Jump to content

St. Joseph Medical Building


musicman

Recommended Posts

Question: What is the purpose of the professional building, and who are the tenants? Is it like other professional buildings that are basically just doctors' offices? From a design standpoint, it is an interesting, overwhelming addition. But from a cost standpoint, I see it is completely wasteful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just what downtown Houston needs, the gigantic white outline of a cross slathered across both sides of a building not designed to accommodate it.

It's one thing to make a statement, and if I may paraphrase Voltaire (because I'm too lazy to verify the quote), I may disagree with what they're saying but I will forever defend their right to say it. However, the design of the statement is in poor taste. They should have just erected a clean purpose-built cross much the same way as the church off of Beltway 8 near the Gulf Freeway did.

...or they could've allocated the funds to indigent care. That would've been very Christ-like.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nonsense. HPA moved tangentially away from Christus' philosophy when they bought the hospital, modified the name, imposed a star on the cross in their logo so much that you hardly notice the cross, giving the impression that it will be strictly business henceforth.

Then after struggling for about two years with their poor business concept, they did what even Christus never do, put giant crosses that makes me think of the building as an annex of the Vatican more than a professional building. Still doesn't make their business concept better. Just my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Then after struggling for about two years with their poor business concept, they did what even Christus never do, put giant crosses that makes me think of the building as an annex of the Vatican more than a professional building.

If that were the case, it should be red neon. It's Pentecost, after all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

It caught me by surprise at first. I thought, had it always looked like that and I just didn't notice? But now you've confirmed that it is a new look. Well, it looks good. It fits the proportion of a building that was otherwise quite unremarkable. There wasn't not much to look at as one headed north into downtown on 45 after the I-59 interchange.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As soon as we let Continental get away with illuminating the top of their building with their logo... it was down hill from there.

As I made the curve around the Pierce elevated from Allen Parkway, headed south... I was like: Jesus! Then I had to stop myself: "Hey... wait a minute... That's the response they're going for!"

It appeared to be illuminated by several thousand incandescent bulbs. Chaser lights, blue neon, and strobes would have better.

It sure is nice, and refreshing even, to see some of that suburban B-8 taste make it right to the middle of downtown.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just what downtown Houston needs, the gigantic white outline of a cross slathered across both sides of a building not designed to accommodate it.

It's one thing to make a statement, and if I may paraphrase Voltaire (because I'm too lazy to verify the quote), I may disagree with what they're saying but I will forever defend their right to say it. However, the design of the statement is in poor taste. They should have just erected a clean purpose-built cross much the same way as the church off of Beltway 8 near the Gulf Freeway did.

...or they could've allocated the funds to indigent care. That would've been very Christ-like.

...purpose-built? The cross at B-8, given its enormous size, like this recent St. Joe addition, is not "purpose built." They just scream: "We're here, we're Christians, get used to us!" Kind of like a polite, Christian way, of giving the rest of the world a big giant middle finger.

A purpose built cross would be about 10 feet high, made of lumber, made for hanging bodies on. Or maybe I am describing a "functional" cross? ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought houston was the most religously diverse city in the whole bible belt. building 150 ft crosses on the north and south entrances are like making people think if you go into the city you will be forced to be a christian. and building a cross by the Hobby airport and ellington field is just as dangerous.Bollucks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought houston was the most religously diverse city in the whole bible belt. building 150 ft crosses on the north and south entrances are like making people think if you go into the city you will be forced to be a christian.

I tend not to think of Houston being in the 'Bible Belt'. I think of the belt as going from about Georgia through the South, and then sweeping up through north Texas and continuing northward through the plains states.

As for the symbology: "I prefer to leave symbols to the symbol-minded." --George Carlin

and building a cross by the Hobby airport and ellington field is just as dangerous.Bollucks

Only Hobby Airport has a runway aligned in such a way as would put one of the giant crosses in a flight path, but the end of that runway is four miles away from the nearest gigantic cross. If a plane is flying only 150 feet off the ground at four miles away from the runway, it's because it's about to crash.

