Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Simbha

How much does a spire cost?

Recommended Posts

Okay, the title's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I notice that Houston's skyscrapers really don't have spires or major antenna assemblies that add significant height. At least some of the tallest buildings in other cities such as NYC (Empire State, Bank of America, 4 Times Square), Chicago (Sears/Willis, John Hancock), and Atlanta (Bank of America) seem to have these.

I'm wondering why developers include spires and large antennas - and why have Houston's developers not done so. From what I can tell: Of the city's tallest buildings, only One Shell Plaza has this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One Shell Plaza has a big one.

I think most don't for the same reason I keep hearing why we have nothing over 1,000 ft.: The FAA, Hobby Airport, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One Shell Plaza has a big one.

I think most don't for the same reason I keep hearing why we have nothing over 1,000 ft.: The FAA, Hobby Airport, etc.

I've heard/read (probably on here) that the FAA/Hobby Airport thing is bunk. (Not getting on you, Golyadkin, about restating it.) Can someone verify if this is real (preferably with source) or just a myth?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Spires are indicative of the time when the skyscraper boom hit a particular city. They are prevalent in NYC and Chicago, because of course during the 30's they were in constant competition trying to have the tallest buildings, best skyscrapers, most impressive skylines, and adding spires was part of that.

No other US city had a boom like those two nor were they trying to achieve height for the sake of height like those two. Philly, Boston, Cleveland, and other old NE city.. they weren't part of this race. As their much smaller skylines would indicate, they weren't building any supertalls to put spires on.

Two of our oldest skyscrapers.. Esperson building and the Jp Morgan Chase building.. built in the late 20s, weren't part of this race either. At 35ish stories each, they had no need for adding height for the sake of height.

Houston's boom started in the 60s And while there was still egos trying to one up each other ( esp bank owned skyscapers), art deco was out, superfluous ornamentation was out. Modernism and the International style were in. You get the Exxon building, One City Center, El Paso Energy building etc. Our boom continues up to the 80's when postmodern style dictated strict modernism sucked and ornamentation and referencing other styles were okay. here you get the Bank of America Bldg, Penzoil Bldg, Heritage plaza... those are our time-appropriate "spires". We could have added spires during the 80s, like Atlanta, but we didn't.. but I'd put the likes of those 3 against their spires any day.

Most architects today aren't going to want to build a american classical skyscraper with a spire unless the client wants it. They're not going to consider adding something that superfluous, good design. You end up with crap like the Memorial Herman hospital at 10 and Gessner.

I would also say it's probably not considered very economical to developers, nor the slightest bit green, to add 5-10 stories of unusable space.

The Hobby/FAA thing is bunk and pretty silly if you think about it.. Planes taking off or landing just go to either side of downtown...they aren't that close. There is a FAA map that shows concentric rings around downtown.. the closer you are, the higher you have to be. Every local pilot is gonna have it and every Airline pilot is going to be in contact with Air Traffic Control telling them how high to be when that close in. A similar map exists for every downtown area. Hobby airport is 7-8 miles away from downtown. LaGuardia is 3 miles from Manhattan.. and they certainly don't have a FAA-directed skyscaper height cap.

PS.. Chase tower is over 1000'

PSS.. One Shell Plaza's antennae had a functional reason for being. One Shell was the tallest building built during the 70s.. its antennae serviced numerous radio and tv stations. There would be no reason for any other building to come along downtown and also add an antennae.

There would most likely not be any reason today for a spire of that magnitude to be built since the Ft Bend antennae farm exists.

Edited by Highway6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Hobby/FAA thing is bunk and pretty silly if you think about it.. Planes taking off or landing just go to either side of downtown...they aren't that close. There is a FAA map that shows concentric rings around downtown.. the closer you are, the higher you have to be. Every local pilot is gonna have it and every Airline pilot is going to be in contact with Air Traffic Control telling them how high to be when that close in. A similar map exists for every downtown area. Hobby airport is 7-8 miles away from downtown. LaGuardia is 3 miles from Manhattan.. and they certainly don't have a FAA-directed skyscaper height cap.

Not precisely. The aeronautical charts indicate the highest points downtown, at 1,049 feet, and other high points near downtown, and pilots must maintain a 1,000-foot distance from them.

It's just that downtown happens to be within the northern periphery of the portion of Hobby Airport's Class B airspace that extends down to surface level, and pilots have to obtain permission from air traffic control to enter that airspace. It's not especially complicated to get that permission, but it tends to keep amateur pilots below 2,000 feet and flying over the Heights and 5th Ward.

Check out Houston's chart on skyvector.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not precisely. The aeronautical charts indicate the highest points downtown, at 1,049 feet, and other high points near downtown, and pilots must maintain a 1,000-

I knew I didn't have it exactly right...( I knew small planes had a ceiling inaddition to the distance thing but whatever) ... the result is the same. Bldg height is not restricted by the FAA or the non- proximity to Hobby. Airlines have plenty of airspace to circumnavigate.

Do appreciate the link though.. wasn't able to come up with the right search terms to find exactly that on google.

Edited by Highway6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS.. Chase tower is over 1000'

Everything I've ever read has it at or right around 1000' tall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything I've ever read has it at or right around 1000' tall.

305m = about 1,005ft. A sign in the building says it's 1,049ft, but I think that includes the sunken lobby to the tunnel system.

I emailed Hines a few years back and they said it was a myth about the height limit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...