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Central Station - Main Street

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Went to Metro's blog and noticed they had a design competition for this station:

maindesign3.jpg

I had to leave before hearing presentations #4 and #5 - butclick here to see close-up artist renderings of all the designs, including drawings and explanations.

Then comment and vote online for your favorite design. Do you like the shape or color? Will it make your METRORail experience better? Does it represent downtown?

A jury will consider your comments when it selects the winning design.

http://blogs.ridemetro.org/blogs/write_on/archive/2012/01/25/Rail-Station-Design-Competition.aspx

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I have to say my favorite is #1, because it's glass and the design is sleek and will prove to be more timeless. That's how I view a lot of Houston architecture, people may say it's not edgy enough, but to me, Houston architecture is about being timeless and classy, and I think that's what #1 will do.

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One concern I have is, how much will cost factor in their decision? If Most people like the most expensive design, will they be able to afford to actually build it? I hope they gave them a budget before the competition.

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#1 and #5 are my favorites, but #1 is the best. However, I just have a feeling that #2 will win. In a similar fashion as the Montrose HEB 2 good designs will split the vote haha.

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Maybe someone nearby can go take pictures?! :)

Competition entries are on exhibit in the first floor lobbies of the METRO Administration Building, 1900 Main Street, and Chase Bank Building, 712 Main Street, Downtown, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Starting January 25 at 12:00 p.m. through February 10 at 5:00 p.m.)

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Definitley #1. #2 better not come close to winning, that thing is so boring lol

No kidding, not just boring though, I would say looks old (not in a good way) and run down and it hasn't even been built yet.

Edited by Nick_G

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No kidding, not just boring though, I would say looks old (not in a good way) and run down and it hasn't even been built yet.

So would that mean it's considered timeless? :P

Did you notice it was already twisted - so when a hurricane blows through - it already has it's damage built in.

Edited by Pleak
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Looking at it closer, #4's spider column support concept is pretty cool. But I still don't think that elements put's it ahead of #1.

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Looking at it closer, #4's spider column support concept is pretty cool. But I still don't think that elements put's it ahead of #1.

I'll give you the spider column support being interesting, but those muti-colored tiles? I've seen other cities try to put that sort of look up, never looks good in my opinion.

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So would that mean it's considered timeless? :P

Did you notice it was already twisted - so when a hurricane blows through - it already has it's damage built in.

Haha, that last bit made me laugh loud enough for people to look over.

Maybe that can be Houston's version of forward progressive thinking. Hurricane and flood damage from day one so you don't need to fix anything after they come through. It will make all the crooked power lines look like they are supposed to be like that.

Edited by Nick_G

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I go with #1 also. I didn't even realize that they were adding another station and I ride it twice a day. It is currently kind of a hike from Preston to Main St Sqr. so this will add convenience.

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So #1 seems to be the general consensus. Who wants to bet #1 is never picked. :D

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#1 is the only thing that stands out as being unique.

#2 looks "mailed in." They either don't care or already know they've got an in somewhere and will get the job no matter how uninspired the proposal.

#3 is just red. Other than the color, there's nothing special about. Maybe as a consolation prize it can be built out at UH's main campus.

#4 have no idea what they are trying to accomplish with this thing other than someone did a lot of coke in the 80s.

#5 is a solid second place.

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#1 is the only thing that stands out as being unique.

#2 looks "mailed in." They either don't care or already know they've got an in somewhere and will get the job no matter how uninspired the proposal.

#3 is just red. Other than the color, there's nothing special about. Maybe as a consolation prize it can be built out at UH's main campus.

#4 have no idea what they are trying to accomplish with this thing other than someone did a lot of coke in the 80s.

#5 is a solid second place.

That is a great post. I agree 100%. #1 is the definitely the best . Let's hope whoever is judging this competition goes with their heart and not the wallet.

You know, saving a buck is great but when you build things for the ages (especially public things) it should be a crime to skimp.

Yes. That goes for EVERYTHING! Save a buck anywhere you want, but NOT when it comes to things that will be there for decades and define an entire genre.

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So #1 seems to be the general consensus. Who wants to bet #1 is never picked. :D

I bet #1 gets picked, they put out a ton of renderings but then run into money problems so it is delayed. We then talk about it for 2 to 3 years and eventually they decide #2 is the only option banks will fund because it has lower initial cost. It get's put into place, it does not take off because people just forget it's there as nothing stands out about it, and it might just blend in with aging dumpsters. The news gets hold of how it was once supposed to be a big deal but how under used it is and all the train naysayers claim the rail is a huge waste of money.