If the cross were a legitimate concern, first of all the FAA would've been all over it. And secondly, there'd probably be a slew of low-rise office buildings along JFK Blvd. that are under the flight path of a runway that ends only one mile away that would probably need to be demolished as well.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not generally a big fan of loud religion, but from a marketing perspective I don't really object to this. With the prominence of the Med Center, it's tough for other inner-loop hospitals to attract attention to themselves, and St. Joseph's has been struggling to survive over the years. Somehow I see this more as an attempt to draw attention to its differentiating characteristic (its Catholic affiliation) than to blast Houston with religious symbols.

What has always seemed strange to me about St. Joseph's is that its professional building is across the Pierce Elevated from the hospital. It's not exactly a dense section of downtown today -- when it was built, were all the blocks north of I-45 occupied?

Edited by MyEvilTwin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

illuminated.

Then I don't like it. I'd be OK with it if it was painted on, or an architectural feature. But lighting it up just seems tacky to me.

Earlier this year I was in Seoul and learned that there are a brazillion Christian churches in the city. And it seems like each one has a red neon cross at the top. At night the skyline is festooned with red neon crosses. It's really not to my taste.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I do indeed like the design. It gives downtown a more upscale and refreshing look in comparison to Lubbock, Laredo, or Odessa. Portland even. But even whilst I may admire this stunning work of art, I must admit that my skin burns every time I drive by that building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not generally a big fan of loud religion, but from a marketing perspective I don't really object to this. With the prominence of the Med Center, it's tough for other inner-loop hospitals to attract attention to themselves, and St. Joseph's has been struggling to survive over the years. Somehow I see this more as an attempt to draw attention to its differentiating characteristic (its Catholic affiliation) than to blast Houston with religious symbols.

What has always seemed strange to me about St. Joseph's is that its professional building is across the Pierce Elevated from the hospital. It's not exactly a dense section of downtown today -- when it was built, were all the blocks north of I-45 occupied?

That's the problem. The cross causes some confusion. St Joseph is no longer affiliated to the Catholic Church. It's been bought by Hospital Patners of America, a struggling hospital group that also owns River Oaks Hospital (formerly Twelve Oaks) and pockets of hospitals in Austin and one of the Carolinas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's the problem. The cross causes some confusion. St Joseph is no longer affiliated to the Catholic Church. It's been bought by Hospital Patners of America, a struggling hospital group that also owns River Oaks Hospital (formerly Twelve Oaks) and pockets of hospitals in Austin and one of the Carolinas.

The Sisters sold hospital, yes, but the hospital/HPA doesn't even own that building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Sisters sold hospital, yes, but the hospital/HPA doesn't even own that building.

I feel the way I do about any other big adverising sign. That's all it is to me, the same as the old "Rice Hotel" sign I see out my window, or the old Gulf Oil sign, or any other big sign or billboard. Some I like, some I don't. Some has content that might offend me, some doesn't. I'm sure there are plenty of Baptists who hate the big Budweiser signs on the brewery and distributorships but there ought to be some distinction between disliking what the sign advertises and disliking the design of the sign.

St. Joseph chose a cross to advertise themselves, or mark their affiliation, or attract a certain clientele. I understand that people get sensitive about religion, but I think lots of people are confusing the aesthetic of the object with the symbolism of the object. If they had installed a big Caduceus (The doctor emblem with the pin and wings and snakes) would you feel different? I think some of us would still think it is out of scale etc., but others of us who dislike the cross would be ok with it.

I don't feel strongly about the addtion one way or another. It evokes a shoulder shrug when I go by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

St. Joseph chose a cross to advertise themselves, or mark their affiliation, or attract a certain clientele. I understand that people get sensitive about religion, but I think lots of people are confusing the aesthetic of the object with the symbolism of the object. If they had installed a big Caduceus (The doctor emblem with the pin and wings and snakes) would you feel different? I think some of us would still think it is out of scale etc., but others of us who dislike the cross would be ok with it.

I don't feel strongly about the addtion one way or another. It evokes a shoulder shrug when I go by.

It's the combination that's bothersome. Regardless of the symbol, it's very unappealing aesthetically. It just looks unprofessional. A small, tasteful and recognizable cross would not be offensive in my view. But at the current size, which I feel is absolutely ridiculous, the cross takes on new meaning and reeks of someone's attempt to shove their religion in your face. There is no reason for it other to annoy and distract people. Couldn't the money used to build, install, and power it be better spent taking care of patients?

