Jump to content

Subdude

Recommended Posts

uh... what in the Universe is that?

That is the new Omni convention hotel in Dallas. It is built right next to the convention center. Imagine how ridiculous that must have looked in the early renderings to some people. But now most people in Dallas brag about their new eye candy. It really is a spectacular sight when you see it in person. I noticed that Omni is one of the companies interested in building the new convention center hotel in Houston. I wouldn't mind something like the Dallas Omni in our neck of the woods at all. I would certainly trade our Embassy Suites for it anytime.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopefully never. I cannot understand why Dallas wants to make its downtown look like an indian casino.

Yes and why would Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and other 24 Hour cities want to look like an Indian casino? It's a joke that the Continental building lights shut off right before 10pm. There is nothing wrong with color. Our skyline would look like a billion bucks with a couple spot lights. Imagine if all the suttle lights we actually have were LED and changed colors at a slow rate. Even that would make a world of difference. I agree the tubing lights in Dallas look a bit last century, but they're way ahead as far lighting is.

Edit: The Williams Tower alone puts our Downtown lighting to shame. The America Tower looks great even though it just has lights illuminating the flag pole. Where I live, from the ground floor, you can't see the Williams' tower, but the spot light indicates where it is, and even the occasional glow looks more exciting then the minimal lights downtown.

Edited by Montrose1100
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stayed at the Omni Hotel-Dallas Convention Center over New Year's. It was the team hotel for the Houston Cougars. The rooms were really nice but the bathrooms were outrageously over the top. At night, they used the LEED light display to spell out UH, Coogs, etc...as well as some generic New Year's Eve stuff. My biggest fear though was that the lights would impede a good night's sleep, but the blackout curtains worked like a charm.

I'd love to see an Omni or a Westin come downtown to the GRB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes and why would Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and other 24 Hour cities want to look like an Indian casino?

Not completely certain about Hong Kong or Paris, but neither New York or London skylines look anything like an Indian casino, nor do they aspire to. You seem to be confusing skyline lighting with the sort of spectacular lighting used in Times Square and Picadilly Circus (in both cases that sort of spectacular lighting is limited to those areas).

I stayed at the Omni Hotel-Dallas Convention Center over New Year's. It was the team hotel for the Houston Cougars. The rooms were really nice but the bathrooms were outrageously over the top. At night, they used the LEED light display to spell out UH, Coogs, etc...as well as some generic New Year's Eve stuff. My biggest fear though was that the lights would impede a good night's sleep, but the blackout curtains worked like a charm.

I'd love to see an Omni or a Westin come downtown to the GRB.

Agreed. Or a Marriott Marquis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not completely certain about Hong Kong or Paris, but neither New York or London skylines look anything like an Indian casino, nor do they aspire to. You seem to be confusing skyline lighting with the sort of spectacular lighting used in Times Square and Picadilly Circus (in both cases that sort of spectacular lighting is limited to those areas).

Agreed. Or a Marriott Marquis

Hong Kong was my solid example lol. New York isn't Neoned out at all, it was more about the colored lights on the Empire State Building, as well as the spot lights on CITI tower. Paris' Eiffel Tower has a sparkling light show, and La Tour Montropannase (sp?) Has minimal lighting. San Francisco had cheezy lighting in the 80's, Interview with a Vampire has a good opening shot of it.

Edited by Montrose1100
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope they build something like this.

Omni-Dallas-Front.jpg

Another good example would be Shinjuku in Tokyo. If it's an entire district, and it's an organic and natural part of a city, these lights can work. Otherwise, not really.

Edited by woolie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

This is what Houston is up against - and these are only the new ones in Texas.

