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^ I disagree.  I think this glorified canopy is one of the items in our greater architectural repertoier as a city - that is sorely lacking.  That is: we do not have enough smaller scale built environment that could be considered "avant garde" in this town.  Someone posted a list of fountains in and around town recently... while not a fountain, it does, in a way, engage on the same scale.  The Gulf Building (like most skyscrapers) engages on a much different / broader level, and the greater affect of the Gulf Building wouldn't be lost as the eyes wander up towards the crown...  As such, the juxtaposition of these two contrasting architectural styles wouldn't harm, or hurt either one for the sake of the other.  Rather, I believe that the one would enhance the other, and vice versa.  I feel like Snoetta's design (and others like it) would have helped create a context of architectural discussion about the mundane, or, objects of the urban street environment that are so common in places like London, New York, Berlin etc. yet so very much lacking here.

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I'll say it for you. I said it in the Swamplot comments. Metro's gonna take that money, put it into one of those shiney new CAF trains, then go screw themselves with it. These effing clowns. My good

Oh my god, I am so surprised. Seriously, I hate Metro so much, for so many years already, and im sick and tired of such an inept, crooked, incompetent bunch of idiotic buffoons running the transit age

This     and this     do not go together.  

The design would not have looked good at all in front of the Gulf Building, IMHO. Not too sad it's been scrapped, considering that's the most graceful historic building in the whole city.

 

And the Metro guy is right, the existing stations don't look bad. In certain situations, less is more.

The current design is boring ass hell

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i agree it could have looked a little out of place, but its the exchange hub for 2 light rail lines. lots of people are going to utilize this station, much more so than any other station i would imagine. it would be a shame for it to be just another light rail station.

i LOVE your second idea. they could of had escalators where the streets are, going down to the tunnel level, with tunnel transfers to the east end lines and more escalators by those stations.

 

Underground would have been best.  Less traffic disruption, and better access to the tunnel system underground as well, which is what the majority of people would like to access their buildings from. 

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I just want to know how are people not lossing their job in any other org that screwed up this bad people would be shown the door... Second how the hell do you go 19 months before looking at the math ??? How do you award a contract without working out the math  even ???  Like I said before this is not new " after the debacle that was buy american .. parker was suppose to have cleaned house.. Instead in the last few months we have learned

 

*. The new trains are running over budget and have not been delivered

* The tunnel that is suppose to go under the tracts has not been dug(how much do you want to bet that we will get annocemnet soon that  the line will be delayed because of that)

*and now a scaled back rail station due to the fact that morons in metro cant count

 

When asked what happend your intrem CEO could only say" we dont know?" WTH you mean you do not know how tax payers money could have been pissed off ?  If I was parker my only follow up question would be" what time will your resignation be on my desk?

 

I think parker knew this for a while and had the board sit on it during the lection to avoid giving her oppents ammo

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agreed.. they are "nice" looking, but very plain. 

how does Dallas get the money for crap like this...

StationSquare17.jpg?10b6ef

and we can barely afford this...?

magnolia-park-metro-station.jpg

could someone please answer me that?

 

This plays into my theory about Houston, we are so ant-dallas that we without think about it go in the other direction

 

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I'm not impressed with that design in dallass lol... we need something large, and bold... something that stand out, not a stupid canopy... THIS IS HOUSTON! We do things big in this city!

I'm not "impressed" with it either (personally it's way too flashy and over the top for me) but you can't deny that station cost a lot more than one of our basic stations. How does Dart manage to build crap like that when metro can barely build it's basic stations?

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I'm not "impressed" with it either (personally it's way too flashy and over the top for me) but you can't deny that station cost a lot more than one of our basic stations. How does Dart manage to build crap like that when metro can barely build it's basic stations?

 

Because METRO has been highly financially mismanaged. 

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I'm not "impressed" with it either (personally it's way too flashy and over the top for me) but you can't deny that station cost a lot more than one of our basic stations. How does Dart manage to build crap like that when metro can barely build it's basic stations?

 

DART gets more funding than METRO.

