Ron4tx

1111 Rusk: Texaco Building Renovation

Recommended Posts

Anyone have any historic photos of the Texas Company building?

Built in 1915, it was one of the three tallest buildings in Houston (13 stories) at that time. The 11-story Scanlan Building, and the 13 story Union National Bank Building were the other two.

We can attribute its existence to Joseph S. Cullinan and Jesse H. Jones. Cullinan, for relocating The Texas Company (Texaco) from New York to Houston, and Jones for constructing the building.

The building is proposed to be converted into an upscale hotel and apartments;

Edited by Ron4tx
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always thought it was a beautiful building. Glad to see something is being done with it.

I tried a quick search of some of Bob Bailey's photos over here, but I couldn't find anything going back to its heyday on that site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I always thought it was a beautiful building. Glad to see something is being done with it.

I tried a quick search of some of Bob Bailey's photos over here, but I couldn't find anything going back to its heyday on that site.

there are some bob bailey texas co. pictures in a miscellaneous folder, but nothing too old:

http://www.cah.utexas.edu/db/dmr/dmr_resul...ed&folder=1

i have an old postcard at home - i'll post it later

____________________

ooh - there is a neat picture of the construction of the melrose building - texaco, montagu and stowers are in the background:

http://www.cah.utexas.edu/db/dmr/image_lgs...iable=e_bb_1349

Edited by sevfiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Early 1920s:

TexasCompany.jpg

Is that still intended for a hotel conversion? They stopped work on it a few years ago and nothing has been announced since. I just assumed that because of the weakness in the downtown hotel market, the project had been abandoned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Early 1920s:

TexasCompany.jpg

Is that still intended for a hotel conversion? They stopped work on it a few years ago and nothing has been announced since. I just assumed that because of the weakness in the downtown hotel market, the project had been abandoned.

Maybe the project was postponed.

It's still listed as a project on the Kirksey website:

http://www.kirksey.com/ProjectMain.asp?ID_...p;ID_Project=66

Hopefully, someone can shed some light on the building's future.

And also, thanks for the great photo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Texas Company building was brilliant! When walking around downtown, we relished hitting this block for the welcome (and beautiful) colonnade and its wonderful shade. We used to ponder why other buildings had not the foresight to include something akin in the blistering hot box that is Houston.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Early 1920s:

Is that still intended for a hotel conversion? They stopped work on it a few years ago and nothing has been announced since. I just assumed that because of the weakness in the downtown hotel market, the project had been abandoned.

i *think* that is the postcard i have - i'll check on that :D

there were signs taped to some of the windows of the building referring to the hotel project, but they were at least a couple of years old.

there is still a trailer on site (and someone in it i think), so who knows...

otherwise, there has been little to no activity there

Edited by sevfiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a difficult building to redevelop, which is a shame because it is so nice. At one point it was going to be a condo-hotel project called "Triomphe", then Ritz-Carlton, then Renaissance. They made it as far as demolishing the old Gibraltar Savings building and gutting the interior of the remaining structures. The wing on the Fannin side had asbestos. I'm not sure if the abatement was completed or not. I hope the owners don't decide that the ceilings are too low to preserve it. <_<

The Texas Company building was brilliant! When walking around downtown, we relished hitting this block for the welcome (and beautiful) colonnade and its wonderful shade. We used to ponder why other buildings had not the foresight to include something akin in the blistering hot box that is Houston.

True about the colonnade. Partly they went out of architectural fashion, but they also became less necessary as the tunnel system was developed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UPDATE:

Just learned that the Texaco building is scheduled for renovation.

The building was never scheduled for demolition but the construction was put on hold by the owner.

New equipment is being purchased now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UPDATE:

Just learned that the Texaco building is scheduled for renovation.

The building was never scheduled for demolition but the construction was put on hold by the owner.

New equipment is being purchased now.

Cool once again thanks for the Update?

I love this building, back in Aug I saw pressure washing being done, I wasn't sure if it was just routine or they were actually about to start something. I couldn't remember the name of the building so I never posted the pressure wash. I knew there was a thread open I just didn't bother.

Same questions as the Ben Milam building if you don't mind Ron4Tx :blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UPDATE:

Just learned that the Texaco building is scheduled for renovation.

The building was never scheduled for demolition but the construction was put on hold by the owner.

New equipment is being purchased now.

good to hear - is this information out there somewhere, or do you have inside connections? :)

Same questions as the Ben Milam building if you don't mind Ron4Tx :blush:

yeah, i'd like to know what is really going on there

last i went by, things were kind of at a stand-still - again

Edited by sevfiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
good to hear - is this information out there somewhere, or do you have inside connections? :)

yeah, i'd like to know what is really going on there

last i went by, things were kind of at a stand-still - again

All I can say publicly is that the Texaco Building will definitely be renovated.

Major equipment was purchased two weeks ago.

As for my sources, see the Milam Hotel topic for a general idea.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...p?showtopic=120

I wish I could say more at this time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
All I can say publicly is that the Texaco Building will definitely be renovated.

Major equipment was purchased two weeks ago.