Edited by barracuda
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A new look is one thing, but this place still needs to work on removing the vagrants that sleep alongside it (and the church groups that overrun it on the weekends). My wife is a speech pathologist that has been interested in starting a clinic in Midtown, but she cannot be at a location where her clients would be afraid to drive up to the building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whats the big deal? I drove by St. Joseph's on I-45 the other night & was immediately drawn to it. Its practically one of the only buildings in downtown that's lit up anymore besides the Continental building.

I remember a similar distaste not too long ago from some Dallasites about One Arts Plaza's large square which is lit up the same way using bright white LED's.

Edited by Metro Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people just need to get over their insecurities about religion in general. Its a free country, get over it already. If you want to burn a flag or a cross as protest you're free to do it, so if a cross on St. Joseph irks you that bad, go burn one in the lobby, just be prepared to show your face be on the 5 o'clock news.

Edited by Metro Matt
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people just need to get over their insecurities about religion in general. Its a free country, get over it already. If you want to burn a flag or a cross as protest you're free to do it, so if a cross on St. Joseph irks you that bad, go burn one in the lobby, just be prepared to show your face be on the 5 o'clock news.

I don't see what the big deal either.

My only wish is that they didn't quite make it so bright, lower the voltage a bit.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some people just need to get over their insecurities about religion in general. Its a free country, get over it already. If you want to burn a flag or a cross as protest you're free to do it, so if a cross on St. Joseph irks you that bad, go burn one in the lobby, just be prepared to show your face be on the 5 o'clock news.

Well that seems like a pretty weak analogy IMHO. I don't think anyone said that the big white cross should be illegal. Of course we're "free" to burn a flag, but any business owner who paints a big burning flag up the side of a 15-story building and light it up with red neon at night would be rather naive to think that wouldn't generate a little internet forum discussion... to say the least.

(And I don't think it would be legal to go to the St. Joseph's lobby and burn a cross. They're legal, but not on other people's property.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the big Jesus statue in Rio creep people out...any more than the big Sam Houston one on I-45?

Whatever. No use letting yourself be affected by inanimate objects. Build stuff, build it big. I just like to see impressive feats of construction and creativity. This is neither, I drive by it most mornings and it's just a building.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the big Jesus statue in Rio creep people out...any more than the big Sam Houston one on I-45?

Ha ha, my little brother (when he was teeny tiny) used to scream and cry when we drove past the Sam Houston statue because he thought it was going to eat him. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a corporation were to propose putting its logo up on the side of a building like that along with backlighting, it wouldn't have been allowed a permit from the City of Houston for reasons stated in the Sign Code.

Why does a religious symbol get a pass when a corporate logo or other advertisement does not?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice idea, bad execution.

The cross is out of proportional scale w/r/t the height of the horizontal cross in relation to the height and width of the bldg. The horizontal cross is slightly too high and lends a visual effect of being top heavy. It's location of being adjacent to an elevated freeway does not deter this effect, but rather enhances it, as most often viewers are moving directly through space towards the bldg. The paint job on the exterior is mostly indiscriminate over it's coverage of diverse materials from metal details to the masonry facade.

It looks unprofessional.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a corporation were to propose putting its logo up on the side of a building like that along with backlighting, it wouldn't have been allowed a permit from the City of Houston for reasons stated in the Sign Code.

Why does a religious symbol get a pass when a corporate logo or other advertisement does not?

Do you know exactly whats stated in the Harris County sign code law? If so, enlighten us a bit, no pun intended...

I've always heard & read its on buildings over a certain height, in which case St. Joseph's might not qualify only being an 18 story building. Houston is allowed to have X-rated billboards on the sides of its freeways, when a cross on a building gets peoples goat? I don't get it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see what the big deal either.

My only wish is that they didn't quite make it so bright, lower the voltage a bit.

