Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Marcus Allen

Uninteresting skyline

Recommended Posts

Now, I know I have set myself up for criticism. Ok, fair enough. BUT, aside from the beautiful Riverwalk, I guess I don't understand why our second largest city (population based within the city limits, which in SAs case is extensive) doesn't have at least one iconic signature highrise. And NO, I don't consider The Tower of the Americas as a candidate! ;P. Thoughts?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now, I know I have set myself up for criticism. Ok, fair enough. BUT, aside from the beautiful Riverwalk, I guess I don't understand why our second largest city (population based within the city limits, which in SAs case is extensive) doesn't have at least one iconic signature highrise. And NO, I don't consider The Tower of the Americas as a candidate! ;P. Thoughts?

34yy35e.jpg

Earth to Marcus Allen, this is one of the most iconic and beautiful skyscrapers in the state.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's always baffled me as to why San Antonio's downtown doesn't contain any high rises on the scale of Houston,Dallas, and Austin. But in my view I think the Tower Life Building is very nice and quite the charm for San Antonio. Furthermore, now when I look at San Antonio I see that it doesn't necessarily need a signature tower simply because the center is vibrant and full of bustle and it doesn't need a tower to command such presence. In other words, Downtown San Antonio, it's river walk, and it's Alamo, etc. are so relevant to the city's identity that there isn't a need for a signature tower. P.S. There's nothing wrong with expressing your opinion, I certainly am not criticizing you.  :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

San Antonio is tourist city.  Frost National Bank is the largest company there. At&T moved to Dallas.  The only development you will see could be another hotel.  I do love the charm of downtown.  The only eyesore I see is the AlamoDome.  It so ugly what a bad mistake.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2007

2008

2006

2005

 

Those aren't relevant any longer.  And for those of us who weren't really around 6-9 years ago those topics aren't "new" or "beaten to death"

Folks, remember that until the last 4-5 years Austin didn't have very many "tall" buildings either.  SA's biggest non-tourist employment sector is either healthcare or Department of Defense.  All of those work outside of Downtown.  Don't expect DoD to be building any 40 floor towers!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2007

2008

2006

2005

 

Those aren't relevant any longer.  And for those of us who weren't really around 6-9 years ago those topics aren't "new" or "beaten to death"

Folks, remember that until the last 4-5 years Austin didn't have very many "tall" buildings either.  SA's biggest non-tourist employment sector is either healthcare or Department of Defense.  All of those work outside of Downtown.  Don't expect DoD to be building any 40 floor towers!

Way to ruin my tough love approach...

 

Edit:

 

The only reason San Antonio's city population has exceeded Dallas' is because of extensive annexing. Their metro population is nothing compared to her bigger sisters. You'll notice when approaching San Antonio, that entering the city limits, most of the freeways are still only 4 lanes with little to no development. Compare that to Houston & Dallas, when you know you're in the metro before entering the city limits.

Edited by Montrose1100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your welcome!

 

It is a topic that has been talked about - quite a bit - but just been a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

34yy35e.jpg

Earth to Marcus Allen, this is one of the most iconic and beautiful skyscrapers in the state.

Ummm, it's nice and all, and made an appearance in The Ghostbusters movie, but iconic? OK, sure. Even though the antenna on top is almost the same height. I sate my query boldly. SA has secured, albeit controversy ridden, second place in the state; so why is it's skyline rated BEHIND HTown, Big D and Austin?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic has been beaten to death.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/14154-the-alamo-city/

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/16174-major-employers-in-san-antonio/

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/6845-san-antonio-growth/

Me thinks Montrose has a soft spot for SA. That's sweet. OK, I will back off. Its just that when I watch things like Areal America and they focus on SA as number 2, it makes me wonder how the rest of the country is viewing us. Fortunately, those said specials still go back to Dallas as the iconic go to TX city, much to my chagrin. LoL.

http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/2534-will-san-antonio-take-place-over-dallas-for-good/

Take your pick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because San Antonio has zero large companies calling it home... excepting Valero (which I think has a corporate campus rather than big office tower).  The other major employment sectors for San Antonio are healthcare, Department of Defense and tourism.  Of those three major employment sectors Tourism is the only one to contribute much to the skyline with the tallest buildings in town being hotels.

