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The O'Quinn Medical Tower By Cesar Pelli


strickn

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On Tuesday, March 21st, 2006, KinkaidAlum posted:

"The antenna at One Shell Plaza reaches to around 1,000 feet. There are several photos on emporis.com that show the antenna to reach almost the exact same height as Wells Fargo.

The one building that has always confused me is the St Luke's Medical Tower. It's official height is listed at 316 feet. Apparently, the needle spires aren't counted in the height, but even without them, 316 feet seems way too short. Especially when you consider that the nearby Marriott Hotel is listed at 265 feet. There's NO WAY St Luke's is only 51 feet taller than the Marriott even without the spires!"

I checked this out from multiple angles tonight. The question is not whether or not St Luke's is over 316 feet; it is whether or not (including spires) it is under or over 440'. With the spires I am certain that it is no shorter than the recent Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza.

Edit: skyscraperpage and E______ both quote 316/25st., but Baylor College of Medicine says 29 storeys. The architect's website doesn't indicate one way or the other, saying only, "The Tower is a sophisticated, state-of-the-art medical facility and teaching hospital which captures the spirit and character of Houston and the adjacent Texas Medical Center. Twin octagonal towers respond to this dual frontage and help define the urban environment. The circular roofs and spires bring each tower to a dynamic terminus." There's a nice picture, though, of St Luke's as the only building visible from Hermann Park. A much more personable presence than the hulking Memorial Hermann.

Edited by strickn
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Since no one seems to know, I would be grateful to anyone who would take a fun little trip down to the area with a friend and a tape measure, measure them and stand them so that the top of their head perfectly aligns with the tip of St Luke's, and then construct like triangles and figure out the height.

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OMG! You are desparate. Tape measures? Geometry? Sorry, man (or gal...your profile doesn't specify) i looked at several info. sites yesterday and they only give the height to the roof. I am not sure why they don't include the spires. Both Emporis and Skyscraperpage were not forthcoming on the height of the spires. Very peculiar.

Anyway, i will keep looking for you. I like a challenge, and i am a tenacious little bugger.

m. B)

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Well, i have searched for over an hour now. The only thing i could find was a blurb in HoustonArchitecture which stated that the highrise appears to be taller than it really is. They still maintain that it is 25 storeys. How did you get 29?? Also, when it says they incorporated the parking structure into the design, does that mean that Pelli built on top of it or was the 9 storey structure a part of the 25 (29) storeys?? I wonder why articles are so hush-hush regarding the spires' height? That is sort of weird. A collosal oversight or something else? hmmmm.

m. :huh:

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If the parking floors are counted in the 25, then it would be shorter than expected on paper. Still doesn't explain the visual part - why it appears not to be any shorter than Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza from so many distant sideways vantage points where perspective should not make much of a difference. Thanks for looking. I designed an instrument to read me off building heights, but I won't be able to put it together until after I finish writing my thesis paper, so I probably won't get to make my own measurement until Christmas. I just answered your question over in the other hospital high-rise thread. Good subjects we've got here.

Neil

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If the parking floors are counted in the 25, then it would be shorter than expected on paper. Still doesn't explain the visual part - why it appears not to be any shorter than Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza from so many distant sideways vantage points where perspective should not make much of a difference. Thanks for looking. I designed an instrument to read me off building heights, but I won't be able to put it together until after I finish writing my thesis paper, so I probably won't get to make my own measurement until Christmas. I just answered your question over in the other hospital high-rise thread. Good subjects we've got here.

Neil

Cool. B) Architect or engineer student? i wonder why the height of the spires is not given. That seems odd to me; especially when other buildings' spires and antenna heights ARE given. Weird.

Anyway, good luck. Do you think the newest MH tower is the highest the MC will go? Or are they able to go even higher? (i mean in terms of FAA regulations, need for something that tall, etc.)

m. B)

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Since no one seems to know, I would be grateful to anyone who would take a fun little trip down to the area with a friend and a tape measure, measure them and stand them so that the top of their head perfectly aligns with the tip of St Luke's, and then construct like triangles and figure out the height.

You know, for some reason, I figured you wanted the other person so you can push them off the top while they hold the tape measure.

The crap that goes through my head at times. :lol:

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  • 1 month later...

no formal asking price yet...

One of the city's most recognizable buildings has been put on the block.