New Austin JW Marriott, set for completion in 2015 right next to the convention center:

http://www.jwmarriottaustin.com/gallery

New Omni Ft. Worth Convention Center Hotel:

http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/fortworth.aspx

And, of course, the sparkling new Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel:

http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/DallasHotel.aspx

Houston is ready. To attract more large-scale conventions, we need more downtown hotel rooms, rather than busing folks from the Galleria, Med Ctr, Greenspoint etc. They don't have do that in other cities at 8 a.m. Why would they want to do it here?

Also, I agree. The skyline must be visible at night. As it is, it vanishes and goes unnoticed. A casino look - no. But classy architectural, ornamental lighting is essential, like every other world-class city, from London to Paris to NYC, Atlanta, L.A. and even Austin and Dallas. Houston's skyline is

award-winning; it should be seen. And if we want to attract folks to downtown at night for dining, nightlife and Discovery Green, then we need to keep the lights on - not turn them off at night. That's absurd.

It probably has to do with the sign ordinance. . . "no signage past 200 feet," or something like that.That's why it looks so boring. Unlike every other city as mentioned above, Houston has no new murals, modern advertising on buildings, or anything. The other cities celebrate advertising - and approved billboards create excitement and add to the energy of the space. Houston: "Nah, we like it boring looking."

Ever noticed how the new Embassy Suites looks nothing like its rendering and turned out like a giant cardboard refrigerator box instead? Ever noticed the white square at the top? That square was supposed to be turquoise with a cursive "E" in white, the Embassy's recognizable signature look. Not in Houston. Downtown: "no logos at the tops of buildings like every other city in America," so up went a blank white square, as plain as possible.

Come on, creatives, Let's stop making our city look as bland and dilluted as ever and let's start making our city stand out, giving visitors something to remember.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like amateur hour on Mad Men. One tacky faux Vegas butt-kissing wannabee city is enuf in Texas. I'd rather have a few people with bad taste call Houston boring looking at night than to see it's skyline ruined with a bunch of tacky blinking ads. Pass.

Embrace advertising? Is this a joke?

Edited by Mister X
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not "tacky blinking ads."

Referencing the side of a building used for an artistic mural, like most other large cities. Done in a creative way that enhances the downtown area and encourages participation, adds to the energy etc. Like NYC, L.A. and Atlanta, among many others.

The murals are all approved by the downtown authorities and add to the artistic nature, look and feel, not to mention generate revenue.

Think the arts, Nike, Houston sports teams, not Gallery Furniture.

This is no uncommon idea. Get with it. Nobody's talking about lighting up the skyline like a casino. . . quite the opposite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not "tacky blinking ads."

Referencing the side of a building used for an artistic mural, like most other large cities. Done in a creative way that enhances the downtown area and encourages participation, adds to the energy etc. Like NYC, L.A. and Atlanta, among many others.

The murals are all approved by the downtown authorities and add to the artistic nature, look and feel, not to mention generate revenue.

Think the arts, Nike, Houston sports teams, not Gallery Furniture.

This is no uncommon idea. Get with it. Nobody's talking about lighting up the skyline like a casino. . . quite the opposite.

Not going to lie, I wouldn't like to see a giant advertisement on the Chase Tower trying to get me to buy the new LeBron shoes or a pair of Calvin Klein boxers...

If we celebrated local artists that might be cool, but not Houston is not NYC or any other city and I kind of want to keep it that way and want it to find its own distinguishable identity

Edited by arrodiii
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about the issue of decorative lighting on big buildings. Frankly, that photo of the Dallas Omni makes my eyes hurt. But ... I'm not opposed to the idea of night-lighting in general.

Prior to restrictions the City of Houston imposed, we had a number of large night-lighted signs on large buildings downtown. The top of what was the Gulf building (the art-deco 1929 Chase building, not the 75-story Chase Tower) was crowned with a glowing, rotating version of Gulf's orange-disk logo, which was said to be the largest such sign in the world. Conoco's building had a rotating version of their red inverted-triangle logo, with a lighted sphere on top that glowed red or green, depending on the weather forecast. Buildings occupied by other oil companies were branded by lighted signs also (I can recall the Tenneco and old Shell buildings had their company names in neon). Among bank buildings, I recall that Bank of the Southwest had similar night-lighted branding. All of this signage was taken down because of the city ordinance. This was seen as a victory for aesthetic-minded people who wanted to keep downtown Houston from having a tacky, commercial look. I don't know whether the ordinance set limits on ornamental lighting, as opposed to explicit commericality but, perhaps it set a conservative tone.

