Dominax

The Bank Of The Southwest Tower

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I always liked the winning design, but I have to admit that the runner up might well have aged better and not looked so obviously mid-1980s.

The winning design rocked!

bankofsw.gif

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I found renderings of a different design for this tower.

Here was KPF's idea:

HoustonUnbuiltTowers-1-2.jpg

banksw.gif

Edited by Urbannizer
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Six, additional design proposals for the Bank of the Southwest Tower! By Helmut Jahn.

5027738247_8c30f7b5e0_b.jpg

Edited by Urbannizer
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I prefer SOM's version... and yes I have the book at home... Ill post the ISBN.

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this would have been an amazing building in Houston. I really like the look of it. I think they style of it would have fit in perfectly in the downtown core. Too bad...!

this building was actually a serious proposal until about 1990. Didn't go through because of the oil bust.

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Wondering why Block 265 is at Dallas & Bagby but the rendering posted by Urbanizer shows it a block south of Pennzoil...

Because the Block 265 tower was a different project.

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Never seen this rendering ....BOTSW Tower with Downtown skyline.

BSW-Houston-1982PRINT_large.jpg

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I suspect it's not just the 80s economic climate that did this one in but also anti-rail politicians like Tom DeLay and John Culberson.  Transit infrastructure for a sprawling region like Houston's must be commensurately available, in particular, for a city center to thrive.  Once build-out of an efficient light rail + commuter rail system happens, thoughts of locating downtown - for corporate bases as well as residents - becomes less & less ominous.  Ever-increasing vehicle traffic stifles the region in so many aspects.  Conservative, anti-rail politicians & their adherents insidiously uphold the initial costs while refusing to see the absolute necessity for rail years & decades out.  Ironically, these same folks cannot understand that the longer Houston goes without a rail network the higher the probability the region falls out of favor in economic & population trend growth.

 

Local leaders must lead stronger.  Keep momentum for light rail strong, build commuter rail to/from the suburbs and IAH/HOU, and build a downtown "central station" transit mall to make seamless transfers between bus, light rail, and commuter rail. 

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I suspect it's not just the 80s economic climate that did this one in but also anti-rail politicians like Tom DeLay and John Culberson.

Yeah, except Culberson was a few decades away from holding office and DeLay was beginning his career. To blame something from the mid-80s on lack of rail, much less politicians from years later, is laughable.

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The biggest What IF in HTown History! I try so Hard to get over the fact that it wasn't to be in DT HTown. I think it is, undoubtedly the most remarkable supertall slated for Houston. I was moved away from Houston in 1980 to a small rural community. ( the why isn't important ) thank god my parents continued to watch channel 13 news. My view of Htown's boom was through their lens. I tracked this via Franklins library. So sad it wasn't to be. And yes, like earlier posters, I wonder if the ship has sailed OR if we could revamp the design and have it built when space will allow.

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It's a beautiful tower, but I think a new design is what is needed for the next supertall.  I believe we can do much better, the only thing to keep is the height (keep it around 1400 feet).

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Now you are just being a sadist. How many times must you rip the bandaid off this collective wound?! LoL. Fine fine. In my alternate fantasy reality, this tower exists along with like, 10 others that should have, but never happened.

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Found a daytime rendering I don't recall ever seeing before. 

Wonder this block has remained a surface lot after all these years? The site (parking lot behind 1 Shell) seems perfect for a tower or some form of development. Would be in the middle of the tunnel loop too.

82-Murphy_Jahn-BSWT-1PRINT_medium.jpg?v=

Edited by tigereye
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Is been a million years since it was proposed and yet this building would still look awesome if built today. 

 

What are the other towers in this rendering? 

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13 hours ago, HoustonIsHome said:

Is been a million years since it was proposed and yet this building would still look awesome if built today. 

 

What are the other towers in this rendering? 

All existing buildings. Center Point Energy didn't get it's "top hat" until the 90's. Tenneco, Pennzoil, Wells Fargo, Chase, 1 & 2 Shell Plaza. 

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I remember when this Helmut Jahn building was proposed. It was during the time period construction of the two supertalls plus several others. The effect was electrifying. 

