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Embassy Suites By Hilton Houston Downtown At 1515 Dallas St.


ricco67

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You're 100% wrong on my thoughts. I'm tired of beating a dead horse, so I won't mention them again... my thoughts on renderings and expectations have been documented enough in this thread ( #717).

Well, just so you know, I'm glad they built it, even though it's mediocre. But I'm sure you understand why some people would be upset about this building.

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I just don't see the point in b1tchin at the final product. Mediocre buildings get put up all the time in houston, and there are plenty of mediocre buildings downtown.

It seems to me that most Haifers think that if a building gets highlighted with its own thread, its should be and will be spectacular. We're spoiled.

Reality check - It's just a chain hotel guys, one that was hardly slated to be spectacular to begin with. I'm sure there are countless economic reasons why it had to be scaled back.

Pros - Removed a surface lot that so many haifers like to complain about.

Increased hotel rooms downtown

Provided work for an architecture firm, a contractor, engineers, and countless Houstonians when that's hard to come by these days

Cons - It's mediocre.

Move on.

See, this is what kills me. Whenever some garbage gets built, and it is criticized as such, someone comes along to not defend the building, but to in effect say we should be happy with junk. This isn't even defending the hotel, just saying that we should be happy to settle for mediocrity, because after all, there are other mediocre buildings around. The pros and cons imply a false trade-off; that somehow it's OK to be ugly if it replaces a surface lot. All the pros mentioned could just have well been accomplished with an attractive building.

Embrace mediocrity!

Simply amazing...

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Embrace mediocrity!

Simply amazing...

No one is embracing mediocrity but what are you going to do about the building? Are you going to boycott ES? Spit on the architects? Commit acts of violence against those responsible for chopping the crown off the building? There is a big difference in "embracing" and accepting "mediocrity".

.

Perhaps you should look into an adage about lemons and lemonade.

Edited by kdog08
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See, this is what kills me. Whenever some garbage gets built, and it is criticized as such, someone comes along to not defend the building, but to in effect say we should be happy with junk. This isn't even defending the hotel, just saying that we should be happy to settle for mediocrity, because after all, there are other mediocre buildings around. The pros and cons imply a false trade-off; that somehow it's OK to be ugly if it replaces a surface lot. All the pros mentioned could just have well been accomplished with an attractive building.

Embrace mediocrity!

Simply amazing...

But does complaining help the situation? What else can we do but accept it? Will developers and architects hear our voices? And if they do, do they listen??? Do they care what we have to say? Maybe some of them do, I don't know, but I doubt it.

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I like the overall design of the building... but I HATE the side the faces the park. If they had thought to build the park side the same as the opposite side, it would have turned out rather nicely.

It's a hotel... it doesn't have to re-invent the architectural wheel. Houston is lucky to have gotten some very nice projects in the past few years (Main Place, OPP, Co-Cathedral). It's ok if we intermingle with some structures that are less of a fine art and more of an applied art.

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See, this is what kills me. Whenever some garbage gets built, and it is criticized as such, someone comes along to not defend the building, but to in effect say we should be happy with junk. This isn't even defending the hotel, just saying that we should be happy to settle for mediocrity, because after all, there are other mediocre buildings around. The pros and cons imply a false trade-off; that somehow it's OK to be ugly if it replaces a surface lot. All the pros mentioned could just have well been accomplished with an attractive building.

Embrace mediocrity!

Simply amazing...

Embrace mediocrity? Me? Apparently you haven't seen my rants against "Recognized" ratings in the Klein ISD thread.

What kills me is the average haifer's lack of sense of reality. There is no city in the world that doesn't have their share of mediocre buildings.. they are just a fact of life. It is stupid to expect every building built to be awe-inspiring. Developers pull all the strings.. architects can only design what they can get away with.. Money always does the talking.

This is not a commercial mid-rise or hi-rise building where a developer might be willing to go out on a limb in order to attract tenants . It's a hotel. Not a Ritz, Not a W, not some famous hotel brand name known for elegance or cutting-edge. It's an Embassy Suites. Here is a snapshot of Embassy Suite's portfolio. Why anyone would expect much beyond mediocrity from Embassy Suites is beyond me!!