Admittedly, there weren't any eye-catching light shows of the type that we're discussing here. But, at that time, I don't recall Dallas having much in that dept., either, except maybe for the white-glowing vertical bars that ran up the side of the then LTV (I think) Building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AGAIN, honest to God it's the water. It MUST be. TheCompSet, give it up now because it truly is hopeless. Unbelievable how your words were interpreted......... yet not surprising.

People with bad taste are always wanting to hang blinking lights on everything.

My guess is that you have a velvet painting of Jesus, Elvis and/or John Wayne hanging in the living room of your trailer.

Believe me, the only ones impressed with superficial flashy things on the sides of tall buildings are always straight from the sticks. The last thing the Houston skyline needs are a bunch of hillbilly exterior "designers" calling the shots.

If you need to go slumming for cheap sparkly things, just take a hike to Dallas - they have taken trashy lighting to a new high in low. Houstonians should try very hard not to let its skylines look like the one in Dallas. One laughing stock skyline is enuf for Texas.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about the issue of decorative lighting on big buildings. Frankly, that photo of the Dallas Omni makes my eyes hurt. But ... I'm not opposed to the idea of night-lighting in general.

Prior to restrictions the City of Houston imposed, we had a number of large night-lighted signs on large buildings downtown. The top of what was the Gulf building (the art-deco 1929 Chase building, not the 75-story Chase Tower) was crowned with a glowing, rotating version of Gulf's orange-disk logo, which was said to be the largest such sign in the world. Conoco's building had a rotating version of their red inverted-triangle logo, with a lighted sphere on top that glowed red or green, depending on the weather forecast. Buildings occupied by other oil companies were branded by lighted signs also (I can recall the Tenneco and old Shell buildings had their company names in neon). Among bank buildings, I recall that Bank of the Southwest had similar night-lighted branding. All of this signage was taken down because of the city ordinance. This was seen as a victory for aesthetic-minded people who wanted to keep downtown Houston from having a tacky, commercial look. I don't know whether the ordinance set limits on ornamental lighting, as opposed to explicit commericality but, perhaps it set a conservative tone.

Admittedly, there weren't any eye-catching light shows of the type that we're discussing here. But, at that time, I don't recall Dallas having much in that dept., either, except maybe for the white-glowing vertical bars that ran up the side of the then LTV (I think) Building.

Are you certain about that history? I thought most if not all of the downtown top-of-building signage was gone before the city ever enacted the Sign Code.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not certain about the timing and sequence of events. However, please note that I just said that there were big lighted signs prior to the ordinance, not that they all came down when it went into effect. For years before the ordinance, there had been an ongoing public discussion about whether the giant signage downtown was too ugly, too crassly commercial, or just bad for Houston's image. It's easy to imagine (tho' I admit I don't know) that some corporate execs and/or building owners saw advantages to removing the signs even w/o the ordinance.

As a side note: there were articles in the local papers when the rotating Gulf disk came down. Also, when they removed the giant letters that spelled "Tenneco" the top of that building (now called the Kinder Morgan Tower). I don't know about the former, but I think it was stated that the latter was removed explicitly because of the ordinance. Those were big letters! That building occupies a square block, and the name "Tenneco" spanned each of the four sides of the building, across the top floor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not certain about the timing and sequence of events. However, please note that I just said that there were big lighted signs prior to the ordinance, not that they all came down when it went into effect. For years before the ordinance, there had been an ongoing public discussion about whether the giant signage downtown was too ugly, too crassly commercial, or just bad for Houston's image. It's easy to imagine (tho' I admit I don't know) that some corporate execs and/or building owners saw advantages to removing the signs even w/o the ordinance.