Edited by Nick_G
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That is a great post. I agree 100%. #1 is the definitely the best . Let's hope whoever is judging this competition goes with their heart and not the wallet.

You know, saving a buck is great but when you build things for the ages (especially public things) it should be a crime to skimp.

Yes. That goes for EVERYTHING! Save a buck anywhere you want, but NOT when it comes to things that will be there for decades and define an entire genre.

Couldn't agree with you more.

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since trains are a throwback to a bygone era, maybe the station should also be a throwback... where's the art deco train station entry? :)

(and I'm another vote for #1)

Edited by Tumbleweed_Tx
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since trains are a throwback to a bygone era, maybe the station should also be a throwback... where's the art deco train station entry? :)

There was one, everybody loved it. But Weingarten Realty had the plans destroyed.

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I like #1.

What happens to #5 when the drain gets plugged?

They'll have garbage disposals at the bottom of each collector.

I like #5 over the rest, I think #1 is too busy, but I opine it is the second best.

Edited by samagon
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maindesign3.jpg

#1 - Looks the most futuristic without being cheesy, and think it will stand up well over the years without looking dated.

#2 - Looks like a waste of money only because, I agree with KinkaidAlum and it looks phoned in.

#3 - Looks like something out of a space themed FPS, and the red looks menacing rather than welcoming. Don't they know that blue is more soothing to the eyes?

#4 - Looks like it uses lots of glass, which means that it will crack often and the city will take it's sweet time to replace the panels when they do

#5 - Looks like a target for graffiti since it looks like a white canvas ready to get tagged.

My vote is for number #1

Surprised there is no poll in this thread.

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#5! Snohetta`s design. It`s simple, beautiful, and timeless, I think. Although I like SHoP`s design (#1), it has a bit of a cheese factor to me. The others I feel are just okay.

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since trains are a throwback to a bygone era, maybe the station should also be a throwback... where's the art deco train station entry? :)

(and I'm another vote for #1)

I have to agree with you, Tumbleweed TX. Remnants of the original train station covered walkway pillars can still be seen, behind the main post office. I sometimes see them from the freeway. Would be nice to have at least one design echoing our huge history with trains.

I do like no. 1 the best, as well. Looks nice at night,glowing. But is it supposed to be functional? What happens in a heavy downpour, with a slanted rain?

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I have to agree with you, Tumbleweed TX. Remnants of the original train station covered walkway pillars can still be seen, behind the main post office. I sometimes see them from the freeway. Would be nice to have at least one design echoing our huge history with trains.

I do like no. 1 the best, as well. Looks nice at night,glowing. But is it supposed to be functional? What happens in a heavy downpour, with a slanted rain?

One of the reasons why I prefer this (#1) design is that it could possibly provide a "cool zone". If this is successful, then I hope it can be used in the other stations that may need it.

As far as the rain goes, I would imagine that since it lays between buildings, slanting rain won't be a problem. Now WIND during the rains, well, that's a totally different problem altogether.

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I'm not really sure any train station will protect from slanting rain.

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So I got this link in an email today:

http://www.gometrora...tm_medium=email

Thought you guys might be interested in it. While exciting for me personally, I am surprised they are building a dedicated transfer station only 2 blocks away from Main Street Square or Preston.

Hmmm ....Im wondering if "Central Station" may have a positive impact on developing a certain lot Hines owns next door.

Would've been awesome if Shamrock Tower had become a reality.

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One of the reasons why I prefer this (#1) design is that it could possibly provide a "cool zone". If this is successful, then I hope it can be used in the other stations that may need it.

As far as the rain goes, I would imagine that since it lays between buildings, slanting rain won't be a problem. Now WIND during the rains, well, that's a totally different problem altogether.

I'm no meteorologist, but I always thought wind was what causes rain to come in at an angle?

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What is the significance of the Central Station other than the name? Will all of the lines cross at that point? I thought the transit center that was supposed to be built was to be the "Central Station?"

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What is the significance of the Central Station other than the name? Will all of the lines cross at that point? I thought the transit center that was supposed to be built was to be the "Central Station?"

Two lines will; the east and southeast lines will cross the Red Line very nearby.

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Two lines will; the east and southeast lines will cross the Red Line very nearby.

Oh yeah, won't that be the only same level (touching) innersection of passanger rail in the world? I remember hearing something about that a few years back.

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Oh yeah, won't that be the only same level (touching) innersection of passanger rail in the world? I remember hearing something about that a few years back.

Let me think.

CTA_loop_junction.jpg

No.

I'm no meteorologist, but I always thought wind was what causes rain to come in at an angle?