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Found the filing for this one's height in the 1982 FAA archives. 

https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=247374&row=4

 

Off topic: That FAA database is fantastic for tracking down heights for a number of older unbuilt proposals that I had previously created for Emporis with the help of the Post's archives over the past decade, but it also raises more questions on some things. For example: Based on the coordinates tied to this proposal from the same year, there once was a 910 foot, 64 story tower planned for East Downtown at McKinney at Ennis, near a segment of the current MetroRail Purple Line that runs parallel to a section of the Columbia Tap Trail. Can't recall digging up anything on that via the Post previously... anyone?

 

 

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On 8/13/2014 at 3:29 AM, democide said:

It's a beautiful tower, but I think a new design is what is needed for the next supertall.  I believe we can do much better, the only thing to keep is the height (keep it around 1400 feet).

 

Kohn Pederson Fox now has a slicker sleeker updated take on the same idea completed in Shenzhen last year:  600 meters even though the spire wasn't built  (so 230 meters higher than BOTSW's roof)

43cea34eacd23f8369a865fae2fbcba3.jpg

b57f9a6195557e4cf5103479c9b7548f.jpg

Edited by strickn
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On 1/14/2017 at 7:09 PM, Montrose1100 said:

I stumbled upon this on Tumblr. Inspiration from the British Expo in Belgium (1958)?2n15bhi.jpg

 

As far as I can figure, that pavilion was itself just a reference to the Church of Saint Mary in Sompting, Sussex, England.  The name for that kind of roof geometry is "Rhenish helm"

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11 hours ago, ChannelTwoNews said:

Found the filing for this one's height in the 1982 FAA archives. 

https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/searchAction.jsp?action=displayOECase&oeCaseID=247374&row=4

 

Off topic: That FAA database is fantastic for tracking down heights for a number of older unbuilt proposals that I had previously created for Emporis with the help of the Post's archives over the past decade, but it also raises more questions on some things. For example: Based on the coordinates tied to this proposal from the same year, there once was a 910 foot, 64 story tower planned for East Downtown at McKinney at Ennis, near a segment of the current MetroRail Purple Line that runs parallel to a section of the Columbia Tap Trail. Can't recall digging up anything on that via the Post previously... anyone?

 

 

That's fascinating, although I find it hard to believe there was ever a serious proposal for that location.  The first unbuilt one that springs to mind for that location is the Campeau Tower, but that would have been in south downtown. 

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While visiting the Windy City this weekend, I’ve been reading articles on proposed developments in the Chicago area. The tower in the article below is not going anywhere, but I was struck by the presentation for getting financing:

 

https://chicago.curbed.com/2016/6/3/11852370/chicago-architecture-spire-concept-gensler-gateway-tower

 

I was stunned to learn that the Empire State Building’s observatory pulls in more revenue than all of its tenants *combined*. 

 

Now, I don’t think a building with an observatory in Houston will pull in nearly as much revenue as one in New York or Chicago. However, this makes me wonder if a supertall could be feasibly financed with the prospect that an observatory would bring in a significant portion of revenue to make the extra height worth it.

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On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 9:49 AM, houstontexasjack said:

However, this makes me wonder if a supertall could be feasibly financed with the prospect that an observatory would bring in a significant portion of revenue to make the extra height worth it.

That's an interesting idea. Toronto's CN Tower comes to mind, and people willingly pay the fee for the experience of soaring to that incredible height (it also has a little surprise for first-timers! I won't spoil the surprise for those who haven't yet been.) The St. Louis Arch isn't especially tall but the experience of riding to the top is so singular that people stand in line.
But I think supertall is the key. The observation deck at Chase Morgan in Houston is 65 stories high, same as the Rainbow Room in NYC but considerably less popular, even though it was free. There are many lessons to be learned from NYC, but in some instances attractions are unique and cannot be duplicated. 
The question is: How tall is tall enough? At what point would people be willing to spend money for the experience?

Edited by dbigtex56
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2 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

That's an interesting idea. Toronto's CN Tower comes to mind, and people willingly pay the fee for the experience of soaring to that incredible height (it also has a little surprise for first-timers! I won't spoil the surprise for those who haven't yet been.) The St. Louis Arch isn't especially tall but the experience of riding to the top is so singular that people stand in line.
But I think supertall is the key. The observation deck at Chase Morgan in Houston is 65 stories high, same as the Rainbow Room in NYC but considerably less popular, even though it was free. There are many lessons to be learned from NYC, but in some instances attractions are unique and cannot be duplicated. 
The question is: How tall is tall enough? At what point would people be willing to spend money for the experience?

