Jump to content

Embassy Suites By Hilton Houston Downtown At 1515 Dallas St.


ricco67

Recommended Posts

My friends do not attribute the poor architecture in Houston to me just because I live here. They would never say, "What the hell is that 'thing' on top of yall's Embassy Suites?" Instead, they would say, "What the hell is that 'thing' you are wearing, Red?" My friends are like that. They attribute to me those things that I control, and attribute to others those things that others control.

Your friends are wierd.

I've been meaning to tell you, Red, I like "Margaritaville" as much as the next guy, but that shirt is frankly appalling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good architecture does not have an unflattering angle.

Even at it's best, 5 Houston Center looks like the sort of spec office building that gets built in Westchase. It does not integrate well with the downtown skyline. You can contrast it with Calpine Center, which was completed not too long after 5 Houston Center and has a similar color scheme and pattern, but is far and away the more tasteful building...from any angle.

I agree that the Calpine is superior in design appeal, but I remember seeing wind studies after Ike and this building was the cause of the vortex that took out all of those windows at Chase. Plus, the elevators hurt people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that the Calpine is superior in design appeal, but I remember seeing wind studies after Ike and this building was the cause of the vortex that took out all of those windows at Chase. Plus, the elevators hurt people.

Those are engineering issues, not architecture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Houston, like most large cities, has many different cultures to be discovered. Most of my friends that come to visit for the first time have this image of Houston as this big conservative gritty blue collar sprawling oil town with a lot of people but nothing to do. While I wouldn't say that's a total misrepresentation, neither would I say it fully describes my hometown.

I don't try to make Houston out to be something that is not, I simply let my guests know that Houston does also have its sophisticated cosmopolitan side as well. They are always wowed by the variety of the food offerings, the culture of the museum district, the beauty of Hermann Park, the downtown/uptown skylines, the massiveness of the Texas Medical Center, shopping @ the Galleria & Rice/Highland Villages, the urban forest of Memorial Park & points north & west, the heavy industrial feel of the Ship Channel & refineries, & yes even the sprawl!

I don't just visit the sterile environs in H-town, I also expose them to some of the quirkiness, grit and realness of H-town (Montrose, Washington Ave, 3rd ward, SW-side). Interestingly most of my friends always ask about great shopping, nightlife, unique restaurants, parks, urban life etc. so that's what I end up showing them.

I have to respect Niche for his east Houston tour, because hey, that's what he thinks his friends/guests would find interesting. In fact I wouldn't mind taking the tour myself someday.

Bottom line is there all many different types of people that make this world, and this specifically this city, the fascinating place that it is. Different strokes for different folks..., neither is right or wrong..., it's just who we are!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been watching this sucker go up everyday, and yesterday I had the opportunity to drive past through the park from the North. It looks like this building is facing the South -- away from the park -- and overlooking an ugly stretch of downtown. The back of the building -- with one window in the middle of each floor -- faces the park. It is the most unwelcoming, ugly blob. I don't want to sound too shrill, but suffice to say it doesn't make the park experience more inviting. I'm sure there is a reason they faced the building away from the park, maybe because of access issues involved with not owning the entire lot. But crap. It reminds me of the back of ther Mercer. Anyone know why they would face the building away from the park and toward the electrical substation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyone know why they would face the building away from the park and toward the electrical substation?

Look at the parcel they had to work with. There's no direct street access along Lamar Street, so they had two other options: La Branch or Dallas. Each of those streets faces away from the park, and neither is aesthetically welcoming. The convention center and the Hilton Americas conference spaces require about a half-blockface less walking to get to if the entrance is on Dallas.

As for why the tower is oriented with windows facing east and west, that had entirely to do with the shape of the lot. Highway6 discussed standard hotel layouts earlier, and yeah, they really only just had the option of running the corridors down the long way of the building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look at the parcel they had to work with. There's no direct street access along Lamar Street, so they had two other options: La Branch or Dallas. Each of those streets faces away from the park, and neither is aesthetically welcoming. The convention center and the Hilton Americas conference spaces require about a half-blockface less walking to get to if the entrance is on Dallas.

As for why the tower is oriented with windows facing east and west, that had entirely to do with the shape of the lot. Highway6 discussed standard hotel layouts earlier, and yeah, they really only just had the option of running the corridors down the long way of the building.

Sounds like you got it right. It's just a shame that when you stand in the park you get the ass end -- a very unwelcoming and ugly end -- of that building. At least from a park visitior's perspective, no view was better than that view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you got it right. It's just a shame that when you stand in the park you get the ass end -- a very unwelcoming and ugly end -- of that building. At least from a park visitior's perspective, no view was better than that view.

Maybe its ass end can be the canvas for some large urban art expression. For instance, a mural of an oil derrick mounted on the side by a space shuttle and atop by a squatting Bagwell.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe its ass end can be the canvas for some large urban art expression. For instance, a mural of an oil derrick mounted on the side by a space shuttle and atop by a squatting Bagwell.

