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Museo Plaza: Mixed-Use For The Museum District, 58-Story High-Rise


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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hindesky said:

All tenants in the old building have moved to the new one. Both it's parking lot and the one next to it are blocked off. The prosed high rise would go in the latter.

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It's looking much better now, just wish they would of made all of the glass look like the glass panels on the left, or something that better fits with those panels. If the whole building had that deep blue glass it would look amazing. Doesn't look half bad, but the cyan blue doesn't fit the building. 

Also, excited for the next phase of development hopefully that high rise comes to fruition. 

Edited by TheSirDingle
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1 hour ago, tangledwoods said:

aesthetic dumpster fire.  for an eye doctor, dude doesnt seem to have a good vision.....

People are so critical, it's literally his own personal office building lol. The amount of disused buildings in the area is the real dumpster fire

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OK, I'll come in here with the medium view. I don't entirely dislike the floor. The statuary is...a bit...well this isn't gonna be the Trevi Fountain. The mix up of curtain glass colors was...odd. But I think the proportions of the building aren't terrible, and I'm really excited to see what such a tall tower looks like here. Really excited. 

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Posted (edited)

Feel like BEES?! is on point. What was a weird choice in the smaller building, with the larger will transcend taste and create its own center of aesthetic gravity. I suppose that's a traditional definition of kitsch, but, I dare everyone involved to do it. 

Edited by EllenOlenska
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, EllenOlenska said:

Feel like BEES?! is on point. What was a weird choice in the smaller building, with the larger will transcend taste and create its own center of aesthetic gravity. I suppose that's a traditional definition of kitsch, but, I dare everyone involved to do it. 

Yes I can get onboard with yours and BEES' attitudes.  If Houston can fill up with a wide range of people's first and second and third drafts of their favorite place to be in the world, then it will remain a tapestry that's a good deal more nuanced than some consistent idea of taste and nuance could ever become.  And I'd rather live in that place, not because of or in spite of its frequent stylistic unevenness (or hamfistedness) but because of the potential for unexpectedly caring about new places and being in deliberately or accidentally profound surroundings.  That beats taste, design, and fine-grained, guaranteed quality to this American, even though kitsch is not my favorite yet.

Edited by strickn
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11 hours ago, BEES?! said:

I’m interested to see what the high rise will wind up looking like. Will they go for a more subdued color scheme on the glass, or let their freaky flag fly and go all-in on the weird colors?

The habitable sculpture concept from Philip Johnson (on which the residential tower is based) back in the day had a bunch of different colors, but the base palette was red.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/26/2022 at 4:09 PM, H-Town Man said:

That is good to hear. Horrible to hear that there will be a skybridge.

 

I don't have an opinion about skybridges, other than they're better than tunnels.  What's the beef with skybridges?

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Essentially the beef is that it’s a ped tunnel with better daylight but it robs the urban street of people’s presence no less than tunnels would.  However, the eye doctor doesn’t want people getting run over between the operating room and their hotel room, so it is part of the program for the hotel to be in the project (as a convenient place for patients to stay, not only the general public) that they not have to be part of the street life every time they move between buildings.

Edited by strickn
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On 6/11/2022 at 5:05 PM, strickn said:

Essentially the beef is that it’s a ped tunnel with better daylight but it robs the urban street of people’s presence no less than tunnels would.  However, the eye doctor doesn’t want people getting run over between the operating room and their hotel room, so it is part of the program for the hotel to be in the project (as a convenient place for patients to stay, not only the general public) that they not have to be part of the street life every time they move between buildings.

Skybridges don't just rob the street of pedestrians. They create a psychological sense that the street is a second-class location while the glass-enclosed bridges above the street are the first-class location. They rob the street of dignity, and great streets the world over seldom have them. They're worse than tunnels because you don't have to look at the tunnel. They are characteristic of second-tier cities where the public sphere is weak and the private sphere is overly powerful, and people don't want to walk on the street because it is thought to be a gross and scary place full of homeless.

I can't take too seriously that there is a risk of eyecare patients getting run over if they don't have a skybridge to get them across the street. How did they get to the hotel in the first place? If you can drive, you can cross a street. If somebody drove you, they can walk you across the street.

Edited by H-Town Man
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4 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

Skybridges don't just rob the street of pedestrians. They create a psychological sense that the street is a second-class location while the glass-enclosed bridges above the street are the first-class location. They rob the street of dignity, and great streets the world over seldom have them. They are characteristic of second-tier cities where the public sphere is weak and the private sphere is overly powerful, and people don't want to walk on the street because it is thought to be a gross and scary place full of homeless.

