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Downtown Skyline Update


DaTrain

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Last night, the blue lights on the top of the Continental building were white. I had never seen this before but it looked really sharp.

Haven't seen it but I always thought the blue was cool looking.

Of COURSE Energy Conservation is not a load of crap. There are plenty of ways to conserve energy though...

If the buildings are going to be lit the type of lighting would make a big difference. LED lights are very inefficient and last a long time. The downside is that it would be necessary to use several rows of them in order to be visible from a distance. It might be a worthwhile compromise.

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  • 1 month later...
-workout machines that are hooked up to generators and fed through the power grid

Ok, I've used exercise bikes and elliptical machines that power themselves... but not the lights in the gym. :lol:

And one good thing about this, is the skyline during the Holidays looks that much more festive with the contrast of having no lights 11 months out of 12. It's much less spectacular if you see it all year long.

And offices can cut so much, and already are. Changing from 40watt T12s to 32watt or 28watt T8 fluorescents, not to mention changing to LED type Exit Signs in the older buildings has and will continue to help a lot.

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Fantastic photo!

Ditto.

Those night shots can be tricky. Having to allow the shutter to stay open for so long can be impossible without a tripod or steady surface of some sort. On my Sony Cybershot the slightest little bump, or even pressing the button too jittery, to take the photo, can sometimes throw it off just enough that you end up with a blur.

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  • 7 months later...

Yeah, I'm sorry but this whole "let's conserve energy by not turning on all of the lights" is a load of crap.

We need to light-up everything in downtown. A clear night shouldn't go by that WEDGE tower, JP Chase, and Wells Fargo arent' lit up from end to end. I think it looks tacky, and it does not show pride in our downtown.

Think about how visitors to the city feel. "Oh, that's downtown?? uh, ok, but I kinda like Dallas' better... it's big and bright!"

I agree with you completely; our downtown looks like a ghost town and we are the fourth largest city in the United States! Dallas and Austin have us beat on nighttime skylines and they are getting better with each new development. If they really want to save electricity they can shut off the lights in the unoccupied offices at night and that would make a real difference.

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Ummm i think the lighting downtown lately is terrible. the only building that has any lighting on top is the continental building. what happend to the light on top of the wells fargo tower or chase tower. the two tallest buildings in Houston dont light up the top at night. I realize it is probably more cost effective to not have lights on top but neon lighting dosnt cost that much. Downtown would look so much better if all the buidings were all lit up at night. Kind of like when we used to have that laser show every year, they lit up the skyline awesome for that event.

I agree with you completely; our downtown looks like a ghost town and we are the fourth largest city in the United States! Dallas and Austin have us beat on nighttime skylines and they are getting better with each new development. If they really want to save electricity they can shut off the lights in the unoccupied offices at night and that would make a real difference.

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Does anyone have a picture of Heritage Plaza all lit up? When I moved to Houston it was only pieces lit up at night, but at least it was something. Then one day the whole thing was on, and then never again.

I have some old videos of Houston at night from when that building was lit up, but I have yet to post those online.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

They might just be testing the lights for now or something. Perhaps they will change it according to seasonal events/etc. It would be neat if they could emulate another "big sleek box with a hole on the top"; ie the Memorial Hermann tower, whose lights change colours now and then. But hey, as stated by others, there is elegance in restraint.

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Wouldn't a building that has wind turbines to offset power usage contradict itself by having an extravagant lighting scheme? I think it should be pitch black at night except for whatever the FAA requires.

What a sad, depressing world this would be if each building were like this. Why are people against lighting? Downtown would certainly look much better like this:

Houston_Skyline_2057.jpg

Now, downtown looks dead at night, hopefully the Hess Tower lighting can inspire these boring owners. Heck, even the Methodist Outpatient Center turned off it's lights, what's the deal?

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What a sad, depressing world this would be if each building were like this. Why are people against lighting?

Some of us are not especially against lighting insomuch as we do not care. We have no dog in the fight; as an aside, that's also why I personally have a hard time caring about professional sports.

Really...downtown lighting...what does it mean?

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What a sad, depressing world this would be if each building were like this. Why are people against lighting? Downtown would certainly look much better like this:

Now, downtown looks dead at night, hopefully the Hess Tower lighting can inspire these boring owners. Heck, even the Methodist Outpatient Center turned off it's lights, what's the deal?

It's not depressing, it's eerie, could be chilling depending on the noise level in the area. Some lights are ok, extravagant light pollution for no reason isn't necessary.

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It's not depressing, it's eerie, could be chilling depending on the noise level in the area. Some lights are ok, extravagant light pollution for no reason isn't necessary.

Perhaps there is too much science fiction talking here, but it seems to me that the less human a place the more brightly lit it is. Creeps me out.