I think both height and overall tourist numbers to Houston would be a factor.  I suspect you'd need to be at least a couple hundred feet above the Chase Tower's roof to have a very desirable observation deck--for that feeling of being "above it all."  Additionally, it'd be helpful to have some museum exhibits (similar to One World Observatory or Top of the Hub in Boston) that folks could look through as part of the observation deck experience.  I think one might make the observation deck the home to a lot of the proposed exhibits for the Nau Cultural Center.

 

I don't think New York or Chicago would be the best comparisons for the numbers Houston's tower might generate, but the Gateway Arch as well as Top of the Hub at the Prudential Building in Boston and the observation deck at the Columbia Center in Seattle might offer reasonable comparisons for the number of visitors a Houston supertall with an observation deck might expect.  Of course, with the Gateway Arch--as well as Seattle's other more famous observation deck at the Space Needle--visitor numbers may be boosted when the tower becomes a site to visit in-and-of-itself.

 

According to St. Louis' recent figures, the Gateway Arch sees about 2.6 Million visitors annually, but does not specify how many go to the top.  Fares to the top are presently $13.00 for adults:

 

https://www.gatewayarch.com/plan-your-visit/

 

Even if a Houston observation deck were more of a regional attraction, I don't think it'd be unreasonable to think it could garner one million visitors a year at, say, $15.00 per visitor, given that there are not other observation decks to compete against. For a supertall with 20,000 square foot floor plates, you're looking at the potential equivalent of 15-20 floors of leasable space in revenue.  I think it helps close the gap for a sufficiently motivated developer.

 

 

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I think it is crazy that we don't have a super tall.  We have been stuck with a 75 story as the tallest since 1983.  That's crazy.

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20 hours ago, Dakota79 said:

I think it is crazy that we don't have a super tall.  We have been stuck with a 75 story as the tallest since 1983.  That's crazy.

 

It would be moderately crazy if we didn't have any supertalls.  But we have two.

Edited by Houston19514
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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

It would be moderately crazy if we didn't have any supertalls.  But we have two.

According to Skyscraper Dictionary a supertall is "a skyscraper that is at least 300 meters or 1,000 feet tall".
JP Morgan Chase Tower is described as being 974' or 1002', depending on the source, so it might qualify. What other building did you have in mind?

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5 hours ago, dbigtex56 said:

According to Skyscraper Dictionary a supertall is "a skyscraper that is at least 300 meters or 1,000 feet tall".
JP Morgan Chase Tower is described as being 974' or 1002', depending on the source, so it might qualify. What other building did you have in mind?

Thank you.  I'm sure @Houston19514 knew exactly what I meant.  Maybe in Beaumont TCB tower would be considered super tall. We haven't had a signature high rise since the 80's, and certainly no super tall like Chicago is getting.

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The widely accepted international definition of super tall is 300 meters.  Both Chase and Wells Fargo exceed 300 meters.  http://www.ctbuh.org/HighRiseInfo/TallestDatabase/Criteria/tabid/446/language/en-GB/Default.aspx.

 

https://www.archdaily.com/780348/the-world-now-has-100-supertall-buildings

 

 

Edited by Houston19514
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Does anyone know the ownership history for block 142?  It'd be interesting if someone like Nancy Sarnoff could find out what the owner's intentions are, if they've had any inquiries from developers, or if they simply see the future of such prime real estate as a parking lot.

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707 MCKINNEY ST aka Block 142 Houston Inc. filed as a Foreign For-Profit Corporation in the State of Texas on Tuesday, May 25, 1999 according to public records filed with Texas Secretary of State. A corporate filing is called a foreign filing when an existing corporate entity files in a state other than the state they originally filed in. This does not necessarily mean that they are from outside the United States.


Owner Name & Mailing Address:
BLOCK 142 HOUSTON LP
455 N CITYFRONT PLAZA DR STE 2400
CHICAGO IL 60611-5518

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