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ricco67

Sheraton going Buh-bye!

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according to swamplot, it seems like the sheraton is going to be leveled, but they are going to retain the underground parking.

I can't help but wonder how in the world THAT is going to happen.

Now the thing is how to feel about it: On one hand, I'm bummed, because this could have been a relatively easy way to add more hotel space here and we are getting ANOTHER empty lot but, at the same time, I'm glad to see this eyesore go away.

Take those pictures while you still can kids!

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Looks like the swimming pool has been removed, probably been gone for a while. Can't blame them, can only imagine what a pool on the roof of an empty bldg. in rainy Houston would do. Recipe for disaster.

Those '60's pics of the hotel were cool to see on Swamplot. Can only wonder what's left inside. Empty?

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Would be nice to see something new come in, but you gotta love how they word that press release. Better views of downtown for Total Plaza!

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according to swamplot, it seems like the sheraton is going to be leveled, but they are going to retain the underground parking.

I can't help but wonder how in the world THAT is going to happen.

The parking garage stays. The rest of the building is disassembled one floor at a time over the course of about a year.

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My understanding was that it would be demo'd and then the underground garage would be reconstructed in the aftermath. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Why would demolition be a year-long process, then?

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Looks like the swimming pool has been removed, probably been gone for a while. Can't blame them, can only imagine what a pool on the roof of an empty bldg. in rainy Houston would do. Recipe for disaster.

Those '60's pics of the hotel were cool to see on Swamplot. Can only wonder what's left inside. Empty?

Swamplot lifted those 60s pics from ones I posted on HAIF from a Sheraton brochure. Credit given where credit due. -_-

I'm sorry to see this be demolished. It was always my favorite 1960s skyscraper. I was able to do unofficial urban exploring through the interior a couple of times before it was gutted, which was fun.

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Swamplot lifted those 60s pics from ones I posted on HAIF from a Sheraton brochure. Credit given where credit due. -_-

I'm sorry to see this be demolished. It was always my favorite 1960s skyscraper. I was able to do unofficial urban exploring through the interior a couple of times before it was gutted, which was fun.

well, Thanks go to you! then...

BTW - 1st architectural guide says it was built in 1962 by Kenneth Bentsen, Quin & Christiansen (Chicago).

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TheNiche, what's up with you valuing old building over old people? :unsure:;)

Re-posted from Swamplot:

When people become old, decrepit and a public health nuisance, we pay an arm and a leg to preserve their miserable existence…preferably out-of-sight, maintained as rapidly-depreciating societal inventory on a shelf somewhere, for all intents and purposes.

When buildings become old, decrepit and a public health nuisance, we pursue condemnation.

One of these approaches or the other need to change.

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well, Thanks go to you! then...

BTW - 1st architectural guide says it was built in 1962 by Kenneth Bentsen, Quin & Christiansen (Chicago).

You know, as much as I've always loved this building, it has to be admitted that re-development was going to be tough. The tower section only covers a quarter of a block, so the floorplate is too narrow to do much with. Also, oddly the lower floors that were offices have higher ceilings than in the upper hotel section.

At one point I got hold of the redevelopment renderings after the building had been acquired by the Hyatt across the street. There would have been a skybridge connection to the Hyatt, and the front of the Sheraton would have had what looked like a decorative steel "spine" running up the Polk facade on the left side.

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brookfield purchasing the property means:

they got a good deal?

they acquire more parking and space for future development?

will they now ask more for the office space in "Total Plaza" with a better view?

wasn't the property ready for redevelopment?

anyone reading between the lines and want to share?

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I'm trying to imagine the underground parking being retained without the structure on top of it. Seems a bit odd, but what do I know.

If I had to guess, I would think that building a new attached parking structure to Total Plaza might bring them higher rents.

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If I had to guess, I would think that building a new attached parking structure to Total Plaza might bring them higher rents.

You're probably right, but the problem is getting financing for projects like this. The feds handed the banks billions of dollars with the instructions, "Lend these to businesses that want to build stuff." The banks said, "Thank you" and then stuffed all the money in their mattresses, used it to pay back bailout money, and gave the CEOs who ran them into the ground "bonuses" for jobs well done.

Doing the garage only is a way to get the project started without putting too much money in jeopardy; possibly little enough that a bank will actually help out.

It's all baby steps these days.

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Sheraton-Lincoln3a.jpg

('56 Cadillac, Renault Dauphine, '60 Dodge, '56 Oldsmobile....)

I was staying in the Sheraton August 1983, just as Hurricane Alicia hit downtown Houston. HL&P employees weren't permitted to go home as we were expected to work even during the height of the storm. A fellow employee staying at the Sheraton reported that his room's window blew out.

