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mlyoung83

New Lights on Skyline

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I noticed last night that several towers now have lights on top of them that I've never seen before: Allen Center Towers, Bank of America Tower, and the Chevron Tower, they all have lights on top now.  Does anyone know if these lights are now permanent or just for some seasonal or special occasion?    I looked through my downtown pics for the past 7-8 years, never seen these lights on before.

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I noticed last night that several towers now have lights on top of them that I've never seen before: Allen Center Towers, Bank of America Tower, and the Chevron Tower, they all have lights on top now.  Does anyone know if these lights are now permanent or just for some seasonal or special occasion?    I looked through my downtown pics for the past 7-8 years, never seen these lights on before.

 

Christmas.  Every year about this time.  ;-)

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Christmas.  Every year about this time.  ;-)

 

Exactly. And they'll be going away in a few days.

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Downtown skyline has a haunting look at night. It is dinner but at the sane time respectable. A little embellishments would not hurt but I think light shows life shine cities do would change the character too much.

A relit Wedge would be nice.

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It looks great driving south on 45 north of town. The BoA Center adds a bit of a Christmas tree look with the perimeter lights. 

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Bank of america would be cool to be lit as well as the lights coming back for Wedge, but all the rest of the buildings with the beige/white christmas rooftops got to go. They used to have the skyline lit with Christmas lights year round sometime early to mid last decade. I'm glad that stopped because it was quite tacky to have christmas lights on top of state of the art office buildings year round. Lighting the skyline is something I've always thought Houston could take notes from Dallas on.

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My wife who is from Dallas commented the other night that Houston's skyline is so dark compared to Dallas's. I gave a long, boring explanation of how Houston being a city of wholesale businesses rather than retail never learned to market itself the way Dallas knows how to, and that difference still shows itself in things like our poorly lit skyline. Driving back into Dallas last night I noticed that its lighting really only comes from a few buildings, including the BoA tower, the one with the X's, the Reunion Tower/Hyatt Regency hotel, and the new convention center hotel. The rest of their buildings are just as dim as Houston's. Only other difference is the lit up corporate logos on their buildings, which we don't have because we banned them.

 

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My wife who is from Dallas commented the other night that Houston's skyline is so dark compared to Dallas's. I gave a long, boring explanation of how Houston being a city of wholesale businesses rather than retail never learned to market itself the way Dallas knows how to, and that difference still shows itself in things like our poorly lit skyline. Driving back into Dallas last night I noticed that its lighting really only comes from a few buildings, including the BoA tower, the one with the X's, the Reunion Tower/Hyatt Regency hotel, and the new convention center hotel. The rest of their buildings are just as dim as Houston's. Only other difference is the lit up corporate logos on their buildings, which we don't have because we banned them.

Wtf, why did they ban lit up corporate logos on the towers?

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Don't think it's a ban...more a gentleman's agreement. And let's hope that they all remain gentlemen. Otherwise we'd look more like Dallas...and I, for one, don't want that.

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Nope, it's a ban. Continental Airlines had to go through lengthy City Council hearings to get permission to illuminate their globe logo at the top of their building, just the globe not the name. The reason for the ban has to do with a giant 40 foot neon orange rotating Gulf sign that basically held our entire city hostage to its tackiness for about a decade in the 60's-70's.

 

Subdude should have a picture of it.  Actually, there's a thread on it in Historic Houston.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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Nope, it's a ban. Continental Airlines had to go through lengthy City Council hearings to get permission to illuminate their globe logo at the top of their building, just the globe not the name. The reason for the ban has to do with a giant 40 foot neon orange rotating Gulf sign that basically held our entire city hostage to its tackiness for about a decade in the 60's-70's.

Subdude should have a picture of it. Actually, there's a thread on it in Historic Houston.

Ah, so we can thank the gulf sign for that.. Interesting that while we hated the gulf sign, Dallas embraced their Pegasus sign.

I definitely don't want our city looking like Las Veg- err, Dallas.. But I wouldn't mind if it looked a little more vibrant. Fortunately were getting some new lighting with the towers planned/going up.

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I am tacky in this area cause I like pictures of that old gulf sign and Pegasus.

I guess it is because it's solitary. I guess if they were packed in I would think it was too much. But a solitary giant glowing gulf sign seems cheesily delicious to me.

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Nope, it's a ban. Continental Airlines had to go through lengthy City Council hearings to get permission to illuminate their globe logo at the top of their building, just the globe not the name. The reason for the ban has to do with a giant 40 foot neon orange rotating Gulf sign that basically held our entire city hostage to its tackiness for about a decade in the 60's-70's.

 

Subdude should have a picture of it.  Actually, there's a thread on it in Historic Houston.

 

Instead of outright banning, why wouldn't they just need to go through an approval process since the Gulf sign was obnoxious and tacky? I think signs can be done tastefully if they are corporate logo's near the top of buildings.

 

I'd be more for taking down billboards that purposefully block the beautiful skyline with their tackiness than a corporate logo on a building which can show pride for a company and strength for our local economy.

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Houston sign code

 

http://documents.publicworks.houstontx.gov/documents/divisions/planning/enforcement/signcode20110902.pdf

 

Section 4609 (E)(1)and(2)

 

Starts on page 38 of the document.

 

No signs over 42.5 feet unless:

 the building is the company's headquarters and they occupy more than 45% of the floorspace of a building that is at least 750000 sqare feet, then you can put your logo on the building. but it has to be a continous image,no blinking or animation.