Having been in downtown when it rains, it does rain at a slight angle, but when you go between buildings and there is a good wind, it turns into a significant wind tunnel.

Edited by ricco67

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I would say #1 is my favorite. Love the color of #3 for another part of the city, but since this is Houston # 2 will probably be chosen either due to cost or residents of downtown complaining about the night lighting of # 1.

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Good point Ricco. Didn't think about the bldgs. as buffers.

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Let me think.

CTA_loop_junction.jpg

No.

Having been in downtown when it rains, it does rain at a slight angle, but when you go between buildings and there is a good wind, it turns into a significant wind tunnel.

Rico, I meant to say at ground level where cars and pedestrians are also in the mix.

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LOL. Of course you did... How about this one then?

http://en.wikipedia....nd_Junction.jpg

Well then, LOL!

To get more specific how about the first light rail? That picture is of a street car in Toronto....well that is pretty much what Houston's light rail is (a street car) so I guess you all win. With that said, I know I remember reading that before.

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Well then, LOL!

To get more specific how about the first light rail? That picture is of a street car in Toronto....well that is pretty much what Houston's light rail is (a street car) so I guess you all win. With that said, I know I remember reading that before.

It wouldn't perhaps have been an article with an anti-rail slant?

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Well then, LOL!

To get more specific how about the first light rail? That picture is of a street car in Toronto....well that is pretty much what Houston's light rail is (a street car) so I guess you all win. With that said, I know I remember reading that before.

Well, that's all that Houston's light rail needs to be. It's like San Francisco's Muni light rail. Yes, elevated sections in Downtown, Uptown, and the TMC would be ideal (and perhaps overpasses happen in the future). Houston does not need a system like the one up here in DFW. You see how terrible Dallas' light rail ridership per mile is? Houston's one line currently is ridden more than any of DART's light rail lines. What Houston has is an inner city urban rail system, and then commuter rail will branch out into the suburbs. I really do wish leaders back in the 70s/80s had gotten on board with heavy rail, because who knows what development would look like in the city today.

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Well, that's all that Houston's light rail needs to be. It's like San Francisco's Muni light rail. Yes, elevated sections in Downtown, Uptown, and the TMC would be ideal (and perhaps overpasses happen in the future). Houston does not need a system like the one up here in DFW. You see how terrible Dallas' light rail ridership per mile is? Houston's one line currently is ridden more than any of DART's light rail lines. What Houston has is an inner city urban rail system, and then commuter rail will branch out into the suburbs. I really do wish leaders back in the 70s/80s had gotten on board with heavy rail, because who knows what development would look like in the city today.

City leaders did not doom the heavy rail in 1983. Voters did. The plan was generally horrible and hugely expensive. If I recall correctly, it was to cost $2.35 Billion to build 19 miles of heavy rail. Keep in mind that was 1983 dollars. At today's dollars, that would cost over $5.1 Billion.

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City leaders did not doom the heavy rail in 1983. Voters did. The plan was generally horrible and hugely expensive. If I recall correctly, it was to cost $2.35 Billion to build 19 miles of heavy rail. Keep in mind that was 1983 dollars. At today's dollars, that would cost over $5.1 Billion.

I feel like it would have still been a good investment. Good infrastructure costs a lot, and we are seeing that with our multi-billion dollar freeway facelifts.

Edited by mfastx
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I was looking back at the submissions and i had an idea for #4 that i think would improve the design. What if they got rid of that pattern and added thin LED screen panels. Those two vertical pieces could be used to run houston tourism clips, advertisements, tv channels, etc. The top of the horizontal 'stop' section could runner ticker type of screens or multiple screens on that area.

Thsi could be like a mini-Times Square and could add synergy and possibly even attract those who aren't catching the train. They could show Texans, Astros, or Rockets games on the vertical pieces so people can watch or catch a score as they are walking down the street. It adds something to the street.

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I was looking back at the submissions and i had an idea for #4 that i think would improve the design. What if they got rid of that pattern and added thin LED screen panels. Those two vertical pieces could be used to run houston tourism clips, advertisements, tv channels, etc. The top of the horizontal 'stop' section could runner ticker type of screens or multiple screens on that area.

Thsi could be like a mini-Times Square and could add synergy and possibly even attract those who aren't catching the train. They could show Texans, Astros, or Rockets games on the vertical pieces so people can watch or catch a score as they are walking down the street. It adds something to the street.

I still like the visual appeal of #1 better, however I think this is a great idea and if that could successfully be it would make a great addition to the line and maybe boost foot traffic in the process.

I don't think we should make a Times Square comparison but I do get what you mean by it.

Edited by Nick_G

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