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Just heard that there were reports of falling glass from this building. Today maybe? Apparently glass has fallen from this building several times before in the last few months.

I was walking by there today before I heard this info and did several glass panes missing.

Is it demolition activities that caused this? Or the wind? I could believe the wind was at least a factor because I also saw small-ish tree a 2 blocks away that was snapped at the trunk.

Be careful out there.

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In the past parts of the facade have fallen off as well. At one point there was a covered walkway on the Louisiana side to protect pedestrians while they shored it up.

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Looks like construction just got started, so I thought I'd share some construction porn:

P1000106.jpg

I think this zoom ain't too shabby. Is that a guy hanging out the window?

P1000104.jpg

P1000111.jpg

P1000110.jpg

P1000109.jpg

P1000108.jpg

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I'll miss this building.

Why?

I'm assuming they're recycling the materials?

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Why?

I'm assuming they're recycling the materials?

With the way they're doing the demo, I wouldn't be surprised if they are. Most of the exterior windows would probably have to be melted down, though.

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Why?

In studying the history of politics or religion, we emphasize the shepherd rather than the sheep. The effects are studied relative to the causes. This is not so in architectural history, where in too many cases, we ascribe the property of "historical" to something that isn't. An old but otherwise run-of-the-mill bungalow or a brick warehouse are perceived by many as important and as worthy of historical preservation even if there was absolutely nothing unique about them in the context of their times. I posit that a "historical" structure is not designated as such merely on account of age, but primarily on the basis of occurrences there.

For instance, the Texas School Book Depository Building in Dallas, from which Oswald shot JFK...that's historic. Not because it is old, but because it was there and was elemental in the assassination. ...even if accidentally so. It should be preserved.

I stated that I will miss this building, not that I want it preserved. The reason is personal. It always seemed to crop up somehow in a project that I was working on, was frequently in the background (and a few times in the foreground) of my skyline photos, and was a dull contrast to an otherwise shiny and clean cityscape. It seemed an exception to most every rule and always had to be explained around. It's an oddball. I've driven past it daily for the better part of eight years, and I'm just a little sentimental is all. It seems like there will be a hole there, in the skyline, for a long time.

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With the way they're doing the demo, I wouldn't be surprised if they are. Most of the exterior windows would probably have to be melted down, though.

Is recycling the material like scrap metal, where there's a profit in it, or is simply for "green" reasons?

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Is recycling the material like scrap metal, where there's a profit in it, or is simply for "green" reasons?

Every little bit the recycle is that much less they have to pay to haul off to the landfillis is basically money in their pockets. metal, steel, glass, and concrete can not only be recycled, but can give a decent amount of cash for it.

People or companies aren't green unless there is something to be gained by it.

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I'll miss this building.

I will too. Bland boxes that were once considered modern are semi-historic and early minimalism.

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I'll miss this building.

Yeah, me too. This has always been one of favorite buildings downtown, to the point of being obsessional about it. More than just the mid-century style, the proportions are fantastic. It must have seemed so elegant and futuristic when it was new. When it was boarded up, but before it was gutted, I was even able to break in a couple of times to do some urban exploring. :ph34r:

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The windows are almost all taken out now, exposing the safety orange columns. A huge hole is now where the black tar paper was exposed in the above photos. I'll upload my pics at a later date.

Too bad they couldn't have built a pkg garage across the street to abut the firewall of the Wedge tower.

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This site will most likely be the site of another skyscraper someday. They're putting in a underground parking garage, we know. But if this is going to be a high rise again some day, what is the most likely scenario to play out?:

1. Build the garage with no plans for the future. In the future, destroy the garage and build a skyscraper.

2. Build the garage with the necessary elements that a future skyscraper would need underground. In the future, build they scraper.

If the second is true, what elements would have to be included in the design of the garage? Would we be able to notice from aerial photos others might take from neighboring buildings?

related article:

http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-10-11-the-wrecking-ball-sets-up-downtown-houstons-future-and-the-top-ranked-real-estate-investment-you-never-thought-of/

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This site will most likely be the site of another skyscraper someday. They're putting in a underground parking garage, we know. But if this is going to be a high rise again some day, what is the most likely scenario to play out?:

1. Build the garage with no plans for the future. In the future, destroy the garage and build a skyscraper.

2. Build the garage with the necessary elements that a future skyscraper would need underground. In the future, build they scraper.

If the second is true, what elements would have to be included in the design of the garage? Would we be able to notice from aerial photos others might take from neighboring buildings?

related article:

http://culturemap.com/newsdetail/01-10-11-the-wrecking-ball-sets-up-downtown-houstons-future-and-the-top-ranked-real-estate-investment-you-never-thought-of/

I'd be willing to bet that no skyscraper is built here for decades, so there would be no point in designing a garage around a potential future building design.