St. Luke's Episcopal Health System said today it is selling the O'Quinn Medical Tower at 6624 Fannin in the Texas Medical Center.

The 28-story twin-towered structure — whose spires resemble a pair of hypodermic needles — was built by the Hines real estate firm in 1990 and designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli.

Selling the building will give the hospital system "additional financial resources to help St. Luke's strengthen its presence by renovating and expanding within the Texas Medical Center," St. Luke's said in a statement. It also said it is taking advantage of "a strong capital market."

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5166565.html

"The sale of real estate by nonprofit health care institutions has become an increasingly common strategy in recent years. The sale will provide additional financial resources to help St. Luke's strengthen its presence by renovating and expanding within the Texas Medical Center."

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories...24/daily30.html

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Hmm.. I wonder what they'd build to replace it? Hopefully something interesting in the TMC. We could use a 40+ story tower.

I hear St. Luke's needs the money to build their expansion project planned for the X-lot. X-lot is the small driveway between their current building, TMC Garage 1 and the Joint Linen Building. However, The Methodist Hospital still has them over a barrel that crimps these plans somewhat. These two institutions share the old Joint Linen building, with the property line running down the middle of it, but TMH has no reason to vacate it's portion to allow for the demolition needed to construct the current SLEH designed expansion. The Joint Linen Building also is structurally attached to the TMH Power Plant building, and one of TMH's cooling towers is actaully sitting on top of the SLEH portion of that building.

It's a sticky mess with these two competitors. They rarely talk to each other expect with lawyers present.

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Hmm.. I wonder what they'd build to replace it? Hopefully something interesting in the TMC. We could use a 40+ story tower.

I thought I read they were going to sell it and then lease space back ... sounds counterintuitive, but I guess they are going to use the money to expand their real estate elsewhere.

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I thought I read they were going to sell it and then lease space back ... sounds counterintuitive, but I guess they are going to use the money to expand their real estate elsewhere.

It does sound counterintuitive, but a leaseback is common in any industry where the owner has large capital requirements and needs to free up cash for future expansion while retaining use of the property. The transaction will also good for the buyer of the St. Lukes because they can pretty much count on the Health System being a long-term tenant, which makes financing the purchase that much easier.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Your best bet for finding the height would be to contact the architect of the building. Or you could visit the building, call, or email the building's manager. They should know the heights. I'm an editor at Emporis, (for Austin), but I also look after other Texas cities. The St. Luke's height is one that has bugged me for years. I know that height is too short. It's just a matter of chasing down an accurate, official source for the height. The ones above should know it. If you get lucky with finding the height, please PM about it. I'd love to hear it.

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The O'Quinn Medical Tower by Cesar Pelli

Texas Children’s Hospital hires JLL to lease iconic Texas Medical Center tower

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2020/07/16/texas-childrens-hospital-jll-6624-fannin-tower.html

 

Quote

 

JLL will handle leasing for the iconic twin-spire tower in the Texas Medical Center, the commercial real estate firm said in a July 15 press release.

 

The building, formerly called the O’Quinn Medical Tower, is at 6624 Fannin. Texas Children's Hospital acquired the building, along with the nearby Baylor Clinic Building, in 2016 from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a joint venture between Baylor College of Medicine and CHI St. Luke’s Health.

 

At the time, Texas Children’s said it would lease back a portion of each building to Baylor College of Medicine and St. Luke’s Health through their joint venture until they complete their transition to the new Baylor St. Luke’s McNair Campus south of the Texas Medical Center. The LoopNet listing for 6624 Fannin Tower says St. Luke's Health is still a tenant in the building, and JLL's press release says the tower is home to nearly 30 institutional and private practices.

 

When the deal was announced in 2016, Mark Wallace, CEO of Texas Children's Hospital, told the Houston Business Journal that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

 

 

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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/22/2020 at 2:32 PM, hindesky said:

The twin hypodermic needles are probably getting sharpened and new paint.

vYUKnja.jpg

GAy7LR4.jpg

They swapped out the distinctive white strobe aircraft warning lights at the end of the needles with red LED lights that flash alternatively. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 8/14/2007 at 6:40 PM, ricco67 said:

You know, for some reason, I figured you wanted the other person so you can push them off the top while they hold the tape measure.

The crap that goes through my head at times. :lol:

Just lean over the edge of the scaffolding for a sec...

