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Dakota79

Ion and Innovation District in Midtown (Former Sears)

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On 9/29/2019 at 4:24 PM, hindesky said:

Why not just start from ground zero? Seems like they're tearing everything down, what's going to be left of the old building?

k0NJ756.jpg

 

I thought the same with the Grigg's Boat Store in Montrose. They gutted the hell out of it, but then completely transformed it back to what it would have looked like before Grigg's. That's the same thing here. Sears stripped this building down so much that the original shell is the only thing worthy of saving. Use it as a base frame, and then bring back the ornament on top of that.

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The photos are all taken from the southern view. If you view from the east west or north you realize they have saved the most modern aspects of the building. I would also imagine that hideous brick will with get taken down or covered.

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11 hours ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

ltTgIP8.jpg

 

 

image.png.459fde03612e37fdfbc734c75eab72ec.png

 

 

Looks like their plan will be to rebuild / recreate a large part of this building.

 

Interesting... as it not technically 'preservation'. But the gist of the original building will remain....

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Just trust these people. Its going to be fantastic. They're saving all of the important architectural detailing that was important. The southern side was a very plain back of the house walls and really had no modern elements. It's going to be fine. Rice and Hines aren't going to screw it up.

You couldn't ask for two more conscientious groups. I mean Rice founded the RDA which is all about good sound architecture.

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16 minutes ago, bobruss said:

 Rice and Hines aren't going to screw it up...I mean Rice founded the RDA which is all about good sound architecture.

 

I'm not so sure about Rice anymore after this: 

external-rendering-1iveo85.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Not sure how much respect I'm actually due, but I find it hideous. Especially the truncated top. And it's made worse for me when I consider who Rice originally hired to design their opera house. We could have had something designed by the firm that designed these:

 

22175810678_73f3eea110_o-8de8457728364748b2fbc2bfa5bbc4d2.jpg.dbe01c5b1ae61f2351f544b7bcaa5138.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 1.56.21 PM.jpg

 

ETA: I must say I've yet to see the building in person. I'm hoping it's the rendering itself that makes it so offensive to me. But I still think Rice lost an opportunity by taking the conservative route. IMO, Houston is in dire need of some new signature architecture.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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Posted (edited)

How do you think this Sears development will affect the easternmost part of Richmond Ave, just on the opposite side of the Spur....say from Montrose Blvd to the Spur? That little stretch of Richmond is pretty lifeless and devoid of any real development for a while now (with the exception of Lotti Dotti). I feel like it’s ripe for development once the Ion is up and running just across the Spur. I read somewhere that most of the businesses on that stretch of Richmond closed about a decade ago when they all thought they’d be driven out by the University line on the metro rail (which obviously never happened).

Edited by clutchcity94
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Some of them did however some of them closed due to lack of business. Some blamed the possible rail line for their demise. 

Thats just a wonky area of Montrose.

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3 minutes ago, bobruss said:

Some of them did however some of them closed due to lack of business. Some blamed the possible rail line for their demise. 

Thats just a wonky area of Montrose.

I suppose BCN is there, and the are just southwest of there seems to be doing great (BB Lemon, etc). That whole pocket on Richmond just needs a complete refresh.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

external-rendering-1iveo85.jpg

 

I agree with Avossos. This looks like a place you'd want to go to hear Verdi or Puccini. I could see a few quibbles with how well the historical design is executed (what are those arches and keystones supporting at the top?), but it harmonizes with the historical architecture that most people love about Rice, especially students.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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4 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

I'm not so sure about Rice anymore after this: 

external-rendering-1iveo85.jpg

Shouldn't there be a spire, a taller roof, and some flying buttresses on there?

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38 minutes ago, Ross said:

Shouldn't there be a spire, a taller roof, and some flying buttresses on there?

 

In Byzantine-derived architecture? Not really.

 

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4 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

I must say I've yet to see the building in person. I'm hoping it's the rendering itself that makes it so offensive to me. But I still think Rice lost an opportunity by taking the conservative route. IMO, Houston is in dire need of some new signature architecture.

I’ve seen it in person and I think it looks much nicer than the renderings.  It’s consistent with the overall vibe of the campus.  Yes, the faux arches/keystones may be confusing/disappointing in their lack of purpose, but as a whole I like it.  What I don’t like is it’s setting.  It’s surrounded by a parking lot on two sides (I’m sure the eventual landscaping will help). And the front face is suffocatingly close to the existing music school.  There’s no opportunity to take in the front of the building from any distance.  The building is not showcased optimally.

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31 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

In Byzantine-derived architecture? Not really.

 

"Damn it Jim, I want a spire!"

