But 5 people by todays standards is alot! I still think the Chrysler was completed without any loss of life. I checked with my Mannhatten Skyscrapers and Worlds 100 tallest books but couldnt find numbers in either one.

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Guest Professional Hornblower

Alls I know is Gloria Trump was reported in the San Antonio express as saying "I'd like to rid Houston of it's City Hall. I find it very underwhelming. I'd like to see Donald venture into the South a little more. I think he would be faced with huge challenges."

When asked what she'd like to see in lieu of the City Hall, she had this to say, "Well, a 4-level Starbucks would be nice. Or a decent low-rate parking garage for the neighboring performance arts venues."

When asked if "The Donald" has any plans to delve into the Houston market, he said, "If an opportunity arises, sure. I'm always looking for the next great thing. Although I think it would be kind of strange to take away city hall, don't you?", with a smile.

Ms. Trump feels that a new City Hall should be constructed more towards George R. Brown Convention Center, an area she frequents, which is in the "heart" of downtown, and will lead to future growth.

These exerpts were reprinted with permission from Olmero Sanchez

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Alls I know is Gloria Trump was reported in the San Antonio express as saying "I'd like to rid Houston of it's City Hall.  I find it very underwhelming.  I'd like to see Donald venture into the South a little more.  I think he would be faced with huge challenges."

When asked what she'd like to see in lieu of the City Hall, she had this to say, "Well, a 4-level Starbucks would be nice.  Or a decent low-rate parking garage for the neighboring performance arts venues."

When asked if "The Donald" has any plans to delve into the Houston market, he said, "If an opportunity arises, sure.  I'm always looking for the next great thing.  Although I think it would be kind of strange to take away city hall, don't you?", with a smile. 

Ms. Trump feels that a new City Hall should be constructed more towards George R. Brown Convention Center, an area she frequents, which is in the "heart" of downtown, and will lead to future growth.

These exerpts were reprinted with permission from Olmero Sanchez

and just who the heck is gloria trump?

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From the quotes posted here she seems as if she was one strange lady, with ridiculous ideas to go along with that.

-gold wig ( :D )

-tear down central park

-loathing the Chrysler building (I mean come on...)

-wants more surface lots and less trees

-If she can't use slaves, then they are bad

-4 story star bucks and parking garage instead of Hou city hall

@bruce_oneal

I think she was Donald's sister. Well thats what Hornblower said.

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From the quotes posted here she seems as if she was one strange lady, with ridiculous ideas to go along with that.

-gold wig ( :D )

-tear down central park

-loathing the Chrysler building (I mean come on...)

-wants more surface lots and less trees

-If she can't use slaves, then they are bad

-4 story star bucks and parking garage instead of Hou city hall

@bruce_oneal

I think she was Donald's sister.  Well thats what Hornblower said.

she sounds like an idiot.

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Guest Professional Hornblower

lol. I agree. It's funny how, because her brother is a developer, she thinks she can stick her nose into the industry. I can't believe some of the things this lady says.

Yeah, let's "tear down" city hall... lol.

I wonder how much lobbying at city hall it would take for them to pass a referendum declaring that their place of business be razed for an oversized coffee stand on steroids.

Even Donald isn't that dumb.

-PH

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lol.  I agree.  It's funny how, because her brother is a developer, she thinks she can stick her nose into the industry.  I can't believe some of the things this lady says.

Yeah, let's "tear down" city hall... lol. 

I wonder how much lobbying at city hall it would take for them to pass a referendum declaring that their place of business be razed for an oversized coffee stand on steroids.

Even Donald isn't that dumb.

-PH

i do not play the 'city' card too often because i have lived other places than houston, but what the heck does she know about houston? i mean, how would she feel if some houston developer (say gerald hines or the like) said "let's raze gracie mansion"?

i doubt that would sit well with many new yorkers.

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Y'all!

Don't you know when your leg's being pulled?

