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Houston: Potential


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For an old-school approach to this thread, there are always those many plans from the 80s to fall back on.

Here's a model of a lesser known project called Resource Centre/Houston. It was to have been a series of towers: 46, 36, 26 & 16 stories tall, with the smallest being a hotel and the rest being office space. 2 million square feet on 16 acres.

RCH.jpg

It would've been located east of what's now CityCentre, occupying the land that's now a large strip center.

Apologies for the quality since it's a copy from microfilm.

Edited by ChannelTwoNews
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Apologies for the quality since it's a copy from microfilm.

I rather like the 'quality'. It makes me realize that visions for Houston's future are not new, and that the progression the city has undergone was - at some time in the 'long ago' past - just a vision.

That gives me even greater hope for the future of the city, even if some of these visions (such as this one) didn't pan out.

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Surprised this wasn't brought up earlier. The most famous non-building in Houston:

Bank of the Southwest Tower:

448911.jpg

http://www.emporis.com/application/?nav=building&lng=3&id=103046

This one was brought up several years ago. I remember commenting on the building being designed with a giant gyroscope on the top floor of the building to help control sway. The weighted gyroscope would apperrently move in the opposite direction of the wind force, thereby tourqing the structure. It would have been quite unique, from an engineering standpoint.

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Far and away my favorite proposal was the 'Spirit of Houston'. This would have been a true landmark for the city.

I never liked this proposal. I do like the idea of an 'iconic', large monument within the city, but not this one.

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Although I dearly wish the Bank of the Southwest Tower had been built, if it had by now it would probably be considered just another slightly tatty and dated 80s monument (albeit a good one). On the other hand, the 'Spirit of Houston' would have immediately and permanently become a world-famous symbol of the city. It would have been unique enough (with the possible exceptions of the Statue of Liberty and the Motherland Statue) to never really become dated.

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Although I dearly wish the Bank of the Southwest Tower had been built, if it had by now it would probably be considered just another slightly tatty and dated 80s monument (albeit a good one). On the other hand, the 'Spirit of Houston' would have immediately and permanently become a world-famous symbol of the city. It would have been unique enough (with the possible exceptions of the Statue of Liberty and the Motherland Statue) to never really become dated.

Probably best it wasn't built then. Every single image I've seen for the it is hideous. I'd rather have the city associated with oil refineries than this thing.

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I was at a bookstore today and encountered a book titled Houston: Lost and Unbuilt by Steven Strom. It was published in 2010 by the UT Press.

About 2/3 of the book covers Houston landmarks which were torn down, but the rest shows the Houston that "could have been." Here are some excerpts from Google Books:

I didn't purchase the book, but I thumbed through the sections on 'Houston Unbuilt'. My favorite proposal shown is a pedestrian mall in front of the Second City National Bank. The caption indicates that a plaza in front of the NY state capitol is similar in design to the proposal.

More details on the book can be found here: http://www.utexas.ed...oks/strhou.html

Edited by Simbha
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It's still amazing. I wish I could +rep it 1000 times

Ahh.. You're too kind.

Lockmat's opening post stated.. "or even conceptual ideas architects had for Houston." So I'm pretty sure my icon is qualified to be here.

Plus... it's a helluva lot more realistic than the downtown dome.

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Anyone remember the arches that were supposed to be between midtown and downtown? Something about the gateway to houston...

Oh yeah! I had forgotten about those. Weren't the arches going to be made out of some greenish colored metal trusses (similar to the Eiffel Tower construction) standing over the Pierce Elevated? Years ago, I remember seeing the colorful renderings of them in either the Post or Chronicle! I believe this was around the same time some private foundation was proposing to build a waterway canal down one of the downtown streets...Prairie? I forget which one. I think the waterway was near the courthouse and was part of the original concept for the Cotswold Project in downtown. Once the city took over the project, the waterway was scrapped and instead many streets were redone, sidewalks widened and head-in parking spaces were built.

Edited by intencity77
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Oh yeah! I had forgotten about those. Weren't the arches going to be made out of some greenish colored metal trusses (similar to the Eiffel Tower construction) standing over the Pierce Elevated? Years ago, I remember seeing the colorful renderings of them in either the Post or Chronicle! I believe this was around the same time some private foundation was proposing to build a waterway canal down one of the downtown streets...Prairie? I forget which one. I think the waterway was near the courthouse and was part of the original concept for the Cotswold Project in downtown. Once the city took over the project, the waterway was scrapped and instead many streets were redone, sidewalks widened and head-in parking spaces were built.

I tried searching for these arches and couldn't find them. Anyone have pictures of these?