 

Can we call it Byzantine Gothic? Maybe make the windows a little pointy, and tack on the flying buttresses? We can make them out of foam, no one will know the difference.

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28 minutes ago, MarathonMan said:

I’ve seen it in person and I think it looks much nicer than the renderings.  It’s consistent with the overall vibe of the campus.  Yes, the faux arches/keystones may be confusing/disappointing in their lack of purpose, but as a whole I like it.  What I don’t like is it’s setting.  It’s surrounded by a parking lot on two sides (I’m sure the eventual landscaping will help). And the front face is suffocatingly close to the existing music school.  There’s no opportunity to take in the front of the building from any distance.  The building is not showcased optimally.

 

Almost as if it was set in a street grid.

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12 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

I’ve seen it in person and I think it looks much nicer than the renderings.  It’s consistent with the overall vibe of the campus.  Yes, the faux arches/keystones may be confusing/disappointing in their lack of purpose, but as a whole I like it.  What I don’t like is it’s setting.  It’s surrounded by a parking lot on two sides (I’m sure the eventual landscaping will help). And the front face is suffocatingly close to the existing music school.  There’s no opportunity to take in the front of the building from any distance.  The building is not showcased optimally.

Maybe they chose the that site due to parking for concerts.

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17 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Not sure how much respect I'm actually due, but I find it hideous. Especially the truncated top. And it's made worse for me when I consider who Rice originally hired to design their opera house. We could have had something designed by the firm that designed these:

 

22175810678_73f3eea110_o-8de8457728364748b2fbc2bfa5bbc4d2.jpg.dbe01c5b1ae61f2351f544b7bcaa5138.jpg

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 1.56.21 PM.jpg

 

ETA: I must say I've yet to see the building in person. I'm hoping it's the rendering itself that makes it so offensive to me. But I still think Rice lost an opportunity by taking the conservative route. IMO, Houston is in dire need of some new signature architecture.

 

Beautiful buildings, but I think anything designed like that would be sorely out of place on the Rice campus. I feel as though the current design, while it has its issues, is consistent with the architecture seen around campus. Maybe if it were visualized you could change my mind, but then again I think taking the conservative approach won't upset the status quo.

 

Belmont University in Nashville is taking a similar approach with their new Performing Arts Center (in terms of trying to match the existing style of the campus):

 

 

 

Belmont-University-Performing-Arts-Center-Rendering.jpg

Edited by CaptainJilliams
Forgot to say something
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Architecture is not immune to the Lindy effect

 

If a style from 100 or 1000 years ago looks good today, it's likely to still look good 100 or 1000 years from now. I'm less sanguine about the staying power of modern architecture.

 

 

 

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What do you mean by modern? Modern as in the actual style (or collection of styles/philosophy) or modern as in contemporary? Modern as in the Sears building as designed, or Pennzoil Place, or St. Thomas? Or modern as in the contemporary examples shown above or the Stephen Holl additions to MFAH?

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3 minutes ago, Texasota said:

What do you mean by modern? Modern as in the actual style (or collection of styles/philosophy) or modern as in contemporary? Modern as in the Sears building as designed, or Pennzoil Place, or St. Thomas? Or modern as in the contemporary examples shown above or the Stephen Holl additions to MFAH?

 

Sears Building - Art Deco (technically an "early modern" style)

Pennzoil Place - Post Modern (not a modern style. Post Modern is a completely different canon)

St. Thomas - International Style (the definitive "modern" style. When one talks about modernism they typically are talking about this style.)

New MFAH addition - Post Modern (again part of Post Modern which is a different canon)

 

Just an FYI or added info to the conversation for clarity.

EDIT: Of course the Church at St. Thomas is Post Modern which is interesting because it was done by the same architect. Just further clarification.

Edited by Luminare
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37 minutes ago, Texasota said:

What do you mean by modern? Modern as in the actual style (or collection of styles/philosophy) or modern as in contemporary? Modern as in the Sears building as designed, or Pennzoil Place, or St. Thomas? Or modern as in the contemporary examples shown above or the Stephen Holl additions to MFAH?

 

I think he means "modern" in the broad sense, as opposed to "traditional." I would guess that modern in this sense begins roughly with the Secession movement in Europe and with Frank Lloyd Wright in the United States. Since then it's been a chaos of different styles, most of them trying to differentiate themselves from all that came before in an endless attempt to outdo one another in creativity. Although the International Style and similar minimalist styles seem to form a kind of connecting thread that will probably be the most enduring legacy of this era.

 

Corresponds with the modern era in visual art that began with Cezanne and Picasso. In the case of visual art, the overriding factor was the invention of photography, which did away with the demand for realism in painting. In the case of architecture, the overriding factor is steel, which did away with traditional masonry and the architectural forms (arch, etc.) that it requires.