I can't take too seriously that there is a risk of eyecare patients getting run over if they don't have a skybridge to get them across the street. How did they get to the hotel in the first place? If you can drive, you can cross a street. If somebody drove you, they can walk you across the street.

Why would you ask people to walk across a busy street, with traffic, when you can just have them walk in an air conditioned sky bridge? This is all part of one development, and the developers have a vested interest in keeping those who visit inside the development. They don't care about the street.

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37 minutes ago, Big E said:

Why would you ask people to walk across a busy street, with traffic, when you can just have them walk in an air conditioned sky bridge? This is all part of one development, and the developers have a vested interest in keeping those who visit inside the development. They don't care about the street.

We are talking about walking across *a street* correct? I just want to make sure we are both talking about the same thing. Crossing one street in the Museum District. Not crossing a freeway. Not crossing an eight-lane road. A single street in a neighborhood that you hope becomes an interesting neighborhood where people walk around, not a repeat of the Medical Center and its jumble of skybridges, garages, and faceless buildings that nobody wants to walk around.

Fannin has a traffic count of 15,683 a day. Not very busy. You push a button on the crosswalk and wait for the walk sign to appear. Why would a developer in an urban setting have an interest (vested or not) in keeping those who visit inside the development? It's a hotel, and there are lots of tourist attractions nearby... are you saying that you don't want people walking to those attractions? This isn't the Gaylord Texan where you want everyone to stay bottled up inside your development. Of course you care about the street. It makes the hotel more desirable if there's a nice active street to walk on. Someone visiting a museum is more likely to stay at your hotel, etc.

 

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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54 minutes ago, Big E said:

Why would you ask people to walk across a busy street, with traffic, when you can just have them walk in an air conditioned sky bridge? This is all part of one development, and the developers have a vested interest in keeping those who visit inside the development. They don't care about the street.

Yeah hard pass

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

We are talking about walking across *a street* correct? I just want to make sure we are both talking about the same thing. Crossing one street in the Museum District. Not crossing a freeway. Not crossing an eight-lane road. A single street in a neighborhood that you hope becomes an interesting neighborhood where people walk around, not a repeat of the Medical Center and its jumble of skybridges, garages, and faceless buildings that nobody wants to walk around.

Fannin has a traffic count of 15,683 a day. Not very busy. You push a button on the crosswalk and wait for the walk sign to appear. Why would a developer in an urban setting have an interest (vested or not) in keeping those who visit inside the development? It's a hotel, and there are lots of tourist attractions nearby... are you saying that you don't want people walking to those attractions? This isn't the Gaylord Texan where you want everyone to stay bottled up inside your development. Of course you care about the street. It makes the hotel more desirable if there's a nice active street to walk on. Someone visiting a museum is more likely to stay at your hotel, etc.

 

 

FWIW, you’ve persuaded me to rally against the skybridge (they’d need city approvals with notice and a meeting no doubt), where I’d previously been indifferent to it.  

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I understand that you don’t want a whole district with skybridges but if the people are really only going between these two buildings, what do you gain without the skybridge? If people want to go to other places near by they can still walk. Also I think people look too deep into why Houston has so many skybridges and tunnels, its f#@*ing hot here lol 

 

Just to be clear I am 100% for great streetscapes. In fact I get annoyed when people seem to only care how tall a building is and not how that building will add to its immediate community. In my opinion these two buildings could have just been one building. If you are traveling to use just these two buildings, is having you walk across that street really going to inspire you to walk around that area? 

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The skybridge so they can move patients easily from one building to the hotel.  Unless I am mistaken in where the skybridge is to be built.

That would, in my opinion, be an acceptable reasoning for any skybridge. Hopefully the streetscape is still energetic with walkers and gawkers.

**I just dealt with my father-in-law having eye surgery, folks who’ve had eye procedures typically cannot drive.  The clinic where this took place was absolutely slam packed, and the traffic driving in/out to both drop off and pick up was crazy.  I can see where if you’ve got the financing why not build a little more convenience into everything for patients.

I don’t mind skybridges.  It’s our terrible sidewalk culture here that’s the root of the problem, not the dozen or so skybridges around town.

Edited by arche_757
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17 hours ago, jmitch94 said:

I understand that you don’t want a whole district with skybridges but if the people are really only going between these two buildings, what do you gain without the skybridge? If people want to go to other places near by they can still walk. Also I think people look too deep into why Houston has so many skybridges and tunnels, its f#@*ing hot here lol

People in Houston moan about the heat.  It's not that bad, even with the humidity.  There are plenty of other cities that are much hotter, even in our own region, that don't turn their downtowns into Habitrails.

I'm OK with a skybridge that links a couple of medical facilities, since many of the users will be less able to navigate the street quickly and comfortably. 