As a side note: there were articles in the local papers when the rotating Gulf disk came down. Also, when they removed the giant letters that spelled "Tenneco" the top of that building (now called the Kinder Morgan Tower). I don't know about the former, but I think it was stated that the latter was removed explicitly because of the ordinance. Those were big letters! That building occupies a square block, and the name "Tenneco" spanned each of the four sides of the building, across the top floor.

Thanks for the clarification. But please note that you did in fact say the big lighted signs came down because of the ordinance. To quote: "All of this signage was taken down because of the city ordinance."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification. But please note that you did in fact say the big lighted signs came down because of the ordinance. To quote: "All of this signage was taken down because of the city ordinance."

Ah, I see that you are right, I did say that! Mea culpa.

If I were to try to wiggle out of this, I would amend that sentence to say "...because of the ordinance and the political pressure that led up to it." :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not certain about the timing and sequence of events. However, please note that I just said that there were big lighted signs prior to the ordinance, not that they all came down when it went into effect. For years before the ordinance, there had been an ongoing public discussion about whether the giant signage downtown was too ugly, too crassly commercial, or just bad for Houston's image. It's easy to imagine (tho' I admit I don't know) that some corporate execs and/or building owners saw advantages to removing the signs even w/o the ordinance.

As a side note: there were articles in the local papers when the rotating Gulf disk came down. Also, when they removed the giant letters that spelled "Tenneco" the top of that building (now called the Kinder Morgan Tower). I don't know about the former, but I think it was stated that the latter was removed explicitly because of the ordinance. Those were big letters! That building occupies a square block, and the name "Tenneco" spanned each of the four sides of the building, across the top floor.

I think you are incorrectly confusing the sign ordinance with the disappearance of the downtown signage. The downtown sign ordinance was enacted in 1993. It limited the height of new signs to about 42 feet. Older signs above that height were grandfathered. None were required to be removed because of the ordinance. Simply, no new signage could be erected.

Tenneco was sold to El Paso Corporation in 1996. I believe that this had far more to do with the removal of the TENNECO letters than the sign ordinance, as Tenneco no longer existed as a gas company, and no longer headquartered in Houston.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you are incorrectly confusing the sign ordinance with the disappearance of the downtown signage. The downtown sign ordinance was enacted in 1993. It limited the height of new signs to about 42 feet. Older signs above that height were grandfathered. None were required to be removed because of the ordinance. Simply, no new signage could be erected.

Tenneco was sold to El Paso Corporation in 1996. I believe that this had far more to do with the removal of the TENNECO letters than the sign ordinance, as Tenneco no longer existed as a gas company, and no longer headquartered in Houston.

1st paragraph is correct, as we had previously established. 2nd paragraph; not so much. The Tenneco sign was gone from the building long before El Paso took over the building and the gas business.

Edited by Houston19514
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Two finalists to build the new hotel have been selected. They expect to select a winner in the next couple of weeks.

http://www.bizjourna...town-hotel.html

Cool.

Two finalists are (1) Houston-based Rida Development Corp. and (2) Dallas-based TRT Holdings/Omni Hotel

Man, I'd LOVE to see all of the proposals.

Kinda funny that the top of Rida's website home page features an Omni Hotel they developed.

Looks like either way, Omni is certainly a leading contender to be the flag on our new convention hotel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool.

Two finalists are (1) Houston-based Rida Development Corp. and (2) Dallas-based TRT Holdings/Omni Hotel

Man, I'd LOVE to see all of the proposals.

Kinda funny that the top of Rida's website home page features an Omni Hotel they developed.

Looks like either way, Omni is certainly a leading contender to be the flag on our new convention hotel.

