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citizen4rmptown

Houston Center Redevelopment

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FWIW, this approach does work in Australia.  In every major city in Australia, it's not uncommon to find Coles and Woolworths within a few hundred feet of each other.

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17 minutes ago, talltexan83 said:

FWIW, this approach does work in Australia.  In every major city in Australia, it's not uncommon to find Coles and Woolworths within a few hundred feet of each other.

 

They are probably doing what CVS and Walgreen's do, trying to take the other's market share in a strangling contest. If we are talking about what would be best for downtown, I don't think this is beneficial. It probably hurts Phoenicia and puts our first full-scale grocer in a suboptimal location. You're far from residents and surrounded by office workers, who don't traditionally make the best grocery customers. I would think a Target might be logical at this location. It could carry some groceries, the kinds of essential things that a worker might need to pick up one or two of on the way home.

 

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If they can market it the right way, they might be able to sell downtown workers on the click-and-pickup sort of thing they are doing elsewhere.  It'd be convenient to set up an order you can swing by and pick up on your way out of downtown after work.  I know HEB and Kroger are doing that sort of thing now in stores.  That would go a long way to supporting a downtown grocer, regardless of where they are located downtown.

 

Or they can put in a Buc-ee's.  That would be awesome.

Edited by august948
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33 minutes ago, august948 said:

 

Or they can put in a Buc-ee's.  That would be awesome.

 

I like it. They would need a restroom bouncer unless they wanted it to become a homeless shelter though. 

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Construction has definitely started around 2 Houston Center... there are barriers up all along the McKinney side with pictures of what it will look like in the end. 

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Direct Energy To Relocate Headquarters To Downtown Office Tower

Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/office/direct-energy-to-relocate-headquarters-to-downtown-office-tower-97743?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

 

Quote

Renovation plans for 2 Houston Center have garnered the attention of a major energy company.  Direct Energy signed a 106K SF office lease to occupy floors six and seven at 909 Fannin St. in Downtown Houston. This marks the largest office deal at 2 Houston Center to date, according to a press release. The company, which has 930 employees in Houston, will relocate its headquarters from Greenway Plaza in April 2021...

 

Gensler To Relocate Office To 2 Houston Center
Read more at: https://www.bisnow.com/houston/news/office/gensler-to-relocate-office-to-2-houston-center-97796?utm_source=CopyShare&utm_medium=Browser

 

Quote

Gensler is moving into new Downtown Houston office digs after 46 years in Pennzoil Place. The international design firm will occupy two floors in 2 Houston Center, a property being renovated at 909 Fannin St. Gensler will relocate its 288 employees later this year. “Downtown Houston is and has always been our home,” Gensler co-Managing Director Stephanie Burritt said in a release. “Our employees have enjoyed being surrounded and inspired by Houston’s unique urban fabric, and we want to continue that energy by bringing it into our new space.” Gensler's Houston office is responsible for designing several major Downtown projects, such as The Houston Ballet, The George R. Brown Master Plan, 1000 Main, Hess Tower, Capitol Tower and the rehabilitation of the Theater District Parking following Hurricane Harvey....

 

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25 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

^^The circular stuff was dated. I always liked the escalator ride inside 1 Houston Center, which I think will probably remain.

 

"Dated" at one point becomes historical not long later.  Calling it "dated" is the same kind of thinking that led to the modernization of the Carter building a couple blocks from here in the 1960s, thankfully undone (though in styrofoam) to restore the building for the JW Marriott.  I for one am disappointed to see this example of architecture demolished.  Sure, it looked old, but at least it was interesting with all the circles.  Now the building will be a disjoint combination of distinctive 1970s architecture and generic 2010s architecture.

 

My only complaint about the escalators at the Houston Center complex is that they are either always full of disrespectful people who would stand two-abreast, preventing anyone from getting around them, or they are so narrow that only one person can stand so there is no possibility of standing.  I always wished they had a stairwell in the middle, because it's quicker to walk up stairs than to wait for the slow escalator ride when nobody lets you pass.

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Wow, seriously? Circular architecture is now deemed “dated”? Don’t tell that to Apple’s Apple Park HQ. Lol. I seriously can’t wait till boring, rectangular blue glass boxes become “dated”.

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52 minutes ago, intencity77 said:

Wow, seriously? Circular architecture is now deemed “dated”? Don’t tell that to Apple’s Apple Park HQ. Lol. I seriously can’t wait till boring, rectangular blue glass boxes become “dated”.

 

Calm down, I did not say that circular architecture is all dated. I said "the circular stuff," referring to a certain portion of this particular building. Which I will add, looks nothing like Apple's HQ.

 

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1 hour ago, rechlin said:

"Dated" at one point becomes historical not long later.  Calling it "dated" is the same kind of thinking that led to the modernization of the Carter building a couple blocks from here in the 1960s, thankfully undone (though in styrofoam) to restore the building for the JW Marriott.  I for one am disappointed to see this example of architecture demolished.  Sure, it looked old, but at least it was interesting with all the circles.  Now the building will be a disjoint combination of distinctive 1970s architecture and generic 2010s architecture.