I wish that the City's sign ordinances would permit large-scale outdoor advertising on the sides of buildings. This (and the abandoned Central Square building) would be a good place for it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just don't think, at the end of the day, people not like us, will be at Discovery Green or the GRB and say, "ya know, that's a pretty ugly building, but hey, pretty cool that it's there anyway." They'll just think, "dang, that's kinda ugly."

I don't know, we'll see. I don't mean to pile on the ugly band wagon. My main complaint is it's height and lack of utility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just don't think, at the end of the day, people not like us, will be at Discovery Green or the GRB and say, "ya know, that's a pretty ugly building, but hey, pretty cool that it's there anyway." They'll just think, "dang, that's kinda ugly."

I don't know, we'll see. I don't mean to pile on the ugly band wagon. My main complaint is it's height and lack of utility.

Good point, thay may be true, but those visitors might be staying at that very hotel lol. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have a problem with the height, just the cheapish stucco facade, orientation on the lot, and that "thing" on top. Actually I'd prefer smaller buildings around Discovery Green as opposed to the park being boxed in by super-talls on all sides which would block the expansive views of the rest of downtown from the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have a problem with the height, just the cheapish stucco facade, orientation on the lot, and that "thing" on top. Actually I'd prefer smaller buildings around Discovery Green as opposed to the park being boxed in by super-talls on all sides which would block the expansive views of the rest of downtown from the park.

You mean the expansive view of downtown, there just one view of expansiveness, and thats towards the north. Parking lots,toyota center, hilton americas, scattered buildings, and more parking lots to the left/west. Parking lots, Discovery Tower, MMP, scattered structures, Harris Co. justice buildings, and more parking lots to the right/east. Not really expansive.And until those parking lots turn into something, I'd prefer a supertall that blocks out that view of the parking lots, but heck a 2 story structure can block that, so it doesn't really have to be a supertall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe the ugly side of this building should have a giant 20-story jumbotron facing the park. Think of advertising revenue. All the haifers that want more lighting for DT at night would be so happy.

That reminds me of the fun, heated debate about the tackiness of public jumbo-trons in the Houston Pavilions thread. There was much disagreement. As far as I know, there are still no jumbo-trons at HP and there may never have been any plans for any. We tend to make things up and run with it in this wild west internet place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just don't think, at the end of the day, people not like us, will be at Discovery Green or the GRB and say, "ya know, that's a pretty ugly building, but hey, pretty cool that it's there anyway." They'll just think, "dang, that's kinda ugly."

I think most people at Disco Green will actually be focusing their attention on the cooling waters of the fully functional fountains rather than the buildings surrounding the park. It's hot here, and all. Priorities.

I'll register my disgust with the building's facade by not ever renting a room there. Granted, I probably won't ever rent a room in the same city as where my house is located, but still...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a reasonably intensive use of the site, considering how tiny a parcel of land it is.

I suppose you're right.

I guess we should not expect too much for the east side of downtown anyway. And I actually like the idea of two parcels on one block since that's how a lot of old buildings are, except these won't be touching. It'll make things look more dense though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Separate parcel, a fair bit bigger than the one Embassy Suites is on.

Niche, you might be right, but gauging from the live cam, the one embassy suites is on looks much bigger than what remains. ES is on the wider half and the rest is on the skinnier half.

live cam: http://oxblue.com/pro/open/linbeck/embassysuites

maybe the square footage is bigger, but it sure is deceiving.

Also, I assume they have enough parking in the garage? Or else if the other parcel ever gets built on, people will have to use on-street parking. Not that the surface parking has a ton of spaces, what, maybe 40?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Niche, you might be right, but gauging from the live cam, the one embassy suites is on looks much bigger than what remains. ES is on the wider half and the rest is on the skinnier half.

live cam: http://oxblue.com/pro/open/linbeck/embassysuites

maybe the square footage is bigger, but it sure is deceiving.

Also, I assume they have enough parking in the garage? Or else if the other parcel ever gets built on, people will have to use on-street parking. Not that the surface parking has a ton of spaces, what, maybe 40?

You could very nearly (within 5 or 10 feet) inscribe the Embassy Suites parcel within the adjacent parcel, and there are continuous lines that can be drawn to bisect the adjacent parcel at 340 feet, 275 feet, 270 feet, 210 feet, 200 feet, and so on. The narrowest portion of the parcel is 60 feet, about the width of one tier of the Four Seasons Hotel tower, over a couple blocks.

As for parking, the City enforces parking requirements without very much flexibility. If the hotel is leasing surface spaces as their own anywhere in the vicinity so as to meet City requirements and that parcel gets developed, the hotel (or the new development) will have to come up with new spaces from somewhere, and it would not be on-street parking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mean the expansive view of downtown, there just one view of expansiveness, and thats towards the north. Parking lots,toyota center, hilton americas, scattered buildings, and more parking lots to the left/west. Parking lots, Discovery Tower, MMP, scattered structures, Harris Co. justice buildings, and more parking lots to the right/east. Not really expansive.And until those parking lots turn into something, I'd prefer a supertall that blocks out that view of the parking lots, but heck a 2 story structure can block that, so it doesn't really have to be a supertall.