As for my sources, see the Milam Hotel topic for a general idea.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...p?showtopic=120

I wish I could say more at this time.

thanks Ron4tx. read your post on the ben milam. wish they had pics of that room when it was unboarded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad worked for Texaco for 37 years. He was transfered from the Canal Street office in New Orleans to the Rusk Building in Houston when I was 4 years old. That was 1964. He worked in that building until he retired in '87, with only a brief stint at the Bellaire Texaco Building.

I also worked in the Rusk Texaco Building in the summers of '78 through '81 while I was at A&M. One year I worked in the file storage department with a bunch of other guys my age. That was the best summer I ever had.

My Dad watched out his window as Cassius Clay was taken into the Post Office building across the street to be inducted into the service. I remember there used to be a Roy Roger's sandwich shop across the street that my Dad used to take us to eat at whenever we'd go downtown to visit him on Christmas or summer break.

I now work for a company in Dallas that fabricates and installs lightweight precast concrete panels. Somewhere around 8 or 9 years ago, I was pricing some facade renovations to the Fannin Building. It's the one behind the Texaco Building. However, both buildings are connected . Anyway, it was an Architect in Baton Rouge and they were going to update the Fannin Building with Cornices and ornate columns to match the Texaco Building. The whole project was going to be a Ritz Carlton Hotel, but it fizzled out after a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe the project was postponed.

It's still listed as a project on the Kirksey website:

http://www.kirksey.com/ProjectMain.asp?ID_...p;ID_Project=66

Hopefully, someone can shed some light on the building's future.

And also, thanks for the great photo!

The Kirksey site stated that of the 3 Bldg's {1915, 1959, & 1962} the '62 Bldg wasn't consider historic {44 years is not historic?} and was razed for watt else, parking etc.

I guess the # of years attached to the word 'HISTORIC' is judgemental.

Respectfully

Danny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another redevelopment plan in the works?

Houston Pavilions won't have a residential component as once envisioned, but another nearby property

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ the closest corner of Texaco to HP would be at San Jacinto/Fannin and Rusk, about four blocks north

noticed that the metal plates on the columns were tied - any ideas?

texaco_column001.jpg

Edited by sevfiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
noticed that the metal plates on the columns were tied - any ideas?

Theft deterrent? :unsure:

I imagine a big slab of bronze would probably be worth quite a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting. Didn't those metal plates have the Texaco logo?

they still have the outline of the emblem on the sides facing the street, but some of the "Texacos" have been removed now, if i remember correctly

in this image (taken several years ago) you can see where something has been taken away above the "Ts":

texcolumns.jpg

Theft deterrent? :unsure:

I imagine a big slab of bronze would probably be worth quite a lot.

yeah, i was thinking that, too, but geez...after all these years?!

_____________

also noticed that Ron4Tx's photos taken above have the bands around the columns, too :unsure:

Edited by sevfiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wish someone had snapped photos of what appeared to be imbedded flower beds or for shrubs? There are several right beneath or next to those columns. I caught my park-n-ride across the street for years and we often had that view to gaze at while waiting. So the mind wonders "what was". The beds are irregular in shape if memory serves well. They are almost like a triangle but elongated and rounded at edges. This pertains to the building so please don't scream "Hi-jack" moderator. Homeless people love to sleep under all along here too. Perfect shelter. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My Dad worked for Texaco for 37 years. He was transfered from the Canal Street office in New Orleans to the Rusk Building in Houston when I was 4 years old. That was 1964. He worked in that building until he retired in '87, with only a brief stint at the Bellaire Texaco Building.

I also worked in the Rusk Texaco Building in the summers of '78 through '81 while I was at A&M. One year I worked in the file storage department with a bunch of other guys my age. That was the best summer I ever had.

My Dad watched out his window as Cassius Clay was taken into the Post Office building across the street to be inducted into the service. I remember there used to be a Roy Roger's sandwich shop across the street that my Dad used to take us to eat at whenever we'd go downtown to visit him on Christmas or summer break.

I now work for a company in Dallas that fabricates and installs lightweight precast concrete panels. Somewhere around 8 or 9 years ago, I was pricing some facade renovations to the Fannin Building. It's the one behind the Texaco Building. However, both buildings are connected . Anyway, it was an Architect in Baton Rouge and they were going to update the Fannin Building with Cornices and ornate columns to match the Texaco Building. The whole project was going to be a Ritz Carlton Hotel, but it fizzled out after a few years.

My neighbor's brother worked for Texaco Credit in Houston. His name was Richard Earl Jaetzold. He and some of his co-workers were killed in a plane crash in Mexico back in 1969 on a business trip. I assume that it was the division that handled Texaco credit cards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theft deterrent? :unsure:

I imagine a big slab of bronze would probably be worth quite a lot.

yeah i know the fountains in the market square area have had the metal stolen several times as well as those by the rice garage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting. Didn't those metal plates have the Texaco logo?