But suck it up, buttercup.  What happened to the big, burly, brave Texans?  Now they're all afraid of the heat?  Better find another planet to live on, because this one's only getting hotter.

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17 hours ago, jmitch94 said:

If you are traveling to use just these two buildings, is having you walk across that street really going to inspire you to walk around that area? 

It's not that you'll inspire people to walk around by forcing them down to the street level (although maybe they'd be slightly more likely). It's that having a skybridge over a street hurts the streetscape for anyone else. It says "Special people up here - plebeians down there." Think of any great street that people like to walk around on. Lower Main Street. South Congress or 6th Street in Austin. Houston Street in San Antonio. McKinney Street in Dallas. The Strand in Galveston. Anywhere in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Now picture a skybridge - just one skybridge - going over that street. Terrible!

Plus, it sets a precedent. Think this will be the last medical building in the Museum District? And every medical building will have to have a skybridge for their patients so they don't die. Next thing you know, the Museum District is Medical Center North, and we will mourn the neighborhood that might have been.

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33 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

It's not that you'll inspire people to walk around by forcing them down to the street level (although maybe they'd be slightly more likely). It's that having a skybridge over a street hurts the streetscape for anyone else. It says "Special people up here - plebeians down there." Think of any great street that people like to walk around on. Lower Main Street. South Congress or 6th Street in Austin. Houston Street in San Antonio. McKinney Street in Dallas. The Strand in Galveston. Anywhere in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Now picture a skybridge - just one skybridge - going over that street. Terrible!

Plus, it sets a precedent. Think this will be the last medical building in the Museum District? And every medical building will have to have a skybridge for their patients so they don't die. Next thing you know, the Museum District is Medical Center North, and we will mourn the neighborhood that might have been.

This area is pretty rough right now so I would totally be happy with a "Medical Center North". You make this area sound like some elegant area of Back Bay or something. The stretch between here and the Ion is literally abandoned buildings, needles, and a flower shop. 

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33 minutes ago, arche_757 said:

@H-Town Man I think the point you’re making is certainly valid, but I think you’re missing the fact this is an eye doctor building a campus complete with hotel for his patients first, everyone else second.

When I wrote initially that the skybridge was horrible, I didn't mean that it was horrible for Dr. Mann, I meant that it was horrible for the neighborhood. Do you want the Museum District to fill up with medical buildings and skybridges? Even one skybridge is too many. And if we were to make a law banning skybridges in certain areas (perhaps TOD areas), either stuff like this would go elsewhere, or else Dr. Mann with his deep resources would figure out another way to get his patients in safely, perhaps by putting the hotel on the same block as the clinic.

Edited by H-Town Man
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24 minutes ago, iah77 said:

This area is pretty rough right now so I would totally be happy with a "Medical Center North". You make this area sound like some elegant area of Back Bay or something. The stretch between here and the Ion is literally abandoned buildings, needles, and a flower shop. 

Couldn't agree less. You have a bunch of museums, cultural institutions, high incomes in the area, mature trees. It can be done right and we could have a great walkable neighborhood here if we don't settle for the same old crap.

Imagine if when they built Rice University they had said, "Well shucks, we don't have to plan anything, let's just put up a bunch of shiny buildings and by golly, it'll be better than what was here before!"

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1 hour ago, editor said:

People in Houston moan about the heat.  It's not that bad, even with the humidity.

Maybe if you live in Houston and are used to it. For people visiting from up north? Is a whole different story. I understand that and I'm from a place with humidity just as bad as, if not worse than, Houston. Yes, people traveling to an eye clinic are probably not going to care to walk outside in the humidity just to get to their doctor's appointment. As others have brought up, this area doesn't really have a hopping street life anyway, and isn't the best of neighborhoods. Nothing of value is lost by building a skybridge here. This isn't the Peachtree Center in Downtown Atlanta.

 

12 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

I understand that it makes sense from their perspective. Skybridges always make sense from the perspective of the people building them, otherwise they wouldn't spend the money to build them. What I care about is the neighborhood. Do you want the Museum District to fill up with medical buildings and skybridges? Even one skybridge is too many. And if we were to make a law banning skybridges in certain areas (perhaps TOD areas), either stuff like this would go elsewhere, or else Dr. Mann with his deep resources would figure out another way to get his patients in safely, perhaps by putting the hotel on the same block as the clinic.

The developer's interest in "the neighborhood" will always be second to their interest in their own development and potential clientele. It makes no sense to try to limit skybridges. Why? To what end? The very idea completely flies in the face of the laissez-faire approach to development that made Houston the city it is. This development will benefit the city ultimately; no point in attacking it over a skybridge of all things.