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^ I disagree.  I think this glorified canopy is one of the items in our greater architectural repertoier as a city - that is sorely lacking.  That is: we do not have enough smaller scale built environment that could be considered "avant garde" in this town.  Someone posted a list of fountains in and around town recently... while not a fountain, it does, in a way, engage on the same scale.  The Gulf Building (like most skyscrapers) engages on a much different / broader level, and the greater affect of the Gulf Building wouldn't be lost as the eyes wander up towards the crown...  As such, the juxtaposition of these two contrasting architectural styles wouldn't harm, or hurt either one for the sake of the other.  Rather, I believe that the one would enhance the other, and vice versa.  I feel like Snoetta's design (and others like it) would have helped create a context of architectural discussion about the mundane, or, objects of the urban street environment that are so common in places like London, New York, Berlin etc. yet so very much lacking here.

 

Thoughtful post. To answer your points, I am not thinking of the crown of the Gulf Building, I am thinking of its entrance at street level. Go stand across the street sometime and look at it. Just the first floor. Now imagine half of that blocked out by these shards of concrete or whatever they are. It's not appropriate.

 

I think we are showing our "catch up to the big boys" mentality by being so desperate for anything exciting and avant garde from a big-name firm. It would look very nice elsewhere, maybe down by the new Hilcorp building or if there were light rail on Smith Street it would be ideal, but not here.

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This...

 

 

 

and this...

 

 

 

do not go together.

They are very different, that is for sure.

I still like the station concept, and think it would be "architecturally fun" and "whimsical" to witness such a mundane structure in such a formal "no frills" kind of town like Houston come to life.

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i understand that the desire for a unique station at this location is what brought about the design competition, but wouldn't something this unique be more interesting outside the CBD?  i would rather have stations going through downtown that obstruct views as little as possible.  doesn't it seem like the immediate area could end up feeling cluttered or crowded?  i like the design immensely. i think i'd rather see it on the edge of a park or around low rise buildings.

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i understand that the desire for a unique station at this location is what brought about the design competition, but wouldn't something this unique be more interesting outside the CBD?  i would rather have stations going through downtown that obstruct views as little as possible.  doesn't it seem like the immediate area could end up feeling cluttered or crowded?  i like the design immensely. i think i'd rather see it on the edge of a park or around low rise buildings.

 

I could easily see this being in the Museum District, Reliant Park, or at the BBVA Stadium stop. With that being said, I would still prefer it to be downtown. Downtown is the signature stop.

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I could easily see this being in the Museum District, Reliant Park, or at the BBVA Stadium stop. With that being said, I would still prefer it to be downtown. Downtown is the signature stop.

agreed with everything. it would be neat if they got creative with some of the stations, for example the Montrose station have a cool artsy eclectic station on the new University line. maybe signature stations at the universities? but i think the transfer hubs between multiple rail lines should for sure be distinguished by a a unique design (even if said "unique" design was replicated at all of the transfer stations).. (places like Wheeler Station, UH Cougarwalk, obviously Central Station, and whatever the transfer station will be at Post Oak/uptown and university line). and then i hope when the Uptown line gets built they get stations that are different from the current ones to further distinguish that district, along with all the unique light poles/arches/signage/bus stops/ect. and yes, downtown is the signature stop. right now we are only (soon to be) working with 3 light rail lines, and they all cross at Central Station, so that will probably the most frequently used stop and deserves to be distinguished from the rest.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 9 months later...

It would be a fine idea for the Central Station platforms to be connected via the tunnel system. The two block walk between stations wouldn't be nearly adventurous as braving Houston's weather and crossing busy streets while rushing to catch a train. It's great to encourage street level activity and all, but let's be realistic, disconnected platforms blocks apart is not a central station.

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It would be a fine idea for the Central Station platforms to be connected via the tunnel system. The two block walk between stations wouldn't be nearly adventurous as braving Houston's weather and crossing busy streets while rushing to catch a train. It's great to encourage street level activity and all, but let's be realistic, disconnected platforms blocks apart is not a central station.

ive pondered this idea as well.. put escalators down to the tunnel level from the middle of the platforms and have connections underneath to the transfer stations with a big open area in the tunnel level with a type of underground mezzanine/plaza down there to make it feel like a grand underground subway-esque terminal or something. truly a "Central Station"

Edited by cloud713
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ive pondered this idea as well.. put escalators down to the tunnel level from the middle of the platforms and have connections underneath to the transfer stations with a big open area in the tunnel level with a type of underground mezzanine/plaza down there to make it feel like a grand underground subway-esque terminal or something. truly a "Central Station"

The current leadership at Metro is too incompetent to make this idea a reality. They couldn't even manage putting up a decorative shed structure at this site, even with the Downtown District's financial contribution. A tunnel connection is beyond their handling.