 

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You can define "modernism" back to the Crystal Palace if not further. The term is so broad, and used so differently in general conversation, that it's barely meaningful.

I mean, strictly speaking, the lame Rice opera house under construction now is a structurally modern building with a somewhat pared down, slightly muddled "traditionalist" style. If nothing else, I'd like someone to come up with a good (preferably at least mildly derogatory) name for buildings that attempt to graft older styles onto modern/contemporary structures using contemporary materials and techniques.

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4 minutes ago, Texasota said:

You can define "modernism" back to the Crystal Palace if not further. The term is so broad, and used so differently in general conversation, that it's barely meaningful.

I mean, strictly speaking, the lame Rice opera house under construction now is a structurally modern building with a somewhat pared down, slightly muddled "traditionalist" style. If nothing else, I'd like someone to come up with a good (preferably at least mildly derogatory) name for buildings that attempt to graft older styles onto modern/contemporary structures using contemporary materials and techniques.

 

Fair point about the Crystal Palace, although it did not become part of a dominant style of its time. It would be another 50 years until "modern" (in the wide sense) styles became dominant. It was an antecedent of modernism, at least in materials.

 

I think the word you're looking for might be historicist?

 

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Sears Building - Art Deco (technically an "early modern" style)

Pennzoil Place - Post Modern (not a modern style. Post Modern is a completely different canon)

St. Thomas - International Style (the definitive "modern" style. When one talks about modernism they typically are talking about this style.)

New MFAH addition - Post Modern (again part of Post Modern which is a different canon)

 

Just an FYI or added info to the conversation for clarity.

EDIT: Of course the Church at St. Thomas is Post Modern which is interesting because it was done by the same architect. Just further clarification.

 

What makes Pennzoil Place Post Modern as opposed to modern?

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1 minute ago, Houston19514 said:

 

What makes Pennzoil Place Post Modern as opposed to modern?

 

Departure from the rectangular prism. It is a very mild form of postmodernism. I think with Frank Gehry you get full-blown postmodernism.

 

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6 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Departure from the rectangular prism. It is a very mild form of postmodernism. I think with Frank Gehry you get full-blown postmodernism.

 

 

8 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

What makes Pennzoil Place Post Modern as opposed to modern?

 

Its also typically regarded as the first true post modern skyscraper. What H-Town describes is, without both of us going at length about the movement, correct.

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53 minutes ago, Texasota said:

I mean, strictly speaking, the lame Rice opera house under construction now is a structurally modern building with a somewhat pared down, slightly muddled "traditionalist" style. If nothing else, I'd like someone to come up with a good (preferably at least mildly derogatory) name for buildings that attempt to graft older styles onto modern/contemporary structures using contemporary materials and techniques.

 

One could also call it post modern (cf. 700 Louisiana), or perhaps Neo Byzantine Gothic Re-Revival. 

....

Today's moment in pedantry, and one of my pet peeves:  "Post modern" is an oxymoron.  :ph34r:

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9 minutes ago, mollusk said:

 

One could also call it post modern (cf. 700 Louisiana), or perhaps Neo Byzantine Gothic Re-Revival. 

....

Today's moment in pedantry, and one of my pet peeves:  "Post modern" is an oxymoron.  :ph34r:

 

Yeah, but my peeve with "Post Modern" is that the oxymoron is actually the point. Its a movement that thrives on contradictions, and so calling out the contradiction is actually what plays to its hand. I mean the name in of itself is absurd since "modern" literally means "just now", so in affect "Post Modern" is "after just now" or "after now" which is ridiculous, but that is also the point.

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1 minute ago, mollusk said:

 

One could also call it post modern (cf. 700 Louisiana), or perhaps Neo Byzantine Gothic Re-Revival. 

....

Today's moment in pedantry, and one of my pet peeves:  "Post modern" is an oxymoron.  :ph34r:

 

It is a headscratcher for me that buildings of Philip Johnson like 700 Louisiana or the AT&T headquarters are considered "postmodern," when I think a better term would be "historical eclectic" or something similar. Postmodernism is supposed to involve a sense of uncertainty, a fragmenting of the confidence of modernism. I guess it makes sense if you see Johnson's historicism as a loss of confidence in the present and therefore a turning to the past. But Johnson espoused a heroic ideal that is very far from postmodernism. His historicism is meant to awaken a sense of grandeur and nobility, regally bestowed upon the corporations that filled them.