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Oh yeah! I had forgotten about those. Weren't the arches going to be made out of some greenish colored metal trusses (similar to the Eiffel Tower construction) standing over the Pierce Elevated? Years ago, I remember seeing the colorful renderings of them in either the Post or Chronicle! I believe this was around the same time some private foundation was proposing to build a waterway canal down one of the downtown streets...Prairie? I forget which one. I think the waterway was near the courthouse and was part of the original concept for the Cotswold Project in downtown. Once the city took over the project, the waterway was scrapped and instead many streets were redone, sidewalks widened and head-in parking spaces were built.

I never saw green ones... i did see white ones and i think they were supposed to be made from ivory or the like. :) lemme see if i can find the,

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Fibro city. It would be awesome for a visionary Houstonian to invest in the city in this way. What ever happened to those people who invested in their city? Did they leave it to corporations or do we simply not hear about them anymore?

Isn't any entity, whether an individual or corporation, who decides to build here instead of elsewhere deciding that Houston is the best place for them to build? So wouldn't all new projects in Houston be investments in Houston?

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Top row far left. First thing I thought when I opened the link was "toilet bowl with the brush right there." Glad the design evolved

I believe they already built this building, however it was not this design. Am I right, everyone? Too bad b/c this design is pretty cool. It reminds me of what The Perennial should be designed like on Post Oak, instead it's like one of those early stages of this design.

Isn't any entity, whether an individual or corporation, who decides to build here instead of elsewhere deciding that Houston is the best place for them to build? So wouldn't all new projects in Houston be investments in Houston?

In a way, yes, but not the same way Jesse Jones and Dan Duncan invested in Houston. Granted, they invested more in the arts and medicine, I'm not sure how much they invested in infrastructure or things like Fibrocity, but that would be awesome if they wanted to.

Here's a decent article I found: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6944081.html

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In a way, yes, but not the same way Jesse Jones and Dan Duncan invested in Houston. Granted, they invested more in the arts and medicine, I'm not sure how much they invested in infrastructure or things like Fibrocity, but that would be awesome if they wanted to.

Here's a decent article I found: http://www.chron.com...an/6944081.html

I initially had a longer response, but I slimmed it down till I could see who your examples would be.

You hit the nail on the head - all the multi-millionaire philanthropists invest in Universities, Arts, Medical, Libraries, Humanities. You can add Ima Hogg and M.D. Anderson to your list. Nationally, it's the same - Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Gates - their return on investment is seeing growth in cultural, medical, or scholastic endeavors.

I can't think of many example of philanthropists who's only goal is too invest in the architecture and aesthetics of a city for the sake of improving the city, especially when it involves commercial projects.

The sort-of exception I can think of, though it isn't isolated from the above reasons, is T Boone Pickens. Rich alumni like himself who's main goal is to improve their alma mater, but in investing in academics of a small school in a small town, are also investing in the architecture, aesthetics and image of the college town.

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What would have been better, Discovery Green, Hilton Americas and Hess tower or this convention center hotel proejct?:

the huge screen looks pretty awesome:

32-724x491.jpg

http://tgullette.com/StreetScenes_3.html

Boy, I don't know. Call me cantankerous, but I just have this 'thing' about television screens in public places.

What would the arched structure holding up the screen have been?

This was supposed to be a "Midway Hotel"

midway_01.jpg

Scott DeWoody: http://scottdewoody.com/portfolio/midway_hotel/

Do you know where this would have been located?

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For an old-school approach to this thread, there are always those many plans from the 80s to fall back on.

Here's a model of a lesser known project called Resource Centre/Houston. It was to have been a series of towers: 46, 36, 26 & 16 stories tall, with the smallest being a hotel and the rest being office space. 2 million square feet on 16 acres.

RCH.jpg

It would've been located east of what's now CityCentre, occupying the land that's now a large strip center.

Apologies for the quality since it's a copy from microfilm.

Where is CityCentre located?

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waaaay out west... like... highway 6 at i-10. somewhere around there.. funny that they call it citycentre when it's nowhere near the center of the city. ugh. they misspelled it to.

It's at the intersection of Beltway 8 and I-10, where Town and Country mall used to be.

Edit: And midway did develop a Hotel at this site. Hotel Sorella. It's not the hotel in the rendering above but I can see a few elements that are very similar. The development has been very successful. They are breaking ground on a new parking garage and two more small office towers right now.

Edited by jgriff
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It's at the intersection of Beltway 8 and I-10, where Town and Country mall used to be.

Edit: And midway did develop a Hotel at this site. Hotel Sorella. It's not the hotel in the rendering above but I can see a few elements that are very similar. The development has been very successful. They are breaking ground on a new parking garage and two more small office towers right now.

This is good news. :)

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I have no artistic/drawing ability, so I'll cower behind some barrels after saying this...

It would be awesome to get a rendering of Houston with some or all of these projects drawn in. I'd love to see how the city 'might've looked'.

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