Jump to content
HAIF - Houston's original social media

Recommended Posts

A lot of the elements of the proposal ended up on the final building - see http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/Building/2072/Congress-Plaza.php

 

The bottom dropped out of the Houston economy in 1984 - the reason this got built at all was because of the county's needs.

 

FWIW, I agree that the flat dome on top of the civil courthouse is one of the most awkward details on a building that has a bunch of them.  The dome was added at the behest of the judges on the design committee (one judge in particular was rather proud of it).  As a side note, that building was also designed with gargantuan file rooms and an elaborate dumbwaiter system to deal with what had been one of the more persistent problems in the prior quarters - paper files literally everywhere.  As it opened, electronic filing came on line (and is now mandatory), leaving those eagerly anticipated miles of shelves...empty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the elements of the proposal ended up on the final building - see http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/Building/2072/Congress-Plaza.php

 

The bottom dropped out of the Houston economy in 1984 - the reason this got built at all was because of the county's needs.

 

FWIW, I agree that the flat dome on top of the civil courthouse is one of the most awkward details on a building that has a bunch of them.  The dome was added at the behest of the judges on the design committee (one judge in particular was rather proud of it).  As a side note, that building was also designed with gargantuan file rooms and an elaborate dumbwaiter system to deal with what had been one of the more persistent problems in the prior quarters - paper files literally everywhere.  As it opened, electronic filing came on line (and is now mandatory), leaving those eagerly anticipated miles of shelves...empty.

Please don't get me started on the Civil courthouse...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny thing about the civil courthouse - while the outside deserves all the oppobrium it gets (I've called it banal and derivative), it functions very well.  The courtrooms are a good size, well laid out, and are well equipped and well appointed, as are the staff areas and judges' chambers.  There are four courtrooms per floor, one for each quadrant, with the lower district numbers on the lower floors and then up in numerical order. 

 

Before it was built, the civil courts were spread around among up to four or five different buildings, with a wide variation in quality among the facilities.  I've seen bigger closets than some of the jury rooms that used to be in the 1910 building, and clerks' offices were sometimes on a different floor, or accessible only through the courtroom.  Every time a bench became vacant there was a bit of a reshuffle, usually with the newest judge being exiled to the Cotton Exchange Building.  So overall it's an improvement, cringeworthy fake dome notwithstanding.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Because something this trite surely deserves its own Crater Houston Alliance topic. This is one that I love to hate on, since it is so trite and cheesy.  It would be nice in Des Moines, say, or Dubuque, but no aspiring world-class city should ever throw up something like this.  Throw up on it, that's a different matter.  

 

 

Look!  A star!

Harris-County-Civil-Courthouse-top-floor

 

 

Exquisite proportions!

HarrisCountyCivilJusticeCenter-Jan08-008

 

 

Fine detailing!

NewCivilCenter.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

On one of the familiarization tours one of the judges went on and on and on and on about how this building would be called a "courthouse" and not "courts building," and how it needed to "look like a courthouse."  

 

In a sense, it does - if the courthouse in question somehow got mashed up with the Devil's Tower formation legend, with a dome thrown on as an otherwise useless tiara.

 

Thanks for the new topic.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rich blue glass clashing with the brown and beige. Very turn of the last century. Looks like every ticky tacky building on the beltway west of I-45 and east of 249. The arches above the windows are probably the icing on the cake, Of course the industrial grey dome... I imagine it generates a ton of heat with the sun beating on it continuously. 

 

This project was a great realization for me. The original renderings and how it turned out echoes with Embassy Suites. It was supposed to be a higher design from the County Courthouse building, but I prefer it to this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel depressed whenever I see this building from the outside.  I don't recall the cost, but I'm sure the money could've been spent better.  I do agree that it is functional on the inside, while being just bland, rather than embarrassing as it is from the outside.

 

Trying (desperately) to look on the bright side ... perhaps it will wind up being viewed in the future somewhat like the Shamrock Hilton was in its later days:  ugly, but an interesting historical reminder of an earlier era ...

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Houston and Dallas has some of the ugliest city buildings on the planet. This isnt that bad.

We could have gotten this :http://www.dallascourts.com/photos/allen.jpg

Or this:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RC_Xscv967E/TcgN1rw7QbI/AAAAAAAAGLQ/fM1xWZbL7-s/s1600/dallas%2Bcity%2Bhall.jpg

I actually like Dallas' City Hall. I have a soft spot for brutalist buildings.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I have a soft spot for Brutalism too, but that is just straight up ugly....

 

Yeahhhhhhh I always want to kid myself with this building, but in the end I just facepalm whenever I pass it. Post-Modern trite at its worst where the architect and the client have no clue what they are doing, but because of relativism!!!! they decide to put whatever they want on it even that silly dome on it. What is this...an observatory? You see metal domes like that on strip malls. I'm sure in 10-20 years we will finally have enough and just give it a good wack and put something sane in its place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...