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Perhaps there is too much science fiction talking here, but it seems to me that the less human a place the more brightly lit it is. Creeps me out.

In all fairness, I'd have to dispute that.

Of all the races depicted in the Star Trek canon, only Starfleet ships were ever brightly lit, often featured brightly-lit deflector dishes, large blue-striped nacelles with prominent glowing Bussard Ramscoops, running lights, and plenty of lit windows facing out into space. The less humanistic the race, the darker-colored the ships; at the far end of the spectrum were the Borg, with dark-colored unlit windowless, featureless, geometric shapes for ships.

Gene Roddenbery probably would've favored downtown lighting. But I'm not him. I just don't care.

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In all fairness, I'd have to dispute that.

Of all the races depicted in the Star Trek canon, only Starfleet ships were ever brightly lit, often featured brightly-lit deflector dishes, large blue-striped nacelles with prominent glowing Bussard Ramscoops, running lights, and plenty of lit windows facing out into space. The less humanistic the race, the darker-colored the ships; at the far end of the spectrum were the Borg, with dark-colored unlit windowless, featureless, geometric shapes for ships.

Gene Roddenbery probably would've favored downtown lighting. But I'm not him. I just don't care.

Star Trek, nyet. More the bright white lights of Kubrick.

But I'm with you, I don't much care about lights downtown. Just don't be ugly and slutty about it, is all I'm saying.

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I guess you haven't been paying attention to the news for the past couple of years.

Guess not. The only thing I can think of is that Houston is trying to be "energy efficient" I read that in the news. But other than that, pleas fill me in.

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Guess not. The only thing I can think of is that Houston is trying to be "energy efficient" I read that in the news. But other than that, pleas fill me in.

I don't think "Houston" is trying to be more energy efficient, I think it is the owners of the various buildings, current and future, that are trying to be smart and find new ways to reduce costs for the long run.

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Maybe, but one would think that they would start with the interior lighting, can't imagine how leaving all those lights on inside costs less that leaving the exterior lights on outside.

The interior lights that you see now are just part of the construction process. The fixtures that are ultimately installed will be significantly more efficient and not constantly on.

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The interior lights that you see now are just part of the construction process. The fixtures that are ultimately installed will be significantly more efficient and not constantly on.

No I am talking about the interior lights always on on all of the completed buildings, I was just talking about downtown in general (I know off topic lol sorry) Actually I am quite satisfied with the Hess Tower lighting.

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Umm...ever heard of cleaning crews?

...or 24-hour call centers, or workaholics, or pulling an all-nighter to wrap a project on a hard deadline. I've done a lot of the latter two but have never worked for a firm that didn't employ some kind of mechanism to turn off the lights once everyone was out of there.

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Now, an owner with an empty building might look at it differently. Building owners in Miami, Atlanta and Dallas, where vacancy rates are far higher, may add some lights in an effort to lure a new tenant.

One would think that a building owner with empty tennants wouldn't even have the $$$ to light exterior lighting. Do you really think that's the reason why Dallas lights its buildings? I thought it was to look pretty.

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The lights are largely off at 4 am. Late workers and cleaning crews will keep them on until midnite or so, but once people are gone, the buildings go dark. I suppose those who have never had to keep a budget may complain that they want lights for their amusement, but building owners trying to keep tenants in the building must deal with real life issues, such as common area fees. Since forum posters do not pay the bills, it is easy to see why their pleas fall on deaf ears.

Now, an owner with an empty building might look at it differently. Building owners in Miami, Atlanta and Dallas, where vacancy rates are far higher, may add some lights in an effort to lure a new tenant. It may work for some. But, having rented a few offices in my day, I can safely say that not once have I ever made a choice on a building's lighting scheme. In fact, none of my offices were ever lit at night.

I honestly think the building owners can afford to keep ample lighting on, as evidenced by the pre-Ike lighting schemes. I think Hurricane Ike destroyed some lighting, and the issue is just that the owners don't want to spend the time to fix it. I just would like the city to look nice, is that such a bad thing to ask? And I guess these "real life issues" occur only in Houston? Please post a picture of a major city that has no building lighting, such as our own? Because I can't seem to find such a picture, I'm sure there's one though.

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Can you substantiate that hypothesis at all? It seems far-fetched.

Wells Fargo Bank Plaza used to have a greenish light surrounding the top, but after Hurricane Ike, the greenish light was only on a small section of the top. I'm not sure if that small section is still on today however, but it was obvious something happenend to it. Compare these two pics:

916685694_1bacfd69c6.jpg

3718521357_f2eeeda21b_z.jpg

The first picture was taken before Ike, the second after. In the second one, you can see a small strip of the greenish lighting above the Wells Fargo Bank Plaza still illuminated, of course later they turned it off.