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2 minutes ago, Big E said:

The developer's interest in "the neighborhood" will always be second to their interest in their own development and potential clientele. It makes no sense to try to limit skybridges. Why? To what end? The very idea completely flies in the face of the laissez-faire approach to development that made Houston the city it is. This development will benefit the city ultimately; no point in attacking it over a skybridge of all things.

I've just explained why they should be limited. We aren't a pure laissez-faire city, that's a myth. We banned billboards and have been buying out the ones that are grandfathered. We banned most forms of signage downtown. We've created parking minimums and setback laws. There are something like 17 scenic districts and I forget how many historic neighborhoods. The pure laissez-faire Houston is long gone and most people appreciate the improvements. Banning skybridges in transit-oriented-development areas would be another improvement.

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20 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

When I wrote initially that the skybridge was horrible, I didn't mean that it was horrible for Dr. Mann, I meant that it was horrible for the neighborhood. Do you want the Museum District to fill up with medical buildings and skybridges? Even one skybridge is too many. And if we were to make a law banning skybridges in certain areas (perhaps TOD areas), either stuff like this would go elsewhere, or else Dr. Mann with his deep resources would figure out another way to get his patients in safely, perhaps by putting the hotel on the same block as the clinic.

Understood.  There have to be exceptions to any ordinance though, and medical facilities would be that exception.

I am guessing the designers went through multiple approaches to best accommodating their clients goals on this project.  I could be wrong?

Again, I do understand where you are coming from and agree with much of your assessment/opinion.

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43 minutes ago, Big E said:

 

The developer's interest in "the neighborhood" will always be second to their interest in their own development and potential clientele. It makes no sense to try to limit skybridges. Why? To what end? The very idea completely flies in the face of the laissez-faire approach to development that made Houston the city it is. This development will benefit the city ultimately; no point in attacking it over a skybridge of all things.

From a property rights standpoint, skybridges over public rights-of-way are not “laissez-faire.” Those rights of way have been planned out and are part of the public “bundle of sticks” we get for living in the City of Houston. There’s no right to a skybridge over public ROW. This isn’t a building line or other restriction on Dr. Mann’s property. We are talking about a use of property (the ROW) in the public domain.

There hasn’t been a skybridge in a single rendering of the development that’s been presented to the public.  It certainly hasn’t been part of the attraction for this development on this forum as far as I can tell (and I’ve been a cheerleader for the Habitable Sculpture design to come through).

 

Edited by houstontexasjack
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25 minutes ago, houstontexasjack said:

From a property rights standpoint, skybridges over public rights-of-way are not “laissez-faire.” Those rights of way have been planned out and are part of the public “bundle of sticks” we get for living in the City of Houston. There’s no right to a skybridge over public ROW. This isn’t a building line or other restriction on Dr. Mann’s property. We are talking about a use of property (the ROW) in the public domain.

There hasn’t been a skybridge in a single rendering of the development that’s been presented to the public.  It certainly hasn’t been part of the attraction for this development on this forum as far as I can tell (and I’ve been a cheerleader for the Habitable Sculpture design to come through).

 

All true, except, from Page 2 of this thread:

image.png.8243aed8609ed0fd3488c6a97691abf3.png

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26 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

All true, except, from Page 2 of this thread:

image.png.8243aed8609ed0fd3488c6a97691abf3.png

Ah, I stand corrected.

 

Edit:  The skybridge hasn’t been clearly depicted on the more recent rendering, which shows a different orientation for that plaza between Main and Fannin:

c9wJ7qp.jpg

 

Edited by houstontexasjack
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37 minutes ago, houstontexasjack said:

Ah, I stand corrected.

 

Edit:  The skybridge hasn’t been clearly depicted on the more recent rendering, which shows a different orientation for that plaza between Main and Fannin:

c9wJ7qp.jpg

 

That rendering does not include the third building (presumably the hotel building)...

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I can see everyone’s point, but I doubt most people will use the skybridge (if provided) in lieu of walking at a ground level that looks engaging.

I type with my own experience as the basis for my decision.  I’ve got 2 young children and while I do often pick the path of least resistance, that often times does not involve me seeking out a skybridge and then either 1-2 escalator and/or elevator trips.  I really do suspect this is being done solely for medical patients.

At the end of the day it looks like this project (as a whole) will move forward and create a better urban environment than what was there before.  Skybridge or not.

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1 minute ago, hindesky said:

They have a fence along Fannin St. so people don't just walk across the light rail tracks. People walking have to go to either the end of the block to cross.

I think that's what people are supposed to do in any event.  ;-)

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3 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

I think that's what people are supposed to do in any event.  ;-)

You would be surprised how many take the path of least resistance. At least with the fence they don't have any option and might actually pay attention to the signal light indicating they have the right to cross.

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