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You sure it wasn't beige brick?  Granted I've only seen b&w pictures, but I had the impression that it was beige.

 

I was a bit disappointed that they're going with faux brick or "brick sliced thin," since it won't hold up and look nearly as good down the road as real brick, but I seem to be in the minority on here in feeling this way.

 

In some of the pictures on this topic, both new photos and old postcards, it looks white.  It is interesting though that in the rendering of how the completed project is supposed to look they are going for beige on the ground floor and the upper stories that were later additions to the building.  

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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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Quite a bold statement, do you work for the spec manufacturers? How do you know it's future patina or ceramic integrity?

 

 

theyre using eifs detailed to look like brick. only the first 3 floors will actually even have real masonry.

Of course, that's all youll really be able to perceive from the sidewalk anyway.

Hell, the Romans did it. 

 

I guess the Romans should have built their aqueducts out of thin panels that look like bricks instead of actual bricks?  Maybe then they'd survive even longer than the 2,000 years they have survived.

 

I don't want to be rude but this is common sense. The classic rectangular shape of a real brick is what it is because of its superb structural integrity. If a thin panel standing on its end was more durable than the conventional brick, I'm sure the Egyptians or whoever invented brick would have figured it out and shaped their clay molds accordingly.

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The Romans built (some) temples clad with marble up to a certain height, Above that it was plaster etched to look like marble. 

 

Also, whatever they do use here, it's not going to be "structural." All it has to do is hold itself up; the building is in no way reliant upon it. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really defending what they're doing here. Is it better than tearing it down or leaving it the way it was? Yes.

This is *not* responsible historic preservation/reconstruction though.

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The Romans built (some) temples clad with marble up to a certain height, Above that it was plaster etched to look like marble. 

 

Also, whatever they do use here, it's not going to be "structural." All it has to do is hold itself up; the building is in no way reliant upon it. 

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really defending what they're doing here. Is it better than tearing it down or leaving it the way it was? Yes.

This is *not* responsible historic preservation/reconstruction though.

 

I think we can agree that overall the project is a good thing, and going for higher quality probably gets into a law of diminishing returns.  And you make a good point, that the brick is at any rate not structural.  But even if it's not structural, it still has to hold up to wear and look good.  A brick facade with dents, chips, scratches, etc. looks a lot better than a faux-brick panel facade with dents, chips, scratches, etc.

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This is such a huge upgrade over what was there before. Between BG Place and this, that block of Main will have one from extremely sketchy to fist class.

 

Now they just need to do something about Battelsteins and the one block over $.99 store.

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wait ,wait wait what moron though cover up such fine deco was a good idea ??? I never  knew such a nice building was there. time to tear that crap off, reonovate and create some nice apts.. its stupid crap like this that makes me wish I was rich so I could just buy the damn thing myself and do it

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wait ,wait wait what moron though cover up such fine deco was a good idea ??? I never  knew such a nice building was there. time to tear that crap off, reonovate and create some nice apts.. its stupid crap like this that makes me wish I was rich so I could just buy the damn thing myself and do it

 

While you're at it, can you also buy that shop at the corner of Main and Lamar?  That's another unfortunate facade job.

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Back on topic, things are starting to look really good at the top now.  They have apparently nearly finished the work on the 22nd floor, and are now mounting the white backing boards (on top of the sealed USG Securock) in preparation for texturing the 21st floor:

 

ABI1NqT.jpg

 

Here's a closeup of the upper façade plus the apparently-completed work on one of the pilasters around the 17th/18th floors:

 

QWIYtU0.jpg

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Back on topic, things are starting to look really good at the top now.  They have apparently nearly finished the work on the 22nd floor, and are now mounting the white backing boards (on top of the sealed USG Securock) in preparation for texturing the 21st floor:

 

Sounds like you know something about construction. Can you describe this process, i.e. what are the different layers?

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Sounds like you know something about construction. Can you describe this process, i.e. what are the different layers?

 

I don't know much about construction, but I can explain what I have learned from watching various buildings go up.  They're taking a similar approach on the lower floors of SkyHouse.

First, there are two options.  Either they will paint the existing wall (brick or whatever) with the turquoise sealant, or they will attach a metal structure, put green USG Securock gypsum boards on that, and then paint that with the turquoise sealant.

Then, they cut the white façade substrate material to shape (I don't know what it's made of), spread a dark gray adhesive on the back with a trowel, and stick it to the turquoise sealant.  This acts as the fake stone and is shaped to provide all the relief that they want.

Next, they put dark gray texturing on top to smooth everything out.  I don't know if this is the same stuff they use to adhere it on the back.

Finally, they paint it the color they want.

Back to the progress, they have done a lot of work this week.  This morning they finished putting scaffolding on the southeast wall of the penthouse.  Hopefully this means they will refurbish it, because it's definitely showing its 85 years of age.  Also, they have almost finished covering the turquoise with the white façade substrate on the southeast side:

bzGP1tL.jpg

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Does anyone know the plan for the building next door? I'm assuming additional rooms but not sure what it will look like. They recently started removing windows:

 

687504ad-1ced-40a6-9a5f-b2468f108bbe_zps

 

A large portion of it looks like it will be taken up by the stairwell that they are building in top of it, presuming it keeps going straight down.

 

This is a really cool project.

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They've made a little progress on the façade in the last couple weeks, with the most visible progress being today.  They've now added relief to the pilasters on the ends and have mostly reinforced the attachment of the white backing boards. Hopefully this means they'll be putting the gray texturing over most of it soon. Also they've put a bunch of boards for platforms on the scaffolding around the mechanical penthouse.