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I posted several in another post complaining about lighting. Perhaps you can search for it. It was quite illuminating. While you are searching, look for articles about the lending crisis for commercial buildings. You'll find that buildings owners don't have as much cash as you think. 'Pre-Ike' is also known as 'pre-recession' in financial circles.

I did a search on downtown lighting, and I'm not about to go through the hundreds of pages of threads to find a few of your pictures. And sorry, I just can't take your word for it, either. :) The darkest downtown I've seen in any other big city at this time is San Diego, but they have company lighting on almost all of their buildings, to be honest I don't think downtown's lack of lighting is due to the recession, it' just that I think that the owners don't give a shit about lighting. Sure downtown lighting doesn't matter, blah, blah, blah but I'm sure you'll find that many people think downtown Houston is boring at night, and why not light it up to make it less boring?

The top 5 cities in the US's downtown lighting:

2177197573_74e077257f_m.jpg

4445160041_516925daa2_m.jpg

2957757326_3042a12456.jpg

3202804858_f11baf5672_m.jpg

2379810271_c044af525b_m.jpg

Now you would think that since Houston has supposedly fared better than others during the reccesion, they wouldn't be so broke as to not afford lighting. So I just can't see how that is the case. I think it is simply the "I don't care how my building looks, I just want to make as much money possible" attitude, which is fine, but is doesn't make the city any better IMO.

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i actually do recall a chron article about hurricane damage taking out several buildings exterior lights.... could have been Ike.

That being said... Ike may have taken some out, but it seems more likely the recession is keeping them out.

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300' Oil derrick with 50' Jeff Bagwell at the top and the retired shuttle Discovery mounted on to the side..... all bronzed....

Yes.

Before I even got to this post I was planning to search for this awesome rendering of yours. I'll just link to the post rather than confuse innocent googlers searching for Discovery Tower info.

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But really, I do care about tacky or not, that's why I said that's a valid argument. I'm definitely not for flashy neon lights, but the simple Continental Airlines blue light at the top was good and it'd be nice to see that simple style lighting across more buildings.

But let's face it, in Houston money talks and that's why we don't see an extravagent night skyline... I wouldn't mind if that changed though.

I am not really a fan of colored lights. If anything was to be done, I'd only be a fan of limited white lights, which I think could look more classy, which is one way to describe Houston's skyline.

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Many people on here seem to think that when I brought up the idea that downtown Houston could use more lighting, I meant Vegas-style lighting. Not at all, Houston should have more classy lighting than Vegas. A perfect example would be the new Methodist building, they just completed the exterior lighting and it looks great. No neon, but a more classy type of lighting, which enhances the building's architecture.

There is such as thing as tasteful exterior lighting, would Williams Tower be as iconic without the rotating beacon at night? Houston has some great examples of architecture, why keep them hidden at night?

I'm glad Discovery Tower has the top/windmill structure lit up at night, it makes the building stand out. I'm beginning to think that some posters are embarrassed by our architecture, and do not want anyone to see our beautiful buildings at night. I've never seen anyone so adamantly opposed to lighting, it can be beautiful if done right.

Edited by mfastx
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Here's a really rough update adding the Hines building and just for fun I threw in a filler building basically in the location of the Stream/Linbeck tower.  If Lockmat would like to provide me with a teaser look again I could draw something up a little closer but I also don't want to get him in trouble.  

 

http://s7.photobucket.com/user/brijonmang/media/DtownSkyline_zpsfc4a0b55.jpg.html'>DtownSkyline_zpsfc4a0b55.jpg

 

Edited to include 5 Allen Center as per Urbannizer's post.  I didn't include it because it seems pretty unlikely to happen at this point (my opinion) But it could at least be included in this fantasy portrayal anyway.

 

Edited by brijonmang
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's a really rough update adding the Hines building and just for fun I threw in a filler building basically in the location of the Stream/Linbeck tower.  If Lockmat would like to provide me with a teaser look again I could draw something up a little closer but I also don't want to get him in trouble.  

 

DtownSkyline_zpsfc4a0b55.jpg

 

Edited to include 5 Allen Center as per Urbannizer's post.  I didn't include it because it seems pretty unlikely to happen at this point (my opinion) But it could at least be included in this fantasy portrayal anyway.

 

great job! thanks for making this.. i suck at photoshop and was curious how the new towers would effect the skyline. 

any chance you could make the Hines tower taller to reflect the new supposed official height? also IMO the new Chevron tower may be a little short since according to the renders its about equivalent in height to a 58 story building if you count each floor and consider the double high floors as 2 stories.

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  • The title was changed to Downtown Skyline Update

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