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Omg!BEST marketing video for Houston ever! Again, I will say, I wish it was spouting a 60 something storey tower, but am happy when this really becomes a tangible building. You know, Penzoil Place wasn't a supertall, but still was an acclaimed structure, so I am learning HAIFers. Size isn't all there is to architecture. For me and my house (lol) , 609 is going go be a gem in Htown's cap.

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Because 609 Main is using false floors to support a fancy floor-based HVAC system, I wonder if they will have slightly larger floor spacing.  2 floors is 28 feet, and a 5 story crown would add another 70 feet, so you make a good point -- that's still about 30 feet that's unaccounted for.

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I was bored tonight and got carried away playing with sketchbook mobile. Here's a sketch I am working on for the tower.

14706694138_7855bdfa9a_b.jpg

609 main sketch by brijonmang, on Flickr

 

Nice ..if only there was an actual plaza/open space across Main St. where pedestrians could take in such a perspective.  609 looks similar to the 800 ft Ocean Financial Ctr. in Singapore.

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Nice ..if only there was an actual plaza/open space across Main St. where pedestrians could take in such a perspective.  609 looks similar to the 800 ft Ocean Financial Ctr. in Singapore.

 

Unfortunately, 30 years ago Hines himself built a twelve story parking garage with another bunch of office floors right where you'd like the plaza.  The people on the east side of 600 Travis would have agreed with you right after Ike - the roof membrane peeled off and slapped all the glass out of every window across Travis from about the 44th floor down.  Even the rubber rails on the escalators to the tunnels were a bit chunky for a while.

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@mollusk 

 

Interesting ..thanks for sharing.  Too bad it's not possible that the block between 600 Travis and 609 Main could exist in this day as a city-preserved green space or pedestrian plaza.  I wonder how Market Square came to be a city park, or how many commercial interests made attempts to buy it did the city resist?

 

As it slowly crawls out of its reputation as merely a location to work then commute away from, I think downtown as a region still misses out on its largest advantage.  It's the highest density of people for the metro area yet so few choose to appear out on ground level thanks (and no thanks) to the ubiquitous options in the tunnels but also to the lack of natural appeal above surface.  I very much like 600 Travis's plaza and wish developers past, present, & future would mimic and not devote for construction every last square foot of ground-level space.  Instead, why not enhance building aesthetics and reserve open spaces for office workers to escape to, chat leisurely, grab a bite at food carts, etc.  I realize the climate advantages offered by the tunnels, but perhaps if there were more plazas and pocket parks with even small patches of green space interspersed around the highrises they might be inviting enough to draw more people outdoors and above surface, particularly from the October through April time frame.  Comparatively, Houston's downtown still seems overly buttoned-down, anesthetic, spiritless, devoid of signs of non-contrived human interaction - characteristics that obviously detract from big city vibrancy. 

 

Let the workforce find its solitude and productivity inside those soaring glass & steel monuments.  For respite, how nice it'd be to come down the elevators, shove against a heavy revolving door, emerge into a natural setting of sunlight and fresh air, and take a moment's pleasure to contemplate not on a frustrating spreadsheet but a nascent, slightly bustling street scene.  I'm sure the same street vibe - eclectic mixes of business people, students, tourists, artists & performers, food carts - in the business districts of Chicago, NYC, or Seattle can relish the same in Houston's city center if only there were attractive public spaces to do so.  

 

Edited by nonenadazilch
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When a lot of people think of 600 Travis's plaza, they think only of the giant expanse of granite with the Mirò - but it's more.  There is a big chunk on the Capitol side with a water feature, trees, and benches, and it gets used even during the height of summer (mmmm - shade from trees... what a concept... ).

 

Market Square used to be the site of the Houston City Hall and Market.  After the current City Hall opened in the late '30s it became a bus station for a while, and ultimately was torn down in the early '60s.  It was replaced by - wait for it - surface parking.  Around 1980 or so, the asphalt was ripped out and the oaks and some grass planted, with berms here and there that were known as the "wino mounds," after the primary users of the park at that time.  This was replaced by an X of sidewalks crossing from the corners and meeting in the middle with the Surls piece that is still there (albeit moved off of dead center), sunk in between linear benches and a water feature or two around the edges.  Again, the primary users were the people who lived there.  Finally, it was redeveloped in its current form a few years ago, and finally took off.

 

What's really given downtown life is residential.  It wasn't that long ago that it completely emptied out after 6.30.  But yes, more plazas, with shade trees and benches that are situated so that people feel safe, would definitely be A Good Thing.

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As it slowly crawls out of its reputation as merely a location to work then commute away from, I think downtown as a region still misses out on its largest advantage.  It's the highest density of people for the metro area yet so few choose to appear out on ground level thanks (and no thanks) to the ubiquitous options in the tunnels but also to the lack of natural appeal above surface.  I very much like 600 Travis's plaza and wish developers past, present, & future would mimic and not devote for construction every last square foot of ground-level space.  Instead, why not enhance building aesthetics and reserve open spaces for office workers to escape to, chat leisurely, grab a bite at food carts, etc.  I realize the climate advantages offered by the tunnels, but perhaps if there were more plazas and pocket parks with even small patches of green space interspersed around the highrises they might be inviting enough to draw more people outdoors and above surface, particularly from the October through April time frame.  Comparatively, Houston's downtown still seems overly buttoned-down, anesthetic, spiritless, devoid of signs of non-contrived human interaction - characteristics that obviously detract from big city vibrancy. 