Ttj5MM5l.jpg

d2Rgb29l.jpg

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It's been a week and a half since my last update, so I thought I'd let you guys know what's going on today.

You can click on any of the images for high resolution versions.

Earlier this week, they put a bunch of filler over the cracks in the penthouse, and then painted the whole thing with the turquoise sealant. Now they are putting the white panels on it to make for a new façade. I was wondering if they'd do that; now I wonder if they'll also do the windows:

RhU3ZZNl.jpg

The last few days, they have been adding a lot more relief to the main façade (by the outer pairs of windows, from the 15th floor down) to make it more interesting:

zF8geOul.jpg

Also this week, they have made a lot more progress in putting the gray texturing on the main façade on the upper floors (17 through 19):

rEQ6cjxl.jpg

Finally, today it looks like they are actually starting to take down the top of one of the lifts. I wonder if as they finish it from the top down, they'll gradually remove them?

4AIUv9Hl.jpg

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I'm interested in the renderings, it looks like they are actually developing the first tendering that has the buildings upper addition (top 8 floors) in a slightly different stone work design than the bottom. Also, I hope they still plan adding the rooftop detail that makes the design truly cone together. From some of the pictures above it looks like they finished it with no detail - so I'm waiting and hoping they redo the top.

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Some of you have asked me about updates on this, but I haven't posted anything in almost 4 weeks because there's been very little to report on. I don't know if it was because of the Christmas and New Year holidays or the cold weather or if they were working mostly inside, but I've seen little change to the exterior.

The biggest things are they have added some more white panels to the penthouse, and they have started making some more interesting relief between the 21st and 22nd floors. First they welded some metal bars at about a 45 degree angle, then they put flat paneling on it, and then they put the curved pieces to be more attractive. Finally they added boxes to the bottom of it yesterday, and then covered it with gray texturing today. They also cut down the left lift a little to make room for the relief (the right lift is still the height from the last shortening, so they have a gap in the relief for now). Below is a photo showing all of this, and you can click it for a bigger view:

CFrfei5l.jpg

I've also noticed they've been doing work on the inside, where some floors have insulation in the interior walls, some have drywall up, and some they are doing the mudding on the drywall, but it's hard to see from my angle.

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Pearl Hospitality has picked the chef for the hotel's restaurant. I'm excited because it is someone local that also has experience at Per Se and has been involved with the Clumsy Butcher group. Hope this works out because Downtown could use a flagship fine dining restaurant.

 

http://blog.chron.com/foodchronicles/2014/01/erin-smith-tapped-as-executive-chef-of-houstons-new-jw-marriott/

 

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Interesting to see the detail changes from the earlier renderings a few pages back.  They've added overhangs by the entrances and accent lights, but eliminated the red canopies.  Sadly, they also seem to have eliminated the large clock that stuck out over the Main/Rusk corner.  I was looking forward to seeing that replaced, if for no other reason than historical accuracy.  All that said, still a massive improvement overall.

 

 

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Interesting to see the detail changes from the earlier renderings a few pages back. They've added overhangs by the entrances and accent lights, but eliminated the red canopies. Sadly, they also seem to have eliminated the large clock that stuck out over the Main/Rusk corner. I was looking forward to seeing that replaced, if for no other reason than historical accuracy. All that said, still a massive improvement overall.

Lower cornices also a bit less detailed. Not bad though.

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Lower cornices also a bit less detailed. Not bad though.

 

Top detail has been eliminated completely. I wonder if this went over-budget and they had to cut costs.

 

This is just not as nice or historically accurate to me. Shame. This went from a 10 of 10, to a 8 to me.

 

Also, Does anyone know what they are doing to the side building that they gutted?

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Top detail has been eliminated completely. I wonder if this went over-budget and they had to cut costs.

This is just not as nice or historically accurate to me. Shame. This went from a 10 of 10, to a 8 to me.

Also, Does anyone know what they are doing to the side building that they gutted?

Considering the way things usually go, we're lucky to even have cornices. My letdown was when it was clear that none of the masonry/stonework would be actual masonry/stonework, since the original was ruined. Still a nice project though.

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Also, Does anyone know what they are doing to the side building that they gutted?

 

Looks like they have installed a stairwell down through that narrow other building, The constructed an all new steel frame for it to the top of the main building that they have recently enclosed. 

 

I was hopeful that they would use the Battelstein's building next door on Main, but I have not seen any activity in there despite their construction fencing covering over the front entrance. . 

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I thought you guys would be interested in another update.  As always, click any of the photos for a higher-resolution view.

 

These guys have been making a lot of progress texturing and painting the façade this week:

 

Oe0U5brl.jpg

 

Here's what it looks like right now.  They've added more paint to the upper floors, along with some more relief and texture between the 20th and 21st floors:

 

7As6rsMl.jpg

 

However, I'm a bit concerned with how "convincing" the fake stone is.  Under the right (wrong?) light, you can see the imperfections in the finish, making the various bumps and stuff in the fake stone very visible:

 

876mwyXl.jpg

 

Also I took a photo from above, so you can see what the top looks like, plus the other sides of the penthouse:

 

OH4eI7Vl.jpg

 

In other news, I also noticed Battlestein's department store next door has gained some crude new graffiti on the top floor windows. :(

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  • Highrise Tower changed the title to JW Marriott Hotel Downtown

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