Well depending on where you're standing in Discovery Green looking west/southwest, you can still see the Enron/Chevron blgs., Continental, Houston Center, etc. as well as many of the taller skyscrapers on the west side of downtown, and if you get @ the right angle on sloped ground near the performance pavillon, you can even see Mainplace.

So that's what I mean by "expansive" -- a view of towers other than just those immediately surrounding the park.

Once you are deep inside the park, the parking lots in the vicinity are hardly noticeable because of the many trees and small structures throughout the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

This is very true. But in Velvet J's defense: since when did knowing what the hell you are talking about ever matter at HAIF. Suggesting that all those other cities don't allow ugly buildings to be built is asinine.

Check out this beauty in dt dallas

3048828699_83667faa3c.jpg

For all you haters out there, just be glad that a 19-story building like ES can't make that big of an impact downtown other than infill and to remove a part of a surface lot. But I would also suggest waiting until this building is finished to make your judgments.

I spent about eight hours yesterday driving to and from Dallas. I think that the Sheraton is among the most architecturally interesting buildings in Texas, entirely because the proportions and massing are so classy. It is what makes my mouth water when I drive by downtown Dallas (on my way to the northern suburbs, consistently). Too bad we didn't get something more like that.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent about eight hours yesterday driving to and from Dallas. I think that the Sheraton is among the most architecturally interesting buildings in Texas, entirely because the proportions and massing are so classy. It is what makes my mouth water when I drive by downtown Dallas (on my way to the northern suburbs, consistently). Too bad we didn't get something more like that.

Agreed on the Sheraton - great mid-century modern. Back when it was the Southland Center wasn't it banded in fluorescent lights?

The Embassy Suites just looks so...cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheap is the only way to describe the look of this Embassy Suites. They chopped off 3 floors. They eliminated the roof that would have tied the building a little bit to One Park Place. The worst part though, is they turned their back on the actual park. The UGLIEST part of the building faces the park. Actually, I take that back, the worst part is these developers got public money to help build this thing and this is what we got. For all the folks that cry about regulations, it is my wish that we have some sort of architectural commission for downtown buildings that receive public funds.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent about eight hours yesterday driving to and from Dallas. I think that the Sheraton is among the most architecturally interesting buildings in Texas, entirely because the proportions and massing are so classy. It is what makes my mouth water when I drive by downtown Dallas (on my way to the northern suburbs, consistently). Too bad we didn't get something more like that.

From now on, every night before I go to bed I will say a prayer that niche and subdude are never put in charge of any building exteriors in Houston. I love mid-century architecture too, but the Sheraton tower in Dallas is the single ugliest building in dt Dallas. The top look likes a giant air conditioner vent. The tacky giant letters don't help. Having two sides with no windows on a tower that tall is a travesty. Worse yet, it is so prominent and ugly that it really does its part in ruining the Dallas skyline. I'd rather have ten more 19-story Embassy Suites in dt Houston that don't stand out, than that hideous monstrosity in Dallas.

Thank you God almighty that we don't have one of these in Houston.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You all think the facade and structure of the Downtown Dallas Sheraton is ugly? The view at street level is just as bad. I thought Starwood would have tried to do something to beautify the building, but alas, those hopes have been dashed.

The DT Houston Embassy Suites I definitely unattractive, but IMHO the DT Dallas Sheraton has it beat In the ugliness department. On the bright side, though, these two buildings can only get better with time, and some architectural improvements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No specific date yet, but the website says the hotel will be opening in January 2011. Also there is some information, I'm not sure how much of this is already known/posted here. It will be the first LEED Certified hotel downtown.

The Embassy Suites Houston Downtown is Houston’s first LEED Certified hotel in the downtown district and features:

  • Atrium Lobby and Water Features
  • Roofscape Pool and Spa
  • High-speed Internet Access / WIFI throughout entire hotel
  • 24 Hour Fitness Center by PreCor®
  • Complimentary Cooked-to-order Breakfast
  • Complimentary Evening Manager’s Reception
  • On-site Valet Parking
  • Courtesy Shuttle to downtown destinations
  • 24 Hour Embassy BusinessLink Business Center with Quick Charge Station
  • Gift shop with fully stocked pantry items
  • Restaurant/Bar on-site with street level entry
  • In-Suite Dining
  • Digital Concierge
  • 6,000 SF of Flexible Meeting & Banquet Space
  • Family friendly activities/entertainment on weekends
  • Destination Management Concierge Services

http://embassysuites...J5PTECSGBI12VCQ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Embassy Suites By Hilton Houston Downtown At 1515 Dallas St.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...