 

SA has enough cheap land, and the central core is lacking the density to build tall residential buildings (like Austin) so few tall buildings are needed.  I think its fine.  SA is the biggest small town around, and that's neither good or bad, just my observation when I go there over the years.  I think they could support a nice 40 floor office tower downtown, something like BG Place would look great - something that tall.  As for why does Dallas and Houston have so many more tall buildings - simple both DFW and Houston are lightyears larger and much more sophisticated business towns than either SA or Austin.  There are about 13,000,000+/- people living in DFW and Houston combined, compared to about 4,000,000+/-in SA and Austin.

Edited by arche_757

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

34yy35e.jpg

Earth to Marcus Allen, this is one of the most iconic and beautiful skyscrapers in the state.

 

 

Ummm, it's nice and all, and made an appearance in The Ghostbusters movie, but iconic? OK, sure. Even though the antenna on top is almost the same height. I sate my query boldly. SA has secured, albeit controversy ridden, second place in the state; so why is it's skyline rated BEHIND HTown, Big D and Austin?

 

 

Yep, it's iconic. It's about the best historical skyscraper in the state, excepting only maybe the Gulf Building. If it were located in San Francisco, everyone would think it was iconic.

 

The only thing hampering it is lack of contrast, since pretty much the whole skyline there is beige. They need a nice sophisticated glass shaft designed by Pickard Chilton or Renzo Piano to offset it and a lot of problems will be solved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ummm not every city has to have 40-50 story buildings -.- Ok, I'm just going to let some of you in on a little secret....*whisper* tall buildings don't necessarily make a city great *whisper* gasp I know it's quite a shock! I mean this is coming from a guy who wants to design super tall buildings one day for a career btw lol. Also as a person working in the field I'm definitely not alone with this opinion.

 

Every city has it's own character and feel and San Antonio has that in spades. It's a tourist city because it has what many cities in texas don't have and that is an old world feel. It is about as close to an old world European-esque city that we will ever get until all our cities in this country are like 300 years old! People go there because it has wonderful city environments that just can't be matched. So what if it doesn't have a supertall or a crazy skyline. Obviously what it has works! The buildings that it does have in its skyline take you back in time.

 

It's always foolish to compare any city to another because each is it's own unique organism. They say "keep Austin weird" I say "keep San Antonio rustic"! It's a special gem that should be cherished and if you ever have a friend visiting texas, however far the drive is to get there, you take them there!!! That city IS Texas.

 

Marcus I'm ofc just stating my opinion. Not harping on you at all. It's a very valid question, but San Antonio is a city that not just cities in texas envy, but many cities in America do.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys ( and gals) have great points, and I am of the school that says, I may not agree with your opinion, but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to express it, so contrary opinions excite me, rather than insult or challenge me. Please, no worries about that. Outside of the Riverwalk, I don't know if I have experienced the Old World feel you are talking about, and I would venture to guess, having been there myself, that Boston, Charleston and Philly would take offense to that statement. Let's not forget Georgetown, Savannah and parts of NYC. But I digress. I like the moniker, biggest small town. I think I have to rethink that and visit it again soon with that spirit in mind. And I don't even know why i was downplaying the iconic nature of the NEO gothic building in SA, when that is one of my favorite architectural styles! And finally, yes! I think I would shut up about is topic if Renzo Piano designed a 50 storey glass wonder to offset the sea of beige, brown and sepia. And speaking of nostalgia, even St. Petersburg is building a crystalline wonder. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I'm not saying that their aren't cities that have that feel. I've been to Georgetown and it certainly has that, but definitely in Texas San Antonio has a lot of that architecture still intact giving different feel than other more commercialized cities with sleek downtown towers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the "Old World Feel" I would rank: New Orleans on that list higher than just about any of those other cities, maybe also including Santa Fe, New Mexico?