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The current leadership at Metro is too incompetent to make this idea a reality. They couldn't even manage putting up a decorative shed structure at this site, even with the Downtown District's financial contribution. A tunnel connection is beyond their handling.

Walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time is beyond their handling. Edited by Howard Huge
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Light Rail runs after the Tunnel System shuts down every weekday--and on weekends.  What would be the point of having a fancy area underground that would be a dead end evenings & weekends?  

 

And every Light Rail station is different--with a plaque naming the artists & the source of the design. However, the differences are subtle--amusing to those of us who actually ride Light Rail but not noticeable to those of you just driving by....

Edited by MaggieMay
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Hopefully METRO's light rail system is not the be-all and end-all of Houston transit and the city will eventually get a heavy rail system. In that case, the grand central station design can be help off for the signature METRO heavy rail. I see light rail become the way people get around locally once the get off of the heavy rail.

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  • 3 months later...

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Metro-considers-how-to-use-39-9-million-in-6033574.php#/0

 

Well what'd'ya know. Nearly $40M in unspent funds. Perhaps this will get a second look? They could do way, way more than these proposals with $40M. Still think an underground plaza "central station" linking the lines is a better option, but not holding my breath. Let's wait and see what METRO does with their "fun" money.

 

 

 

 

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http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/transportation/article/Metro-considers-how-to-use-39-9-million-in-6033574.php#/0

Well what'd'ya know. Nearly $40M in unspent funds. Perhaps this will get a second look? They could do way, way more than these proposals with $40M. Still think an underground plaza "central station" linking the lines is a better option, but not holding my breath. Let's wait and see what METRO does with their "fun" money.

Ha, you make me laugh.

I could tell you right now what Metros gonna do with that money, but that kind of language isnt allowed here.

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Ha, you make me laugh.

I could tell you right now what Metros gonna do with that money, but that kind of language isnt allowed here.

I'll say it for you. I said it in the Swamplot comments. Metro's gonna take that money, put it into one of those shiney new CAF trains, then go screw themselves with it.

These effing clowns. My goodness. I'm so mad. A chance to visually improve our Downtown squandered because they mismanaged the budget. And NOW THEY HAVE A SURPLUS? If I met a Metro official on the street, I'd punch him in the face.

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Well what'd'ya know. Nearly $40M in unspent funds. Perhaps this will get a second look? 

 

Central Station Main is technically part of the East End line which involved no federal money. The leftovers can only be spent on the line they came from, i.e., North or Southeast and can only be spent on items within the Full Funding Grant Agreement.

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Central Station Main is technically part of the East End line which involved no federal money. The leftovers can only be spent on the line they came from, i.e., North or Southeast and can only be spent on items within the Full Funding Grant Agreement.

 

Both the Red Line and the Purple Line would utilize such a station, I would think they have a fairly strong argument that improved transfer station design will increase ridership on both federally funded segments. I mean if they are proposing bus shelters, park and rides, and even an additional Purple Line station, surely a transfer station used by both lines would fall under the same thinking. 

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One could hope. Unfortunately I doubt metro is too worried about a "signature station" but I think it would be awesome. Like someone else said, I too would like to eventually see a sunken transfer plaza (via covered escalators) below grade, linking into the tunnel system.

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does anyone know how much it cost METRO to build one of the standard stations?


and how do you know what track area are designated to what rail line? apparently Central Station is designated as an East End project, though both the green and purple lines run that stretch..? what gives?

assuming its less than $40 million (i believe it should definitely be less) per station, i propose they use the money to build a platform at the west end of the green/purple lines where the turn around point will be, as an official "end of the line" stop (like UH-D used to be), with stairs going down from the station to the bayou trail system. and a new western station at Buffalo Bayou would be spaced out about the same distance as the other stations across downtown.


aside from UH-D there really is no Buffalo Bayou light rail connection (and i dont even think there are even stairs from the LRT platform at UH-D to the MKT Trail and Buffalo Bayou below. another suggestion i would like to propose). after spending $58 million on Buffalo Bayou Park, millions on renovation of the bayou parks through downtown, and hundreds of $415 on the bayou greenways initiative, you would think they would be interested in trying to implement better connectivity to the sites. especially if they are going to have billion dollar light rail lines literally spanning the main bayou a lot of these park/trail projects involve.