 

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6 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

It is a headscratcher for me that buildings of Philip Johnson like 700 Louisiana or the AT&T headquarters are considered "postmodern," when I think a better term would be "historical eclectic" or something similar. Postmodernism is supposed to involve a sense of uncertainty, a fragmenting of the confidence of modernism. I guess it makes sense if you see Johnson's historicism as a loss of confidence in the present and therefore a turning to the past. But Johnson espoused a heroic ideal that is very far from postmodernism. His historicism is meant to awaken a sense of grandeur and nobility, regally bestowed upon the corporations that filled them.

 

 

I think witnessed in isolation I would agree that its a headscratcher in terms of category....yet that is also a point in postmodernism which is the idea that categorization is utterly arbitrary and therefore is ripe for blending, deconstruction, or obliteration. The interesting thing about Phillip Johnson was the fact that he really only embraced Postmodernism in its ideals for aesthetic play, but not its nihilism. Its what makes his works interesting yet utterly confusing in relation or pairing with others.

Edited by Luminare

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

Yeah, but my peeve with "Post Modern" is that the oxymoron is actually the point. Its a movement that thrives on contradictions, and so calling out the contradiction is actually what plays to its hand. I mean the name in of itself is absurd since "modern" literally means "just now", so in affect "Post Modern" is "after just now" or "after now" which is ridiculous, but that is also the point.

 

I get it - but I make my living writing stuff that my clients and I hope is not ridiculous, hence my barely restrained obsession regarding grammar that affects my daily life.  I even have a "grammar" folder in my browser toolbars, an effective collection of links that includes Common Errors in English Usage. :ph34r:

 

Meanwhile, back on topic:

 

Photos from before the 1960s remuddling appear to have a second (and perhaps even a third) feature similar to the one at the southwest corner.  Does anyone know if they're going to be recreated to match what we see in all the renderings of the Main / Wheeler corner?  (I may not have dug back far enough in this thread)

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3 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I think he means "modern" in the broad sense, as opposed to "traditional."

 

 

Definitely small-m modern.

 

The Lindy effect basically says that the life expectancy of a (non-living) thing is proportional to its current age. A restaurant that's been operating for 50 years is more likely to still be operating 50 years from now than a restaurant that opened a couple years ago. Ditto an architectural style that has been in use for a couple centuries is more likely to still be in use a couple centuries from now.

 

Specifically, sometime around the middle of the 20th century, architects started designing to a different scale. Instead of designing features to be appreciated by someone walking past on a sidewalk, they started designing features for someone riding past in a car (or flying over in a helicopter). The motto of this kind of architecture seems to be "Look at me! (but only from a distance)."  As the period where cities are designed around cars rather than people comes to a close, that style of architecture might also fade out.

 

After all, it didn't take us all that long to realize that building in raw concrete was a bad idea.

 

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22 hours ago, ekdrm2d1 said:

From today.

 

GCQwgNE.jpg

 

Smoothing out some of the surfaces. Looks like casting new concrete onto the old.

 

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The Rice concert hall looks like David Weekly designed and built it. Rice has plenty of architecture that respected its past yet still managed to embrace the current/modern/contemporary design language.

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1 hour ago, texas911 said:

The Rice concert hall looks like David Weekly designed and built it. Rice has plenty of architecture that respected its past yet still managed to embrace the current/modern/contemporary design language.

 

that is quite the compliment to David Weekly... and I know that's not what you meant.

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If you think that's a compliment to David Weekly, you're on the wrong forum.

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I think the Rice concert hall is a huge disappointment and has little if any architectural value, but even I think that's a compliment to David Weekly.

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20 hours ago, Avossos said:

 

that is quite the compliment to David Weekly... and I know that's not what you meant.

 

40 minutes ago, texas911 said:

If you think that's a compliment to David Weekly, you're on the wrong forum.

 

Image result for Can you read meme

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1 hour ago, rechlin said:

Now the ragged edges make more sense.  They were just roughing-in the holes, and now they've cut much more accurately to the full final size on the 2nd floor.  They are still hacking away at the roof of the 3rd floor, though:

 

So there was a plan all along, and they didn't need our concerned comments. Hmmm.

 

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1 hour ago, rechlin said:

Now the ragged edges make more sense.  They were just roughing-in the holes, and now they've cut much more accurately to the full final size on the 2nd floor.  They are still hacking away at the roof of the 3rd floor, though:

 

oSkqyv2.jpg

 

 

It always made sense if you looked at the previously posted renderings .....  Build, Baby, Build!

 

 

On 10/9/2019 at 8:49 AM, Avossos said:

image.png.459fde03612e37fdfbc734c75eab72ec.png

 

 

Edited by Toopicky
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When will they start beautifying the surrounding area? That shiny new building sure will look odd surrounded by burnt out plants and boring streetscapes.

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