 

Let the workforce find its solitude and productivity inside those soaring glass & steel monuments.  For respite, how nice it'd be to come down the elevators, shove against a heavy revolving door, emerge into a natural setting of sunlight and fresh air, and take a moment's pleasure to contemplate not on a frustrating spreadsheet but a nascent, slightly bustling street scene.  I'm sure the same street vibe - eclectic mixes of business people, students, tourists, artists & performers, food carts - in the business districts of Chicago, NYC, or Seattle can relish the same in Houston's city center if only there were attractive public spaces to do so.  

 

Couldn't agree more. It'll be really interesting to see how all the new residents will affect the retail scene downtown. I bet we'll start to hear a lot of cranky people demand more amenities (flower stores, 24 hour pharmacies, fast food, coffee shops, shopping, etc) that are available more than just the daytime hours. Something's gonna have to give - either more ground floor retail or much more openness to the tunnels. Will be fun to see how it all plays out. 

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@mollusk 

 

Interesting ..thanks for sharing.  Too bad it's not possible that the block between 600 Travis and 609 Main could exist in this day as a city-preserved green space or pedestrian plaza.  I wonder how Market Square came to be a city park, or how many commercial interests made attempts to buy it did the city resist?

 

As it slowly crawls out of its reputation as merely a location to work then commute away from, I think downtown as a region still misses out on its largest advantage.  It's the highest density of people for the metro area yet so few choose to appear out on ground level thanks (and no thanks) to the ubiquitous options in the tunnels but also to the lack of natural appeal above surface.  I very much like 600 Travis's plaza and wish developers past, present, & future would mimic and not devote for construction every last square foot of ground-level space.  Instead, why not enhance building aesthetics and reserve open spaces for office workers to escape to, chat leisurely, grab a bite at food carts, etc.  I realize the climate advantages offered by the tunnels, but perhaps if there were more plazas and pocket parks with even small patches of green space interspersed around the highrises they might be inviting enough to draw more people outdoors and above surface, particularly from the October through April time frame.  Comparatively, Houston's downtown still seems overly buttoned-down, anesthetic, spiritless, devoid of signs of non-contrived human interaction - characteristics that obviously detract from big city vibrancy. 

 

Let the workforce find its solitude and productivity inside those soaring glass & steel monuments.  For respite, how nice it'd be to come down the elevators, shove against a heavy revolving door, emerge into a natural setting of sunlight and fresh air, and take a moment's pleasure to contemplate not on a frustrating spreadsheet but a nascent, slightly bustling street scene.  I'm sure the same street vibe - eclectic mixes of business people, students, tourists, artists & performers, food carts - in the business districts of Chicago, NYC, or Seattle can relish the same in Houston's city center if only there were attractive public spaces to do so.

I'll take this as a call to re-design Jones Plaza. I eat lunch there occasionally (weather permitting) and it's a shame it doesn't get more general public use.
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I'll take this as a call to re-design Jones Plaza. I eat lunch there occasionally (weather permitting) and it's a shame it doesn't get more general public use.

 

A fair number of folks sit at the tables outside of the Jones Hall main entrance across the street. Outdoor seating in Houston could use more deep, cave like shade such as this. Even at Jones Plaza, what shade you may get from the structures around lunch time is going to be a few feet away from uncovered pavement that is radiating heat like crazy. Not sure how many places that type of set up is feasible.

 

You would almost need a pavillion over a large portion of the whole block to do that at Jones Plaza, which would be difficult to keep from becoming a stanky bum camp.

 

The Rice Hotel front along Texas does a pretty good job of it though.

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Nice ..if only there was an actual plaza/open space across Main St. where pedestrians could take in such a perspective. 609 looks similar to the 800 ft Ocean Financial Ctr. in Singapore.

Now that the Chronicle block is up for redevelopment, if you could somehow get Hines to rebuild their parking garage there, this block could be a great urban plaza.

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Exactly!  I was thinking the same thing!

 

photo1960.jpg

Ah yes, the old Whataburger design. I remember a topic I think on the old HAIF where a certain outlandish dallas poster claimed Phillip Johnson's inspiration for the Bank of America Center was inspired by a Whataburger in Corpus Christi.

 

I see it... a little bit. I'm glad the video provides aerial shots, to compare it's size to it's neighbors on Louisiana. Sheds light on how big this building actually is.

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They're still working 7 days a week on this, starting at 7:30am or so.  When I walked by this afternoon (a Sunday!) I counted 36 people on the site.  It's astonishing how thick the rebar is -- if you look closely, you can see workers walking around underneath/inside the rebar.  Looks like they are getting close to finishing the rebar placement, so I'd think the mat pour can't be far away.  It's going to be an insanely long pour, I am sure.  (click for higher resolution)

 

nIJ2PUrl.jpg

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Sunday morning?  Don't they usually do those overnight to avoid the heat?

 

 

You can control mix design temperatures a multitude of ways. But if that is in fact a monolithic pour...the time of day won't matter much. That pour will push 140 degrees at night. The day time pour will reduce their working time due to heat, but at the bottom of the form, that won't matter. I would opine that theyre timing the start of their pour, so that the end is at night, thus maximizing working time for the crews finishing at the top. 

 

Hope we get some good photos of the pour... Thats a massive one. My biggest concrete pour is 500 cubic yards. This looks like 15,000. 

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You can control mix design temperatures a multitude of ways. But if that is in fact a monolithic pour...the time of day won't matter much. That pour will push 140 degrees at night. The day time pour will reduce their working time due to heat, but at the bottom of the form, that won't matter. I would opine that theyre timing the start of their pour, so that the end is at night, thus maximizing working time for the crews finishing at the top. 

 

Hope we get some good photos of the pour... Thats a massive one. My biggest concrete pour is 500 cubic yards. This looks like 15,000. 

 

Thanks.   I was hoping Sunday morning was wrong because I will be out of town and I really wanted to go downtown to see it.

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  • Urbannizer changed the title to 609 Main at Texas

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