Given the dominance of parking, both surface lot and in garages, in the southern part of downtown, I think that the city should designate the area as the "Parking District". Then they could disseminate lots of bogus statistics, like "This is the largest designated parking district in the United States," or "The Parking District has more parking places than any other American city except Los Angeles." They could even erect special Parking District street signs with illustrations of local car parks, so tourists would know where they were.

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I'd be willing to bet that no skyscraper is built here for decades, so there would be no point in designing a garage around a potential future building design.

EDIT: nm, I thought they were building an underground parking garage, but I just found out there already is one and they're preserving it. my bad

Edited by lockmat

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I'd be willing to bet that no skyscraper is built here for decades, so there would be no point in designing a garage around a potential future building design.

Given the dominance of parking, both surface lot and in garages, in the southern part of downtown, I think that the city should designate the area as the "Parking District". Then they could disseminate lots of bogus statistics, like "This is the largest designated parking district in the United States," or "The Parking District has more parking places than any other American city except Los Angeles." They could even erect special Parking District street signs with illustrations of local car parks, so tourists would know where they were.

Hahahahaha The Parking District idea, even though its ridiculous, I can actually see. But I beg to differ on the idea that no skyscrapers would be built here for decades. If the right types of development are orchestrated around the city, enough to shift population and business to Houston, more companies would be willing to lease office space in the CBD. But it will take some years, but decades, as in 40+ years, I dont think so. Not if the right people step up to change the way the city if perceived across the country and the world.

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Hahahahaha The Parking District idea, even though its ridiculous, I can actually see. But I beg to differ on the idea that no skyscrapers would be built here for decades. If the right types of development are orchestrated around the city, enough to shift population and business to Houston, more companies would be willing to lease office space in the CBD. But it will take some years, but decades, as in 40+ years, I dont think so. Not if the right people step up to change the way the city if perceived across the country and the world.

I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with the way that Houston is perceived across the country, but I do think that decades is the right time span to look for development of a lot of space downtown. Many blocks used for street parking have already been vacant for decades. The Sheraton itself has been empty for almost a quarter century.

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Maybe we should start identifying downtown eye sores and START SPECULATING!!! ;)

"We can now raise rents there because 1201 Louisiana has a view now," Paul Layne, an executive with Brookfield, told an industry group earlier this week.

He also said Brookfield is working with the city on getting incentives to tear down and redevelop other abandoned eyesores downtown.

He was light on specifics, but in a follow up interview he said that financial assistance from the city would be welcome.

"We're hoping this will part of the first of a number of opportunities that the city would have to rid itself of derelict properties," he said.

While the city hasn't made any commitments yet, the discussions are ongoing, said Andy Icken, the city's chief development officer.

"We're exploring ideas of what's been done in other cities, but we don't have a plan yet," Icken said.

http://blogs.chron.com/primeproperty/2011/01/demolition_of_downtown_eyesore.html

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Was this building ever considered for residential conversion? It seems the narrow floorplates and operable windows would have made it a good apartment/condo tower (especially if there was attached parking).

Edited by dfwcre8tive

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Was this building ever considered for residential conversion? It seems the narrow floorplates and operable windows would have made it a good apartment/condo tower (especially if there was attached parking).

I believe the vast majority of the building had low ceilings.

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The building was re-planned as a hotel on a few occasions, but never as condos as far as I'm aware. The lower ceilings were in the hotel section on the upper floors. The lower floors were offices and had higher ceilings.

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The building was re-planned as a hotel on a few occasions, but never as condos as far as I'm aware. The lower ceilings were in the hotel section on the upper floors. The lower floors were offices and had higher ceilings.

Interesting. I didn't know about the different ceiling heights, but now looking at the photo the difference is clear. Low ceiling heights are one issue with converting the Dallas Statler-Hilton into apartments/condos.But not everyone wants/needs a very high ceiling.

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They have a crane up now and most all of the windows are out. The lower concrete floors are exposed through the hole they punched in it to install the tower crane.

It will be interesting to see how fast it comes down.

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They have a crane up now and most all of the windows are out. The lower concrete floors are exposed through the hole they punched in it to install the tower crane.

It will be interesting to see how fast it comes down.

I hope very fast... it is causing a nightmare on Louisiana street (one of the main roads in downtown)

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Apologies for the size, here are a couple of shots from an hour or so ago. Looks like all of the glass is out.

2ez42kp.jpg15ib58p.jpg

Edited by Nate99

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looks like they have removed the top two floors and the swimming pool area in the last two weeks.

I'll snap a few pics when I go in to work tomorrow

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