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Cotton Exchange Building proposal, 1921

CottonEx.jpg

Sterling Hotel, late 1920s

SterlingHotel.jpg

McCarthy Center, 1945. Hotel and garage only built.

McCarthyCenter.jpg

Red Wolf Hotel, Medical Center, 1948

RedWolf.jpg

Adams Petroleum Center, 1954. The base was built but the tower was not. Base now demolished.

APC.jpg

Rice Motel, 1960. Main at Prairie

RiceMotel.jpg

Jetero Airport, 1961. Redesigned.

Jetero.jpg

Savoy-Field office building, approx. 1964. Hotel and garage only completed.

SavoyField.jpg

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This was uploaded June 2019 therefore I'm not sure if this is still an active project.   https://hinesad.com/portfolios/pleated-03/    

that's the old Houston Center render.

Concept of downtown created in 1970, posted on reddit by u/NordyNed  

Posted Images

Allen Center original plan. The first two towers were completed to plan. A planned shopping mall under a glass roof and a theater (lower right) were never built.

AllenCenter.jpg

Del Oro development. View is intersection of 288 and the South Loop.

DelOro.jpg

Houston Center. The mother of all developments. Only towers were built according to the original master plan.

HoustonCenter.jpg

United Bank Plaza. The section on the left was never built.

UnitedBankPlaza.jpg

Menil Guest House by Luis Barragan, 1984. This would have been built adjacent to the Menil Collection.

MenilGuest.jpg

Main at Congress development for redevelopment of First National Bank building.

MainCongress.jpg

Phillip Johnson design for Cullen Center. The site ultimately became the Continental Center.

PhillipJohnsonCullenCtr.jpg

Bank of the Southwest

bankofthesouthwest.jpg

1700 Travis - Campeau Building

Campeau.jpg

Block 265 proposal

Block265.jpg

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Luminaire Houston, by Century Development and Skywalker Development/Lucasfilms. This was a retail and entertainment redevelopment of the old Albert Thomas Convention Center, slated to open in 1992.

Luminaire.jpg

e-Square. The "e-" name is a great 1990s touch, and is also a clue to the name of one of the developers.

eSquare.jpg

Wedge Building annex

wedge201.jpg

Ritz Carlton Hotel, Fannin St. The building on the left has now been demolished.

RitzCarlton.jpg

Renaissance Hotel, San Jacinto. Another idea for the old Texaco building.

kirksey.jpg

Six Houston Center

6HoustonCzieglercooper.jpg

AIM headquarters, Greenway Plaza

aimhq_main_1.jpg

Spirit of Houston statue

spiritofhouston1.jpg

Landry's Aquarium Observation Tower

AquariumTower.jpg

Astrodome space theme park proposal

dome.jpg

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Very entertaining! Thank you. Keep it coming. First your S Main postcard collection and now this. What's next from your bag of tricks?

I had forgotten all about that Luminare Center thing that predated Bayou Place. Maybe they should have built that instead, given the way it turned out.

If Houston Center had been built out the way it was planned, I understand it would have turned the streets below into a dark, dreary space filled with automobile exhaust and vagrants, since most of the pedestrian activity would have been above street level in secure, climate controlled passageways.

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The last one got built. Just not in Houston. Looks like it went up in Tokyo, in a smaller form (earthquake height restrictions) with a few other modifications.

SumidaWardOffice-002.jpg

It's a government office building. "Sumida City Hall" - the equivalent of a neighborhood ward office.

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I love the AIM building pic, it's uber.  Why did that one die? Did they run out of money? I have money I could donate, I was going to use this 99cents for two tacos at Jack in the Box, but what the heck!

AIM planned a major expansion and hiring a bunch of people. Then Enron broke. Then a bunch of other financial companies had scandals. They are wisely keeping a low profile until market conditions improve, and have decided not to expand. For now.

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I came across a building very similar to the AIM proposal when I was in Tokyo.

AIM:

aimhq_main_1.jpg

Atago Gren Hills Mori Tower:

AtagoGreenHillsMori-001.jpg

Cesar Pelli did the Mori building. Anyone know if he put together the AIM design, too?

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That Landry's tower is nothing short of butt-ugly. We should be eternally grateful that for once, city leaders bowed up and said 'No!'

Yeah, but once they bathed it in bright blue light, it would have been transformed into a thing of beauty!

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I came across a building very similar to the AIM proposal when I was in Tokyo.

AIM:

aimhq_main_1.jpg

Atago Gren Hills Mori Tower:

AtagoGreenHillsMori-001.jpg

Cesar Pelli did the Mori building.  Anyone know if he put together the AIM design, too?

The people who designed the AIM HQ were the same ones who did the new Symphony Tower, in ATL. Note the massive resemblance.

pic003.jpg

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Somehow, I don't miss that we never had most of these built. They may have made the skyline look a little less modern, due to the number of international style glass boxes(and generic concrete boxes) that would have been built. I do like the BOTSW, Block 256 designs, though, as well as some of the ones not pictured here (Block 261, Project X, and Y, etc). The campeau center looks like something out of Detroit, though (really old, almost genuine 20's in appearance) and may have thrown off the balance of the skyline, once again.

I'm happy with what we have:

SKDT1039.jpg

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It's a mixed bag. The Sterling Hotel looks pretty ugly, but on the other hand the Red Wolf Hotel is cool, and I really like Jetero Airport, although the design wouldn't have been too practical when it came time to expand.