After looking at those hotels on their website, I hope they go with TRT.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There has certainly been some new projects over there, but recall this pic is from ~1985. Nearly 30 years ago. You list 8 projects that have been built. I will throw in MinuteMaid to make it 9 projects. That's 1 project every 3 years. That doesn't seem so impressive. How many new projects in the Galleria since then?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There has certainly been some new projects over there, but recall this pic is from ~1985. Nearly 30 years ago. You list 8 projects that have been built. I will throw in MinuteMaid to make it 9 projects. That's 1 project every 3 years. That doesn't seem so impressive. How many new projects in the Galleria since then?

Should probably throw in Inn at the Ballpark too.

It is not exactly fair or useful to compare one side of downtown with all of the Galleria area, but what the heck, I'll take a stab at it:

Dominion Post Oak, 1200 Post Oak, Lofts on Post Oak, Uptown Park, Villa d'Este, Montebello, Centre at Post Oak, Blvd. Place, 2200 Post Oak Blvd, 3009 Post Oak Blvd., Whiteco Residential, WaterWall Place, 2525 McCue, Manhattan, the Mark, the Mercer, 16 projects and that taps out my memory. I'll add more as they are proposed by others.

Meanwhile, to do an actual comparison of Downtown with Uptown, we would have to add at least the following to the downtown list:

Hobby Center, Wortham Theater Center, Heritage Plaza, 1500 Louisiana, 1000 Main, 717 Texas, Post Rice Apartments, Houston Ballet Center for Dance, Bayou Place, Lofts at the Ballpark, BBVA Compass Stadium, BG Group Place, new Civil Courthouse, new criminal courthouse, new jury assembly plaza, City View Lofts, Bayou Lofts, Hotel Icon, Magnolia Hotel, Alden Hotel, Club Quarters Hotel, JW Marriott Hotel, Downtown Aquarium, Courtyard/Residence Inn/Humble Tower apartments, Commerce Towers condos, Keystone Lofts, Sabine Street Lofts. I think that's another 27 projects, leaving downtown with 37 projects.

Edited by Houston19514
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have certainly been many other projects in downtown since 1985 (although most those you list aren't very vertical, and several of them are rehabs, haven't been built, or are outside of downtown). In any event, I think the size of the Galleria area is more comparable to the east side of downtown shown in the first pick of GBR being built, hence my comparison.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have certainly been many other projects in downtown since 1985 (although most those you list aren't very vertical, and several of them are rehabs, haven't been built, or are outside of downtown). In any event, I think the size of the Galleria area is more comparable to the east side of downtown shown in the first pick of GBR being built, hence my comparison.

You've added a bunch of new qualifiers. If we're leaving out projects that aren't very vertical and projects that are not completed, my Galleria area count drops to about 5 projects. (FWIW, I don't think I included any projets in either downtown or uptown that were not already under construction).

I earlier left out the Mark and the Mercer condos in uptown. So that gives us 7 projects in Uptown (excluding uncompleted projects and projects that aren't very vertical).

FWIW, the area of downtown we are discussing is approximately 200 acres (the area in the picture east of the then-existing tall buildings, plus Minutemaid and Toyota Center and the Pavilions). The Uptown District is officially 500 acres, but that area does not even include all of the listed projects or some acreage within the Galleria area.

Edited by Houston19514
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There has certainly been some new projects over there, but recall this pic is from ~1985. Nearly 30 years ago. You list 8 projects that have been built. I will throw in MinuteMaid to make it 9 projects. That's 1 project every 3 years. That doesn't seem so impressive. How many new projects in the Galleria since then?

Admittedly, there are several locations in the GRB/Discovery Green area now from which Downtown Downers could jump if they could no longer deal with the slow pace of development. They could not do that in 1985.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • The title was changed to Marriott Marquis: New GRB Convention Center Hotel And Retail

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...
×
×
  • Create New...