5D63C395-9D6E-4D18-8EE2-D04D6FFD08E4.jpeg

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to The O'Quinn Medical Tower By Cesar Pelli
  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Having a hard time imagining that they wont be replaced.  

My theory is that they cut the old ones down into manageable pieces for removal and the replacements will be replaced in a full structure... by crane.   But, it I haven't figured out why they aren't doing the removal and replacement, when they have the crane rented and in place.  Just my theory.    

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2 hours ago, Naviguessor said:

Having a hard time imagining that they wont be replaced.  

My theory is that they cut the old ones down into manageable pieces for removal and the replacements will be replaced in a full structure... by crane.   But, it I haven't figured out why they aren't doing the removal and replacement, when they have the crane rented and in place.  Just my theory.    

It's going to take one hell of a crane to reach that high, the cost would be prohibited for just a couple of pipes. Not sure how much a helicopter cost vs. a crane but I would think it might be a whole lot cheaper. A crane that size would take about 1 1/2 days to build and that long to dismantle. Plus all the crew and trucks to bring all the parts. I just can't see them doing that. I work as a crane operator so I have a little knowledge in the business.

I took a few pics of this crane at the Lyric Center building a few years ago, it had a reach of 450' but he was changing out chillers that cool the whole building. A very critical part of the building that they have to have or all the tenants would move out. As you can see it also takes a secondary crane to help assemble the big crane.

i0IoJZv.jpg

 I think the O'Quinn is probably taller than the Lyric so the amount of crane necessary would be greater. I just don't see them spending the money for just 2 pipes that are just cosmetic.

But maybe that is why medical costs are so outrageous, they spend money like drunken sailor.

I would love to see the needles back on but I just don't see it happening with a crane.

 

 

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My guess is that some committee of soulless corporate nitwits decided that they were "funny-looking" and decided that making the towers look boring is somehow a virtue.

9 hours ago, JLWM8609 said:

Ugh. Anybody know why they decided to remove the spires?

 

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Hopefully someone will come on here and let us in on what the plans are. I think this would be an aesthetic disgrace.

Possibly one of the ten best buildings in Houston altered. It was a landmark.

Surely they plan to replace them.

 

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  • 1 month later...

disappointing news

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/07/13/ask-2-where-did-the-spires-on-top-of-that-houston-hospital-building-go/

 

Quote

“Texas Children’s Hospital purchased Fannin Tower in late 2016, and has discussed branding opportunities as the new owner. While most of our focus was on developing a plan for the building’s interior, the recent failure of an aviation strobe at the top of the east spire prompted a study of some of the exterior elements of the building as well. Our engineering team discovered the hoist system designed for strobe repairs became compromised at some point over the last 30 years, causing the work to replace the aviation strobe to be much more complex and costly. Out of an abundance of caution, we commissioned a study of the hoist system and structural elements of the spire system. The results indicated it would be more cost-effective to remove the spires rather than implement a long-term repair of the system. Texas Children’s opted to remove the spires when factoring in the risk and cost of accessing the strobes 470 feet above ground level every five years.”

 

Edited by 79ta
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Nooo!!! 

Please tell me this isn't happening!!! Everything architecturally inspiring and sound in Houston ends up ceasing.

The spires in the Medical Center (Texas Children's Hospital) made an  architectural statement, especially on the nightscape of Texas Medical Center skyline. It made a statement at night. Why is it when it comes to Houston's case, cost becomes a big issue and it doesn't seem  to affect other big cities?   For example, Dallas's  BOA and Reunion tower continue to iconically light their buildings, but when it comes to building owners in Houston, they all decide to go CHEAPO and talk about cost. Not enough of our buildings have spires or crowns. Our downtown skyline literally goes dark and bland at night. 

I bet the lighted arches over 59 heading toward downtown are going to stop next.

Apologies for the rant post and mods, I didn't mean to drag Dallas in the mix, it's just hell of frustrating that this has to keep happening in Houston.

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/houston-spires-missing-texas-medical-center-16326367.php

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On 7/21/2021 at 5:42 PM, scarface said:

Sorry guys. 

I'm super late and had been out of town not realizing this topic has been discussed. 

My bad.

Apparently im even more late.. just stumbled onto this architectural travesty by means of the TMC3 thread. WTF, this was by far the best tower in the TMC, and one of the best designs in the entire city. This seriously saddens me way more than it should. What a disgrace to Pelli.. RIP.

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