 

My only complaint about the escalators at the Houston Center complex is that they are either always full of disrespectful people who would stand two-abreast, preventing anyone from getting around them, or they are so narrow that only one person can stand so there is no possibility of standing.  I always wished they had a stairwell in the middle, because it's quicker to walk up stairs than to wait for the slow escalator ride when nobody lets you pass.

 

Some dated stuff becomes historical, some doesn't make it. I did not expect such a strong reaction to these enclosed exterior escalators, which seem (to me) to represent the worst of 70's anti-urban office development. If you feel this is an architectural loss akin to the 60's modernization of Houston's first skyscraper, you have my sincere condolences; I know how it feels to lose something you love.

 

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5 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

Some dated stuff becomes historical, some doesn't make it. I did not expect such a strong reaction to these enclosed exterior escalators, which seem (to me) to represent the worst of 70's anti-urban office development. If you feel this is an architectural loss akin to the 60's modernization of Houston's first skyscraper, you have my sincere condolences; I know how it feels to lose something you love.

 

Well, I also was very, very disappointed by what Hines did to 811 Louisiana (former Two Shell).  It used to be a somewhat architecturally interesting building, with an arch-like appearance to the windows on the second floor that gradually disappeared over the next several floors.  But then they replaced almost all of it with black cladding, leaving just one floor (the fifth, I believe) with slight variations in window sizes, which now looks out of place.  Once again, a modernization that did more harm than good.  Though I will admit I like what they did to the interior.

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Unfortunately the majority of our buildings were not designed with the ground level pedestrian interaction considered.  I think they may do this in a number of old buildings to try to liven them up.

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12 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Unfortunately the majority of our buildings were not designed with the ground level pedestrian interaction considered.  I think they may do this in a number of old buildings to try to liven them up.

 

The idea that these buildings were designed without pedestrian interaction considered is a bit of a misnomer. While we have different ideas of what "ground level pedestrian interaction" is today, and believe it to be better than what was considered then, that doesn't mean it wasn't a question during that time. Its not even that it wasn't a priority, but simply thought about in different ways. Every building that has ever existed has to either think about or consider ground level pedestrian interaction because at some point people are going to have to enter your building, or interact with it. For instance, transport yourself back to the time when the car was beginning to dramatically change the city landscape. If you read about what architects thought about at that time then you will understand that the car was actually very liberating. For the first time a different mode of approaching and entering the building had to be considered which meant that the same way one would approach a building over the past forever ago wasn't the end all be all. Now you didn't have to explicitly enter the building from the ground floor, but maybe drive into another place, park, and then walk through a tunnel or sky bridge to the building. It really was a game changer back in that time. Again, pedestrian interaction was considered, but considered in a different way in line with what our values were back then. Now our values have changed and right so do our buildings have to change to match for them to survive and thrive. At some point during the car experiment we understood that, going to far in one direction, we lost something. We also understood that just because you design a building for the car and people coming to the building explicitly doesn't mean that the building is isolated. Its part of a bigger context and network meaning that at some point people are going to want to enter the building in not just one way, but many.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

The idea that these buildings were designed without pedestrian interaction considered is a bit of a misnomer. While we have different ideas of what "ground level pedestrian interaction" is today, and believe it to be better than what was considered then, that doesn't mean it wasn't a question during that time. Its not even that it wasn't a priority, but simply thought about in different ways. Every building that has ever existed has to either think about or consider ground level pedestrian interaction because at some point people are going to have to enter your building, or interact with it. For instance, transport yourself back to the time when the car was beginning to dramatically change the city landscape. If you read about what architects thought about at that time then you will understand that the car was actually very liberating. For the first time a different mode of approaching and entering the building had to be considered which meant that the same way one would approach a building over the past forever ago wasn't the end all be all. Now you didn't have to explicitly enter the building from the ground floor, but maybe drive into another place, park, and then walk through a tunnel or sky bridge to the building. It really was a game changer back in that time. Again, pedestrian interaction was considered, but considered in a different way in line with what our values were back then. Now our values have changed and right so do our buildings have to change to match for them to survive and thrive. At some point during the car experiment we understood that, going to far in one direction, we lost something. We also understood that just because you design a building for the car and people coming to the building explicitly doesn't mean that the building is isolated. Its part of a bigger context and network meaning that at some point people are going to want to enter the building in not just one way, but many.

 

Well, of course they considered it, because they provided a nice escalator for the pedestrians to get to the second floor lobby. But they really didn't value ground level pedestrian interaction, as evidenced by their desire to create a whole mini-city where people would walk on the second level and the ground level would essentially be a parking and service area. I think that's the sort of thing kbates2 was referring to.

 

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On 4/15/2019 at 9:06 AM, H-Town Man said:

^^The circular stuff was dated. I always liked the escalator ride inside 1 Houston Center, which I think will probably remain.

 

dated is not a adjective I would use to describe that feature.

 

unique, is probably the adjective that springs to mind. 

 

it's not a tragedy to lose it, but changing it just adds to the overall blandness of downtown.

Edited by samagon
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