Now I remember the oil company acronyms:

TEXACO--Texas Company

CONOCO--Continental Oil Company

ARCO--Atlantic Richfield Company (formerly SINCLAIR)

ENCO--ENgery COmpany

Maybe someone out there knows some more of them. I also remember a station that had just a sign of a finger pointing down that had the word GAS in it, no brand name. I guess that today's generic equivalent would be RACEWAY/SPEEDWAY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I walked by there yesterday and noticed that there were some welders constructing what looked to be steel catwalks (not sure what you would call them) along one side of the big hole in the ground next to the old abandoned Texaco building at Fannin/Capitol. Anyone know what is going on there? It is the first activity that I have seen there in years. A construction company had its banner sign on one of the chain link fences, but I don't remember the name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted in Downtown forum also, but thought I'd put it here as well...

I walked by there yesterday and noticed that there were some welders constructing what looked to be steel catwalks (not sure what you would call them) along one side of the big hole in the ground next to the old abandoned Texaco building at Fannin/Capitol. Anyone know what is going on there? It is the first activity that I have seen there in years. A construction company had its banner sign on one of the chain link fences, but I don't remember the name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went back and looked again, and if I had to guess, I would say it looked like they were putting in a permanent walkway where the hole in the ground encroached on whatever right of way is required for the sidewalks downtown. I know that there had previously been a wooden structure there that is now gone, replaced by the steel structure that is now being built.

The construction company is GT Leach. Based on their website, it doesn't look like they would just be doing remediation of an abandoned site to keep it from being a code violation, but who knows. The structure looks like it would be permanent, something along the lines of what you would see supporting a steel stadium bleacher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took this pic today. Doesn't look like anyone is working on anything else at the site. I guess they were just building a workable sidewalk.

xe0m10.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There has been significant streetwork going on right in the middle of Rusk right here as well. They dug a giant hole right in the middle of the street. I peeked in a window of the Texaco building about a week ago and there was a desk set up against a wall with a lamp on, but I didn't see anybody.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't this building go up for sale this summer? I have been searching for articles on it, but I can't find anything. What a great building. It really needs to be saved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This "catwalk" (for lack of a better descriptor) seems like an awful lot of work for an empty property. It's hard to imagine a circumstance where an owner would be able to put that kind of money in to something that has no indication of an ability to generate revenue for them at the moment, so that was why I suspected that, perhaps, something might be in the works for the whole site. Maybe the code violation penalties were severe enough that condemnation and seizure of the property was threatened, form my non-real estate background, that would seem to be the only reason an owner would be motivated to do this.

There is an old RV trailer there to the left of the hole in my picture that I think someone lives in to serve as a security guard for the building, but that has been there for a long time.

The hole in the street might have something to do with the new light rail lines, one of the workers was wearing a hard hat with the HRT logo on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Yep - this should be a more current, similar view (Kress building lower right):

k1vw5w.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Germain Lofts is two buildings that were fused together by Randall Davis and made into condos, the original 8 story Kress building that fronts Main Street and Capitol Street and the newer 5 story building with a garage facing Fannin. Does anyone know when this second building was built? I looked at some old photos and it wasn't there into the 70s, but then there's a gap in time that I've not been able to fill, so I don't know what it was before the Randall Davis rehab that began in 1983. Were the buildings always connected, or did this happen during the 1983 renovation? If separate, what was the name of the building before the renovation?

The buildings are connected on floors 1 and 2, and also on 5/5.5 via a patio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The hole has been there forever and precedes even the THOUGHT of light rail in the area.

Nate could be correct as far as the penalties goes, you don't do that much work unless there is an incentive to do so, then again, it could be part of the rail line since the lines are going to be running along the south side of capital.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's up with that big hole? I've always wondered...

Isn't this the location that was cleared in anticipation of a new very high-end hotel back around 2002? A Ritz-Carlton, or something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't this the location that was cleared in anticipation of a new very high-end hotel back around 2002? A Ritz-Carlton, or something?

Yes. Then some other things were poposed, but nothing materialized

Texaco Building leads CBD hotel surge

From Ritz to rentals: Group could turn Texaco building into apartments

Edited by Porchman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think 1111 Rusk could turn into some awesome apartments/condos. The area behind it could make a great hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The old Texaco Building needs to be seen in person, to really be appreciated. It's awesome. I do hope something good awaits it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a beautiful old building.

In the early days of downtown rejuvenation, It was going to become a Ritz-Carlton. I cannot even imagine how nice they would have shined her up. A real shame it didn't go through.

A few years later, it was slated to become a Renaissance Hotel. I believe that is when the original work was done to remove the structure that stood on what is now the empty block but I am not certain. I believe their plans called for building a new garage and motor court entryway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a beautiful old building.

In the early days of downtown rejuvenation, It was going to become a Ritz-Carlton. I cannot even imagine how nice they would have shined her up. A real shame it didn't go through.

A few years later, it was slated to become a Renaissance Hotel. I believe that is when the original work was done to remove the structure that stood on what is now the empty block but I am not certain. I believe their plans called for building a new garage and motor court entryway.

That is essentially correct. The new construction also was to include ballrooms and other hotel facility space too (I think health club/spa, etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now