Edited by cloud713
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hmm.. no takers on the Buffalo Bayou station idea i guess.



is METRO invested/tied into their HQ building in downtown? obviously they have the bus station attatched, but that could be demoed and the land used for a parking garage and/or building expansion.
if they moved, METRO could (probably should either way?) move their downtown bus station to the Post Office intermodal transit center redevelopment.

just saying all of this because the block of Main/Capitol/Fannin/Rusk is insanely appealing for redevelopment (assuming someone had the authority to come in and buy out the current tenants/owners on the block).

everyone knows Capital Tower's renderings where the lobby is open to the tunnel system below, right?

well take the same tunnel/lobby concept for that, and build a mixed use tower on top of it (METRO could fill the office portion and be at the crossroads of their LRT system). dig escalators/stairs somewhere in the middle of Central Station and the Texaco Building light rail stations, going underground and trench tunnels below the streets connecting the light rail stations to this new mixed use tower/METRO HQ at Main/Capitol/Fannin/Rusk.

the transfer area would feel more like an underground subway station. almost like Houstons version of Grand Central Station or something. i think it would be a great way to keep people out of any nasty weather and direct them more clearly to the other stations, while forming a sort of grand mezzanine for the tunnel system with natural lighting.

capitol-tower-lobby.jpg

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The Main/Capitol/Fannin/Rusk block is fully occupied with a mix of historic buildings and serviceable newer (but not new) construction. I would love a more fleshed-out central station, but not at the cost of an entire block of functioning buildings. 

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are they historic? im only familiar with the Flying Saucer building. the one on the southeast side looks like it could be historic. but i feel that. its just obviously the most prime block in downtown in terms of transit connectivity.

anyways, that was just a late night ramble i had. lol.. the Buffalo Bayou METRO station seems a much more feasible idea that i think they should at least look into.

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just saying all of this because the block of Main/Capitol/Fannin/Rusk is insanely appealing for redevelopment (assuming someone had the authority to come in and buy out the current tenants/owners on the block).

 

 

That would destroy my loft! Seriously though, the block is extremely mixed use with residential, office and lodging and good ground floor retail (Flying Saucer, Bayou City Theatrics, Springbok, Tabe 7 Bistro). I think it's a great block.

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haha.. it is a great block. i really dig it. forgive me for being slightly under the influence last night and getting a little over exuberant with my fantasies.

so no Buffalo Bayou station at the west end of the green/purple lines with the 40 mil left over? i figured it would be a great access point to Buffalo Bayou Park from the METRO rail lines since  they just spent all that money on improving the bayou parks system.

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Cloud's end of line station idea makes a lot of sense. Not to mention just a short extension northwestward onto Lubbock would provide superior access to the city's property as well (which would bode well no matter what happens with that property long term). At the same time though, there are likely many interests in play for this area be it the future 45 construction/tunnel/realignment question, westward LRT extension routing, and future of the city's property here. Too many questions perhaps to invest any significant amount of funding yet.

 

As far as the underground Central station connection goes, just because there are buildings above doesn't mean an underground station can't be built below without disturbing the surface. Of course it's not the cheap way to go, or perhaps the concourse would need to be deeper than our typical tunnel, but if connected via escalator it doesn't really matter how deep the station is. It would be pure gold to have a station connection directly with the tunnel system--no argument of having to compete with the weather if you ride mass transit (at least not on the Downtown side of things if your building is on the tunnel system--can't speak to the other end of your LRT journey). Frankly, if not initiated by METRO directly to guide the development of an underground connection here between stations, it's rather likely eventually some sort of connection will be created because of so many developments in the area and the high desire to be connected to the tunnel system--it just won't be a memorable space, but rather just another part of the tunnel system.

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Yeah I was thinking about the city justice complex just beyond my proposed station about to be up for grabs.

Interesting about digging below existing buildings. I figured they had deep pilings or something.

Or I guess they could just trench a tunnel system/connection under the streets and make a big sideways U around the Main/Capitol/Fannin/Rusk block. Not nearly as grand as a large open underground station with natural lighting, but the connection is what's important here. Not the riders visual impressions.

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