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The building being torn down in sevfiv's pictures is the one to the left in the Ritz-Carlton proposal.

A few months ago there was a topic about tunnels that have been closed off. The door marked "garage" connected to one of those segments.

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I've never seen this building before.  It definitely would have been a different design than most of the stuff we have.  And it looks to be at least 75 stories so I guess around 1000 feet.  Oh and I can't see the first two pics.

1700 Travis would have been 70 stories. Kind of ugly if you ask me. Block 265 would have been 80 stories, and the Cullen Center proposal 47.

I do like the BOTSW, Block 256 designs, though, as well as some of the ones not pictured here (Block 261, Project X, and Y, etc).

What were Block 261 and Projects X and Y? One that I wish I had a picture of was to convert Main Street from Commerce to Lamar into an enclosed mall.

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Block 261, X and Y were all KPF projects. I have renderings of them in a book I bought, titled "Kohn Pedersen Fox, Buildings and Projects, 1976-1986", by Rizzoli Publishing. X and Y were pretty tall (70,and 60 stories) while the 261 was a smaller building.

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Del Oro development.  View is intersection of 288 and the South Loop.

DelOro.jpg

You can *almost* see my house in that picture...I'm just across 288 from Del Oro.

That particular location became townhomes/condos instead of office buildings...but very close by, the Med Center looks a lot like the rendering. Lots of offices/research buildings going up.

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You can *almost* see my house in that picture...I'm just across 288 from Del Oro.

That particular location became townhomes/condos instead of office buildings...but very close by, the Med Center looks a lot like the rendering.  Lots of offices/research buildings going up.

Am I the only person who can't see this picture :unsure: (and the one below it)? I even tried IE and still and just copying the URL and putting it in like that. Besides BotSW and 1700 Travis (which I think would look good in a clearer color rendering) I think we got most of the good buildings during that time.

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Block 261, X and Y were all KPF projects.  I have renderings of them in a book I bought, titled "Kohn Pedersen Fox, Buildings and Projects, 1976-1986", by Rizzoli Publishing.  X and Y were pretty tall (70,and 60 stories) while the 261 was a smaller building.

Scan them and post them up please. :)

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Also, not in that picture that the proposed tollway in the median of 288 is already built.

As for the pics, I'll see if I can get them scanned.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Only one I really regret not having is that tall one in Houston Center, and maybe the second half of United Bank Plaza. Bank of the Southwest and Block 283 were great, but would have been out of scale. The Philip Johnson one was just plain ugly. I wonder if he was also the architect on the Main @ Congress building - it looks like his proposed buildings for Times Square. Good thing that didn't go up either - it would have taken out some of our best historic buildings.

I wonder what the original plan for Cullen Center was like?

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Only one I really regret not having is that tall one in Houston Center, and maybe the second half of United Bank Plaza.  Bank of the Southwest and Block 283 were great, but would have been out of scale.  The Philip Johnson one was just plain ugly.  I wonder if he was also the architect on the Main @ Congress building - it looks like his proposed buildings for Times Square.  Good thing that didn't go up either - it would have taken out some of our best historic buildings.

I wonder what the original plan for Cullen Center was like?

I don't think Johnson was the architect for Main @ Congress. That was probably just the style at the moment.

This is all I have for Cullen Center, again from a Fuermann book.

CullenCenter.jpg

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The Fuermann books are great, aren't they? Some of the pictures in them are fantastic. About half of the ones you find are autographed, so he must have signed like crazy. The titles are extravagant: "Houston: Land of the Big Rich," "Houston: The Once and Future City," and the pictures and drawings reflect so much optimism and bravado. That must have been a great time to live in Houston.

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  • 1 month later...
Savoy-Field office building, approx. 1964.  Hotel and garage only completed.

SavoyField.jpg

i recently acquired this postcard, and i was SO confused about the office building part...

does anyone know more about this? the current savoy has a crummy garage (about four stories) where the proposed office building sits in the postcard...

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I kind of like the Sterling but it would have been way to big for Houston in that era. I wonder what happened to Ross Sterling. After he sold his shares in Humble to Standard, he went on a building and buying spree in Houston but I guess the biggest thing he ever built was the Post-Dispatch skyscraper (22 stories, Texas at Fannin, I think, now the Magnolia Hotel). I've read that when he sold the Post-Dispatch paper, it was at auction, which kind of sounds like bankruptcy. His bio in the Handbook of Texas says after he was defeated by Ma Ferguson for a second term as gov, he came back to Houston and 'built another fortune in oil.'

Then there was:

99.jpg

SW corner of Polk and Dowling, now demolished. Referred to as a red brick oven by Post staffers.

The Shamrock was a bad business decision -- too far out of downtown and too big. It was never profitable. Hilton couldn't turn a profit on it. No wonder the complex never got built.

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i recently acquired this postcard, and i was SO confused about the office building part...

does anyone know more about this? the current savoy has a crummy garage (about four stories) where the proposed office building sits in the postcard...

The crummy garage is there in the postcard. The office building was supposed to have been built on top, but I don't know why it didn't happen. If you look along the back of the hotel section there are protrusions in the building that don't make sense until you realize it was supposed to connect to the office building. Until recently there were brass "S-F" plaques embedded in the sidewalk around the Savoy.

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