Voltage has nothing to do with the brightness of a light source, its the wattage. LED's typically use only 24 volts vs. 15,000 for neon. Kudo's to St. Joseph's for "going green" on the exterior lighting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought there would be more information on it, but here's one of the several approved permits:

Project No: 09042254

Date: 2009/05/12 00:00:00

USE: O/S N3 ILUM 1FC 63X3X70 ST. JOSEPH PROF

Owner/Occupant: *ST JOSEPH

Job Address: 2000 CRAWFORD ST 77002

Valuation: $ 0

Permit Type: EG

FCC Group: On Premise;New Sign;Wall;Internal Light

Buyer: *SOUTHWEST/BLM

Address: 1512 W 34TH ST 77018

Phone: (713) 699-4488

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that seems like a pretty weak analogy IMHO. I don't think anyone said that the big white cross should be illegal. Of course we're "free" to burn a flag, but any business owner who paints a big burning flag up the side of a 15-story building and light it up with red neon at night would be rather naive to think that wouldn't generate a little internet forum discussion... to say the least.

(And I don't think it would be legal to go to the St. Joseph's lobby and burn a cross. They're legal, but not on other people's property.)

If someone hated this country that much to do that to their building they shouldn't even be here in the first place, especially after 9/11...now that's just a little scary. Yes, the lobby might be pushing it just a bit, I think you should go right now to St. Joseph's & walk down the street on city property burning a wooden cross. Go, go, go!!! I'll have my eyes glued to the TV for the 10 o' clock news I promise! :ph34r:

Edited by Metro Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought there would be more information on it, but here's one of the several approved permits:

Project No: 09042254

Date: 2009/05/12 00:00:00

USE: O/S N3 ILUM 1FC 63X3X70 ST. JOSEPH PROF

Owner/Occupant: *ST JOSEPH

Job Address: 2000 CRAWFORD ST 77002

Valuation: $ 0

Permit Type: EG

FCC Group: On Premise;New Sign;Wall;Internal Light

Buyer: *SOUTHWEST/BLM

Address: 1512 W 34TH ST 77018

Phone: (713) 699-4488

So there you have it folks! St. Joseph's sign is perfectly legit & up to code.

Carry on...

Edited by Metro Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you know exactly whats stated in the Harris County sign code law? If so, enlighten us a bit, no pun intended...

I've always heard & read its on buildings over a certain height, in which case St. Joseph's might not qualify only being an 18 story building. Houston is allowed to have X-rated billboards on the sides of its freeways, when a cross on a building gets peoples goat? I don't get it.

This is a link to the Houston Sign Code. There is a ban on signs within the CBD taller than 42.5 feet. Furthermore, a cross would seem to qualify as an off-premise sign by my reading, and the construction of new off-premise signs are banned in the City of Houston. However, some jackass lawyer at the City had the foresight to specifically exclude political, religious, and ideological messages or symbols from the sign code so as to prevent an outright ban on architectural crosses much as there is on gigantic corporate logos (except for Continental Airlines'...see pages 52-54).

There you have it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Voltage has nothing to do with the brightness of a light source, its the wattage. LED's typically use only 24 volts vs. 15,000 for neon. Kudo's to St. Joseph's for "going green" on the exterior lighting.

Voltage, wattage, whatever.

I just wished they'd dim it a bit because its BRIGHT when it gets dark. Its almost as bad as that signage at shepherd @ 59 until I guess there were enough complaints for them to change it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a corporation were to propose putting its logo up on the side of a building like that along with backlighting, it wouldn't have been allowed a permit from the City of Houston for reasons stated in the Sign Code.

Why does a religious symbol get a pass when a corporate logo or other advertisement does not?

Maybe because churches & other religiously affiliated businesses are exempt? How come I don't see an uproar on here over the newly constructed Co-Cathedral Catholic Church in downtown? The cross on top of that thing has got to be at least 200 feet in height & is clearly visible from the Pierce Elevated.

Edited by Metro Matt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe because churches & other religiously affiliated businesses are exempt?

Because that was my point. Your request to prove my point prompted me to prove my point.

How come I don't see an uproar on here over the newly constructed Co-Cathedral Catholic Church in downtown? The cross on top of that thing has got to be at least 200 feet in height & is clearly visible from the Pierce Elevated.

Show me the elevations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to St. Joseph Medical Building

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...