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Doh, overlooked that part. Hopefully they move their HQ in the next decade since they are doing so much consolidating in Houston

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Wtf, why did they ban lit up corporate logos on the towers?

 

Because they're tacky and would take away from the architectural signifcance of many buildings.  Ah, remember the rotating Gulf sign atop their building?  That one was cool.

 

Hotels can still have signage downtown.

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The Gulf sign was hardly alone - we also had "T E N N E C O" across the top of its building (now El Paso), Bank of the Southwest on what is now 919 Milam, Central Bank (still there, sorta), Conoco (complete with weather ball)...I'm probably skipping something or another.

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Ah, so we can thank the gulf sign for that.. Interesting that while we hated the gulf sign, Dallas embraced their Pegasus sign.

 

 

Dallas got lucky - the Pegasus sign is a bit more elegant than the Gulf sign was. Although I loved the Gulf sign at gas stations, particularly the one at Louetta and Stuebner-Airline that I always saw as a kid.

 

 

I'd be more for taking down billboards that purposefully block the beautiful skyline with their tackiness than a corporate logo on a building which can show pride for a company and strength for our local economy.

 

Those are banned too. :)  But it's hard to get rid of them, especially on interstates, because they're protected by federal law.

 

 

The Gulf sign was hardly alone - we also had "T E N N E C O" across the top of its building (now El Paso), Bank of the Southwest on what is now 919 Milam, Central Bank (still there, sorta), Conoco (complete with weather ball)...I'm probably skipping something or another.

 

Some of those really were tasteful, especially the Tenneco one which matched the grid of the building facade just right.

 

 

The city is so severe with downtown signage in part because of our bad reputation for billboards. City Hall basically decided while we can't get rid of all the freeway billboards, we sure as hell can control what goes on our downtown buildings, and that's exactly what we're going to do. We will NOT be Sign-town in the one district that matters!

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Those are banned too. :)  But it's hard to get rid of them, especially on interstates, because they're protected by federal law.

 

Just for the record, so that it will accurately reflect that Texas is a place where people have chosen blight, those protections have been overruled where there was the political will to do so.

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Personally I don't think Houston should go in the direction of northern neighbor it only accentuates a rivalry between the cities. Perhaps it should take a lesson from Atlanta which has soft lighting that is pleasurable to the eye and sophisticated rather than colorful and messy like Dallas. Don't get me wrong a little color never hurt anyone but since the city cares so much as to even having corporate logos they should take a softer approach on the many architecturally significant buildings like Pennzoil, gulf building,esperson, bank of America, etc. Not that the city government is even considering lighting on downtown skyscrapers.

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Most if not all of the Christmas lights on the downtown buildings are permanent.  They are just turned off after the holidays.  I am not sure the exact specifications, but I have been on several downtown roofs and the bulbs look like a regular residential 60/100 watt medium base lamp bulb or globe bulb.  I think most of them are now fluorescent or LED.   

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Because they're tacky and would take away from the architectural signifcance of many buildings.  Ah, remember the rotating Gulf sign atop their building? 

 

I think the reason for the ban on large building signs wasn't just concerns over tackiness.  That was during the energy crisis in the 1970s and it would also have been seen as an energy-saving measure.  

 

I don't think corporate logos detract from the architectural significance of buildings.  

 

 

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DT with blue lights like in the Memorial City area would be cool. Mix in some white lights and a couple of massive plasma moving media on the sides of the widest towers, and voila, an impressive nightscape, IMO.

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DT with blue lights like in the Memorial City area would be cool. Mix in some white lights and a couple of massive plasma moving media on the sides of the widest towers, and voila, an impressive nightscape, IMO.

They change color with the season. I drove to nye dinner and they were red and green for Christmas, driving home at 2am they were all different colors of the rainbow.

I hope downtown takes some queues from memorial city.

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Historic District Decorative Lighting:

 

On December 2, 2013, staff met with the City Engineer to confirm requirements and obtain initial concurrence of the project. At this

stage, it has City support. Staff is proceeding with consultant and CenterPoint on issues related to height and attachment to street light poles. The project covers seven blocks in the Historic District surrounding Market Square Park, with LED festoon lights to be strung across the roadway at Congress & Preston (from Main to Milam) and Travis (from Prairie to Franklin)

 

 

Although it isn't skyline light, I thought it is cool that the city is doing this to the historic district around Market Square Park.

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That is pretty neat. Glad they are following through with the plans of light fixtures unique to the historic district, and the festoon lights sound light they will be appealing.

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Has anyone checked out the brand new lighting scheme on the old Continental Airlines building - 1600 Smith? 

 

3 Words - FAB-U-LOUS!!!!

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12 hours ago, 'Stonian said:

Has anyone checked out the brand new lighting scheme on the old Continental Airlines building - 1600 Smith? 

 

3 Words - FAB-U-LOUS!!!!

Absolutely fabulous.  I couldn't believe my eyes when driving in early this morning! 

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Contrast to this photo I took of the skyline about 15 years ago, in December 2001.  The Wedge tower even had green outlines back then!

 

lSCxRdZ.jpg

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Was talking to someone regarding the continental building and apparently theyre going to keep the lights after the superbowl. Dont know if theyre gonna run through those cycles, but they sure are nice. 

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Once you've gone to the expense of installing LED lighting, there is pretty much zero reason to not use it.  They cost almost nothing to operate.

Edited by Houston19514
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