 

San Antonio has preserved what economic prosperity destroyed in Houston and Dallas - its original, old downtown.  San Antonio has nice architecture, but like Austin very little of it is in highrises or similarly large scale buildings.  The King William District, or the Alamo Heights area along Broadway are interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

San Antonio was considered romantic and charming even when Houston and Dallas still had their original downtowns. As Mark Twain said,

 

"There are only four unique cities in America: Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and San Antonio."

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that list is accurate, but America has a lot of interesting smaller sized cities and towns that Clemons omitted.  San Antonio isn't as interesting as the other 3.  If anything it has more "new fangled" touristy options than the others (Six Flags, Sea World.. etc). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that list is accurate, but America has a lot of interesting smaller sized cities and towns that Clemons omitted.  San Antonio isn't as interesting as the other 3.  If anything it has more "new fangled" touristy options than the others (Six Flags, Sea World.. etc). 

 

I would agree that it seems a little bit weaker than the others, but to its credit, it is quickly becoming the only one that a middle class person can live in and partake affordably, without fear of getting shot. You're also more likely to hear another language spoken there than probably any of the others, which is something.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.mysanantonio.com/real-estate/article/Council-approves-Frost-Bank-Tower-6307001.php

 

A series of articles in San Antonio Business Journal disclose that the Rackspace founder's company Weston Urban has entered into public-private partnership with Frost Bank and the city to build a new HQ tower of 400Ksf for the former while developing residential units on land it owns downtown.  City Council has approved consolidating the city's downtown operations by acquiring Frost's existing building at 100 West Houston Street.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2015/04/27/downtown-san-antonio-skyline-to-undergo-dramatic.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/print-edition/2015/05/01/center-city-banking-on-new-frost-hq.html

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.mysanantonio.com/real-estate/article/Council-approves-Frost-Bank-Tower-6307001.php

 

A series of articles in San Antonio Business Journal disclose that the Rackspace founder's company Weston Urban has entered into public-private partnership with Frost Bank and the city to build a new HQ tower of 400Ksf for the former while developing residential units on land it owns downtown.  City Council has approved consolidating the city's downtown operations by acquiring Frost's existing building at 100 West Houston Street.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2015/04/27/downtown-san-antonio-skyline-to-undergo-dramatic.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/print-edition/2015/05/01/center-city-banking-on-new-frost-hq.html

 

Good for SA but the comment section is really entertaining:

 

  • rramirez
  • Rank 440

All you haters on our great city.....MOVE!!!!!! We don't care if we lose you, for everyone of you losers moving, 10 more will move in, probably from Dallas or Houston....they can finally take their sunglasses off!!!!!!

 

LOL

 

It shows that many SAs are 50/50 on whether they should join the other big 3 and start sprouting steel and glass. Im not sure about the bldg proposed. It might actually not work well with the skyline. I can't believe its only 18 stories. Thats not even worth a discussion in Houston/Dallas/Austin.

 

If I was in control here I'd order a 40 story beauty with lots of stone masonry. Have Ceasar Peli do it. Make it blend in while giving the city its deserved signature tower. Hell, the 42 story bldg in my Avatar(Cityplace) would look good in SA.

 

Edited by JasnoDTX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer San Antonio to remain a quaint and romantic skyline. Sure the Tower of Americas isn't the Space Needle, but I from an aesthetic view it would look odd for a skyscraper to over shadow it. Reunion tower works with Dallas' skyline because it doesn't compete for height.

I would like for San Antonio to get new towers (something ultra modern to reflect the charm of older towers), but would rather have the city's core develop densely, rather than vertically.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the current Frost Bank building there that's said to be 18 floors.  The new HQ may vary.

