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Converting 806 Main Into a JW Marriott Hotel Downtown


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Having Main accessible will be novel too. Looks like the drive up/porte corchere should be going in shortly.

 

There were people inside cleaning furiously. The interior must be entering the home stretch.

 

They are.  The tunnel connection from Esperson to 801 Travis is currently a crapshoot about being open, as they work on the finishes for their underground amenities.  Between that swarm and the jackhammers on Houston Club across the way, it is utter mayhem around there.

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The sign is up (iPhone night quality is poor):     Also, I am eternally grateful to the JW for improving the view from my loft:     806 Main before pic from HAIF:  

New signage/graphics on Rusk side...  

From street level. Porte Cochére has recessed LED lighting.

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The gryphon has been installed:

 

"The renovation includes two ballrooms — the Picasso and the Monet — nods to the hotel’s eclectic art collection, which will eventually include a 13-foot sculpture of a gryphon, the mythical winged creature that makes up JW Marriott’s logo."

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/breaking-ground/2014/06/first-look-the-new-jw-marriott-houston-downtown.html?page=all

 

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post-12393-0-22665600-1410310154_thumb.j

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The gryphon has been installed:

"The renovation includes two ballrooms — the Picasso and the Monet — nods to the hotel’s eclectic art collection, which will eventually include a 13-foot sculpture of a gryphon, the mythical winged creature that makes up JW Marriott’s logo."

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/blog/breaking-ground/2014/06/first-look-the-new-jw-marriott-houston-downtown.html?page=all

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I'm not offended by this, but I feel like this is very very weird

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I walked by here last night, and it is such a tremendous upgrade from what was there before. This was a fairly sketchy corner before but the lighting on the ground floor level really transforms the intersection. With this and 609 Main there will be activity (shops/restaurants/etc) for quite a few consecutive blocks along Main Street without any major abandoned buildings or parking lots, which is great for the area and for visitors to the hotel.

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Oh whoops my depth perception was way off in the above pics but Nate's puts it into better perspective.

Not necessarily.

The construction worker standing under the wings with a hardhat on, im fairly certain he is a Mexican immigrant, which would put him in the 4'6"-4'11" range, so yes, those wings are still very low.

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Not necessarily.

The construction worker standing under the wings with a hardhat on, im fairly certain he is a Mexican immigrant, which would put him in the 4'6"-4'11" range, so yes, those wings are still very low.

 

That and they are still replacing the paving bricks in the area, that might still be a hole.

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If I get some free time I wouldn't mind going to check this out...as probably one of HAIF's tallest members at 6'5 I could easily figure this wing span thing out. Buuuut i don't want to lay for parking someone tell me where I can find free parking close to this or at least only pay a few bucks

 

Parking on the streets is free every night after 6:00 and all day Sundays. 

 

I haven't seen this in person, but from the pictures, it looks like one would almost have to try to hit their head on it.  I don't see what all the fuss is about.

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If I get some free time I wouldn't mind going to check this out...as probably one of HAIF's tallest members at 6'5 I could easily figure this wing span thing out. Buuuut i don't want to lay for parking someone tell me where I can find free parking close to this or at least only pay a few bucks

 

I'm 6'1", I'll test it out once they open the sidewalk.

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Not necessarily.

The construction worker standing under the wings with a hardhat on, im fairly certain he is a Mexican immigrant, which would put him in the 4'6"-4'11" range, so yes, those wings are still very low.

I'm 5' 8" and in my previous picture up close, I was eye level with it. The Wings are definitely low and oddly placed. It's a hazard, an accident waiting to happen once they open the sidewalks...

Edited by tigereye
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Note: the above photo was actually taken under 801 Travis, whose tunnel level is also being renovated as a part of this project.  The tunnel here has been open off and on in recent weeks, but today it was closed again.

 

If I understand correctly, the 801 Travis tunnel renovations will end up being used by the hotel.  Because of this, they moved the building's mailbox bank from under the stairs to the first floor.

 

I'm kind of surprised to see that the stairs in the background remained.  Previously, they were the access from 801 Travis to parts east, including the Main @ Walker garage and BG Place.  Obviously, they're not exactly ADA compliant, unless there's some alternate access that isn't immediately apparent.  Perhaps one of our design professional colleagues could chime in on if and how bringing that point into compliance might not be required.

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Note: the above photo was actually taken under 801 Travis, whose tunnel level is also being renovated as a part of this project.  The tunnel here has been open off and on in recent weeks, but today it was closed again.

 

I actually just walked down the stairs in 801 Travis to get the shot. Looks like meeting space under 801 for the most part, but a lounge is supposed to be incorporated.

 

If I understand correctly, the 801 Travis tunnel renovations will end up being used by the hotel.  Because of this, they moved the building's mailbox bank from under the stairs to the first floor.

 

I'm kind of surprised to see that the stairs in the background remained.  Previously, they were the access from 801 Travis to parts east, including the Main @ Walker garage and BG Place.  Obviously, they're not exactly ADA compliant, unless there's some alternate access that isn't immediately apparent.  Perhaps one of our design professional colleagues could chime in on if and how bringing that point into compliance might not be required.

 

Tough to say, there may be a ramp more under 806 that we can not see yet, or they are relying on street level access to be ADA compliant, but I'd be lying if I said I knew the particulars of that and how one would apply it to the tunnels.

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I actually just walked down the stairs in 801 Travis to get the shot. Looks like meeting space under 801 for the most part, but a lounge is supposed to be incorporated.

 

 

Tough to say, there may be a ramp more under 806 that we can not see yet, or they are relying on street level access to be ADA compliant, but I'd be lying if I said I knew the particulars of that and how one would apply it to the tunnels.

 

I'm hoping there's a ramp or lift someplace not yet easily seen.  While 801 does have an exit to Rusk, IIRC the two doors one must pass through don't have automatic openers - those are on the front doors facing Travis.  Which means, if they're relying on street access, one must take the elevator from the tunnel level to the street level, and then go down Travis to Rusk, turn and go a block down Rusk, and then another bit down Main to the nearest public door at the JW.  Very little of that is under cover.

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where do guests park?

 

At their home airport, by valet, or the same way anybody else who don't have a contract downtown does (that's coming off snarkier than I meant, sorry).  The hotel has taken some nearby parking garage space for its valets; they're able to sardine cars in more than the general  public can, just as I can shove four or five down my driveway in a pinch.

 

In reality, Guest Quarters and the Sam Houston don't seem to have much of a problem, and they don't have any visibly available parking either.

 

I'm thinking of trying to come up with a parking space dowsing fork.

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ADA mystery solved.  There is a single chair lift at the opposite side of the steps (left from the perspective in the picture above).  Easy viewing is blocked by the main steps up to the lobby and further masked by the unassuming blending in of the beige device itself.

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