Also, what kills me.. ignoring what's going on around you. Economy is in the crapper! Everyone here vilifies the developer, but I just can't imagine it's only his say. I can't imagine that financing issues haven't played an enormous part in his scaling back.

Everyone has a right to b!tch about an ugly building. Hell, I think it's ugly too. I have a right to b!tch about b!tchers if I feel their b!tchings are unjustified. My responses have usually come in after reading two specific complaints.

1) The "oh waaahhh, IT doesn't match the renderings" complaint

2) The " IF you can't build something nice, don't build anything at all " complaint

You can call the building ugly all you want, but if you go to either one of those 2 destinations, I'm gonna rant about what an idiot you are.

And guess what Subdude... It IS okay to be ugly if it increases the taxbase, creates much needed jobs, adds infill to our skyline. Is it preferable? No. But it's certainly Okay.

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Everyone has a right to b!tch about an ugly building. Hell, I think it's ugly too. I have a right to b!tch about b!tchers if I feel their b!tchings are unjustified. My responses have usually come in after reading two specific complaints.

1) The "oh waaahhh, IT doesn't match the renderings" complaint

2) The " IF you can't build something nice, don't build anything at all " complaint

You can call the building ugly all you want, but if you go to either one of those 2 destinations, I'm gonna rant about what an idiot you are.

Not to add fuel to a fire... but although I would agree that once you hear these complaints once is enough... hell even I made the same complaint a few posts back... however here's what gets me:

1. It doesn't match the renderings... yea yea, stick with me here... the purpose of a rendering is to give you an idea what the final product will look like. A lot of projects deviate slightly from the renderings, things change in the many construction months, this is normal. This project however, has deviated, needless to say, a LOT from the rendering... basically, couldn't they make a new rendering?Or at least abandon this rendering in all its forms? Take it off display, seems silly to have the original at the site even still, when it's apparent that it's not going to look like that. I can imagine lots of clueless people looking and going "Huh??"

2. I wouldn't say don't build at all... I would say, okay, tough economic times.. lets wait. I'm sure though in the real world, time lost = money lost. Guess you can't argue with that :(

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1. It doesn't match the renderings... yea yea, stick with me here... the purpose of a rendering is to give you an idea what the final product will look like. ....

Refer to post 717 for my reply.

2. I wouldn't say don't build at all... I would say, okay, tough economic times.. lets wait. I'm sure though in the real world, time lost = money lost. Guess you can't argue with that :(

Oh.. but you would.

Too bad they couldn't just stick to the rendering and the original height. When you can't do it right, it's sometimes best to do nothing at all...

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What does the base look like? That's really the most important issue regarding downtown's urban fabric. It is a shame that this couldn't have been built another block over instead of wasting such a unique parcel on such a boring and cheap design. Hopefully this gets torn down in the long run and we get something unique relative to it's site like the Flatiron building in NY.

/wishful thinking

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Actually, what's funny to me is that people are surprised that other folks are commenting on BRUTALLY painful architecture on an architectural forum!

Isn't that what this forum is for?????

It is, but it doesn't mean we don't get sick of people complaining. It's throwing off my chi.

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Oh.. but you would.

Busted! I did say sometimes... emphasis on SOMETIMES. :P I still feel in this particular case, had they waited, they could have avoided scaling back, but again, loss of time, money, and the chance the whole thing would have ended up scrapped. Oh cruel world.

Anyhow, so my mood changed from yesterday to today on what I said. Overall, despite the outcome of the design I guess it is better to have a functioning hotel there vs nothing in the end...

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Yeah, that's my biggest complaint.., TAKE DOWN THAT STUPID RENDERING ALREADY! It only reminds us of what could have been. Honestly I was suspicious when I read the initial press release that they were about to go ahead and start construction because they had secured a $30 million loan for financing construction. $30 million would barely finance Discovery Tower's adjacent garage..., so I was skeptical. This developer knew all along that they could NOT build that rendering with only $30 million. IMO the rendering was just a ploy to get the City of Houston's tax abatements.

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Actually, what's funny to me is that people are surprised that other folks are commenting on BRUTALLY painful architecture on an architectural forum!

Isn't that what this forum is for?????