Although...this "Gloria Trump" does bear more than a passing resemblance to the wife of a former mayor, the self-proclaimed "First Lady of Houston". You know, the one who thought re-lining the reflecting pool to look like Splashtown was a good idea.

BUT anyhow, this thread is about Transco/Williams tower. Back on topic, please.

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I met The Donald's older sister Gloria Trump back in '79.  Her wig was gold.  Her toothpicks were gold-plated.  She knew a lot about architecture.  She eschewed Central Park due to it's impedence into the real estate.  She was an avid supporter of tearing the trees down (which I think we'd all agree) in order for more land to build beautiful skyscrapers on.  She loathed the AT&T building as well as the Chrysler building and was once heard calling the World Trade Center towers "the tallest and most beautiful buildings in all the land."  She also was a huge proponent in the construction of the Meadowlands (stadium where the Giants and Jets football teams play).  She described it as "beautiful design, although lacking some surface-lot parking.  Also, too many trees."

She called Lady Liberty "wonderful, and inspiring."

She called The Guggenheim by Frank Lloyd Wright "an error in judgement", and "another mistake by yet another horrible thinker."

She relieved herself on the Empire State building, saying "This was built by slave-labor!  I do not stand for this!  I do not think buildings should have been built by slave-labor, if we cannot use slaves ANYMORE!  It's just not right.  Our forefathers benefitted from cheap labor yet my brother has to go with a silver filling instead of a platinum filling when he visits the dentist."

Gloria Marcusus Trump b. (1934) d. (2001)

She'll be missed by this, and all righteous, architects.

:(

Alls I know is Gloria Trump was reported in the San Antonio express as saying "I'd like to rid Houston of it's City Hall.  I find it very underwhelming.  I'd like to see Donald venture into the South a little more.  I think he would be faced with huge challenges."

When asked what she'd like to see in lieu of the City Hall, she had this to say, "Well, a 4-level Starbucks would be nice.  Or a decent low-rate parking garage for the neighboring performance arts venues."

When asked if "The Donald" has any plans to delve into the Houston market, he said, "If an opportunity arises, sure.  I'm always looking for the next great thing.  Although I think it would be kind of strange to take away city hall, don't you?", with a smile. 

Ms. Trump feels that a new City Hall should be constructed more towards George R. Brown Convention Center, an area she frequents, which is in the "heart" of downtown, and will lead to future growth.

These exerpts were reprinted with permission from Olmero Sanchez

HILARIOUS! Please write more!!!

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Hello Team:

Anyone knows if the Transco/Williams tower has an observation deck like the one at the Chase building in DT...??

And also who are the main tenants of the building..??

Thanks

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Hello Team:

Anyone knows if the Transco/Williams tower has an observation deck like the one at the Chase building in DT...??

And also who are the main tenants of the building..??

Thanks

From Wikipedia -

The building is unique in that it was built to function as two separate towers stacked directly on top of one another, one comprising the first forty floors and the other the forty-first to sixty-fourth. The building has separate banks of elevators and lobbies for each of the two building sections. A majority of the bottom 40 floors are occupied by Williams. The remainder of the building is occupied by a variety of tenants.

On the 51st floor is a sky lobby and observation deck, which due to security reasons is no longer open to the public.

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Hello Team:

Anyone knows if the Transco/Williams tower has an observation deck like the one at the Chase building in DT...??

And also who are the main tenants of the building..??

Thanks

After 9/11 I heard that the observation floor was closed to the public. I haven't heard if it has reopened. Go to the building and check it out. Even if you can't go to that floor the building has a great interior. The last time I was there Knoll had a showroom on the first floor. That's a great place to see the modern classics in furniture.

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I don't get it, why would having access to the sky loby be a security risk? I'm pretty sure that if they wanted to fly and airplane into Williams Tower they can do it from outside of the sky lobby.

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I don't get it, why would having access to the sky loby be a security risk? I'm pretty sure that if they wanted to fly and airplane into Williams Tower they can do it from outside of the sky lobby.

typical knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 we seem to encounter all over the place.

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