 

I agree that 150Ksf of spec space is not itself a strong vote of confidence in the office market of the continent's fourteenth-largest municipality, unless you figure that the space will cost a couple hundred dollars a foot to build, and that whether they borrow the $30-40 million or pay it out of pocket, its debt service or its opportunity cost will be in the six figures a month.  So if it doesn't rent, that's a pretty big bet after all.  And I am betting that the tower will be built on top of the 700-car parking garage, so that it will be more floors than you expect.  To Montrose1100's concern, I also expect that the only part high enough to overshadow Tower of the Americas will be something visually slender.  It shouldn't be a problem really.

 

However, online Freemaptools measurement indicates the motor bank they're building on is almost a 3-acre block.  If I were them I would take the Old San Antonio step of dividing the place up, up, and up, in much denser, more human and lively street grids.  I have some hope for this approach since the CEO of Weston Urban emphasized that he's as interested in its urban design as he is in its place on the skyline.

 

 

I would agree that it seems a little bit weaker than the others, but to its credit, it is quickly becoming the only one that a middle class person can live in and partake affordably, without fear of getting shot. You're also more likely to hear another language spoken there than probably any of the others, which is something.

http://therivardreport.com/where-i-live-monte-vista-the-center-of-new-history/

Yes indeed.  Yes.

Edited by strickn
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Downtown in San Antonio has a different "feel" than other cities. While I'm not sure my ideal city would work that way (tall buildings and rail-based mass transit), and a more comprehensive skyline...even if you plopped the Riverwalk and its adjacent buildings into that, it wouldn't feel the same, you know?

 

Perhaps part of the "old world" charm is that San Antonio has a near-total lack of a normal grid system in its downtown area, which is relatively rare in American cities (Boston may be another one).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from PRNEWSWIRE:

 

"...In addition to its expertise in modern, iconic towers, the firm's leadership has strong local ties to the San Antonio community. Members of the leadership team Fred Clarke and Bill Butler will lead the project. Clarke, a senior principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli, was born in El Campo and is a graduate of the University of Texas, and Butler, a principal of  the firm, was born and raised in San Antonioand is a graduate of Rice University.

"We couldn't possibly be any more excited to announce the selection of Pelli Clarke Pelli to lead the design of the Frost Tower," said Weston Urban President Randy Smith. "Throughout the lengthy selection process, Fred and Bill have consistently wowed us with their firm's understanding that great design is, in large part, local design, all the while bringing their international experience to bear. Pairing with a firm of this caliber is representative of the entire team's ambition for the project."

"We are thrilled and honored to be chosen as architects for the new Frost Tower. This transformative project will extend the commercial district of Houston Street to the vibrant redevelopment of San Pedro Creek," said Senior Design Principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects Fred Clarke. "As a Texas native, and with my business partner Bill Butler, a San Antonio native, we hope to embrace the Texan spirit, respond to the uniqueness ofSan Antonio and create a symbol for the city's tercentennial, as well as the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Frost Bank."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

San Antonio in my opinion does have a few of some of the most beautiful buildings in Texas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know why people make such a big deal about SA having some of the most beautiful buildings in Texas if when you look at their downtown closely it is a very poor downtown. There isn't even that many buildings to begin with... 

 

I lived there and I was surprised at how the residents of the city really believe that they live in a world class city just because they know that tourists from around the world congregate on the riverwalk. The first day I was on a boat on the riverwalk the tour guide told the boat full of tourists that San Antonio's economy is bigger than Dallas' and that they were closely behind Houston in size.  

 

Either way, believe it or not I enjoyed living there even though I got out as fast as I could and I am glad that they are getting a new tower designed by Pelli. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like some of the early 20th century highrises in SA.   The newer ones, not so much.  So, I don't mind that SA doesn't have so many new ones, at least so far. 

Share this post


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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...