I agree... interesting how people love to come onto an architecture site and b"tch and moan about people critiquing architecture.

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I agree... interesting how people love to come onto an architecture site and b"tch and moan about people critiquing architecture.

Well yeah, some people are in the profession or interact with the profession, but most have no idea what they're talking about and some have abominable taste and need to be informed of that anonymously...for the good of mankind.

Edited by TheNiche
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Yeah, that's my biggest complaint.., TAKE DOWN THAT STUPID RENDERING ALREADY! It only reminds us of what could have been. Honestly I was suspicious when I read the initial press release that they were about to go ahead and start construction because they had secured a $30 million loan for financing construction. $30 million would barely finance Discovery Tower's adjacent garage..., so I was skeptical. This developer knew all along that they could NOT build that rendering with only $30 million. IMO the rendering was just a ploy to get the City of Houston's tax abatements.

I don't care that it doesn't match the rendering. Anyone should know that renderings are frequently misleading. My beef is that what was built was ugly, plain and simple. That and people seem to feel we shouldn't say so on a board dedicated to architecture. That and the fact that people somehow feel that providing construction jobs somehow justifies uglifying the skyline with sheer garbage.

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I don't care that it doesn't match the rendering. Anyone should know that renderings are frequently misleading. My beef is that what was built was ugly, plain and simple. That and people seem to feel we shouldn't say so on a board dedicated to architecture. That and the fact that people somehow feel that providing construction jobs somehow justifies uglifying the skyline with sheer garbage.

I don't think you understand. Right now you are the guy on the left, Ron Livingston:

beating_a_dead_horse.jpg

Furthermore, I don't think anyone on here would disagree that this is an ugly building. It sucks this got built downtown, no doubt about it. So why keep b*tching? We already know it's a crap building. Are you Ron Livingston and....

captain_obvious.jpg

You have every right to b*tch about crappy architecture on a quasi architecture forum (architecture is probably the 3rd most talked about subject on HAIF). But some people, like myself included, don't need to constantly b*tch about it and would rather move on. You can do whatever you want, but so can I.

Edited by kdog08
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those pictures hurt to look at. beautifully executed discovery green with a tan and beige symbol of banality overshadowing. we need the artist who did the building caricature for "stop the ashby highrise" posters to do a drawing for haif expressing our dismay over the ES finished product; the mean ugly building encroaching over our well designed park.

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The building is real ugly but what would be worse? It would have been worse had this hotel went the way of La Quinta and gotten scrapped altogether. Considering Houston has had a history of plans getting scrapped, i say that the fact the hotel got built at all is a good thing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's actually not that bad. I just think they need to do something about the blank staircase wall facing the park. Maybe a mural? or a huge vertical sign saying "Houston" in LED lights?

Well, colorful dynamic lighting seems to work for strip clubs. Lots of greens and purples, spinning, strobing, and oscillating. Maybe a spotlight or two on the roof. I say that we do that and then turn Discovery Green into Houston's first outdoor strip joint.

But its and all or nothing proposition. I don't want to advertise downtown like a strip joint if it isn't going to be one. That'd just be a cheap imitation of Dallas.

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Well, colorful dynamic lighting seems to work for strip clubs. Lots of greens and purples, spinning, strobing, and oscillating. Maybe a spotlight or two on the roof. I say that we do that and then turn Discovery Green into Houston's first outdoor strip joint.

But its and all or nothing proposition. I don't want to advertise downtown like a strip joint if it isn't going to be one. That'd just be a cheap imitation of Dallas.

I think there's a middle ground between tasteful lighting and tacky lighting, wouldn't you agree?

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Sure. From context, it seems that my standards are higher than yours, however.

I think we can improve our downtown lighting without imitating Dallas. Dallas doesn't really have bad lighting, with the exception of that horrible green neon. I don't really have that high of standards like you apparently, I am dissapointed with this building, but I'll live with it, my view is "it's better than nothing." I belive that we can illuminate our downtown architecture a bit better at night, though.

So my standards are not that low, otherwise I wouldn't care at all. ;)

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There's a difference between not caring and being a contented and sensible pragmatist.

So, let me get this straight: you inferred (based on your perception of my context) you have higher standards than me, then I said that I also have high standards in terms of nightime lighting, since I am unsatisfied with the current situation, and (in so many words) stated that one who has low standards doesn't care at all. Then you preceded to inform me that there is a difference between not caring and being a sensible pragmatist (which I am assuming you consider yourself to be). So.. did you think I was accusing you of having low standards?

OR.. maybe you yourself have lower standards then myself, or maybe we are talking about two completely different types of "low standards." For example, "low standards" to you might mean that one doesn't care about the tackiness of cheap lighting, as long as there is lighting, and the "low standards" I am talking about mean that one doesn't care if there is any lighting at all.

For some, less is more, for others, less is less. How do you feel about the lighting on the new Methodist Outpatient Center in the TMC? That has nice lighting; not tacky IMO. Would you like to see lighting similar to that in downtown? Is downtown Houston your favorite skyline at night, or do you like another city's downtown at night better? How would you light up Embassy Suites at night? Or would you not light it up at all, for the sake of the people? ;)

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...or maybe we are talking about two completely different types of "low standards." For example, "low standards" to you might mean that one doesn't care about the tackiness of cheap lighting, as long as there is lighting, and the "low standards" I am talking about mean that one doesn't care if there is any lighting at all.

Exactly, and your endorsement of Dallas' lighting (in particular that green-lit highrise which you don't like but are okay with because it's better than nothing) indicates to me that you fall in that camp.

For some, less is more, for others, less is less. How do you feel about the lighting on the new Methodist Outpatient Center in the TMC? That has nice lighting; not tacky IMO. Would you like to see lighting similar to that in downtown? Is downtown Houston your favorite skyline at night, or do you like another city's downtown at night better? How would you light up Embassy Suites at night? Or would you not light it up at all, for the sake of the people? ;)

I must admit, I am conflicted on the business purpose of lighting in the TMC. Non-profit hospitals receive a large segment of their funding from wealthy donors whose egos must be satiated by perceiving themselves to be part of something grand, and (irrespective of my preferences about lighting in general) that may be a legitimate business purpose to have lighting.

And actually, that distinction answers your next questions too. There should be more lighting with legitimate business purpose. For instance, we should allow there to be more billboards, we should allow billboards that are dynamic, that feature projected video, or that are over-sized. Dallas does deserve credit for getting that part right, at least.

In particular, this could be our solution to the Embassy Suites being ugly and having blank walls. The old Days Inn and Central Bank buildings would benefit, as would the Kim Son parking garage. If all we did was exempt large expanses of blank wall from the sign ordinances, that'd be an improvement. We could call it the "blankets for pigs" exemption.

...but yeah, short of slathering it with advertisements that are inherently distracting, I would sincerely hope that Embassy Suites does not call attention to itself with lighting.

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Well, colorful dynamic lighting seems to work for strip clubs. Lots of greens and purples, spinning, strobing, and oscillating. Maybe a spotlight or two on the roof. I say that we do that and then turn Discovery Green into Houston's first outdoor strip joint.

But its and all or nothing proposition. I don't want to advertise downtown like a strip joint if it isn't going to be one. That'd just be a cheap imitation of Dallas.

I think there's a middle ground between tasteful lighting and tacky lighting, wouldn't you agree?

How would having the word "Houston" in LED lighting be like a strip club? LED wouldn't be a cheap imitation to neon, it's more modern and outline certain angles of buildings very nicely IMO.

What would be tasteful lighting to you? I really liked the spot lights at the base of every building in Power over Houston. Just lit up the buildings at night.

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I for one love the green lightting in Dallas... and just to be clear, it's a direct imitation of the Wedge Tower in Houston.

Don't know about that. The BOA building was lit first. The Wedge Tower started their green outline in 1995 or so. The residents complained and around late 2002/early 2003, they just limited the lighting to the rooftops. The building has been completely off for about 3 or 4 years now. I miss that lighting, along with the Wells Fargo building. Don't miss the buildings that did the boring white christmas lights though! That "Lights Out Houston" thing is utter crap!

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  • 1 month later...

Has Embassy Suites commented on why the building faces away from the park? Isn't that really ugly electrical substation on the side that it now faces? I'd love to hear why they decided to point it towards a block full of electrical equipment instead of a park.

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

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