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Gulf Building


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I'm not one that subscribes to tallest is always best. Nobody can argue that Houston has some really nice towers and the Bank of America is a jewel among the newer buildings. However, I have always been a fan on the 10's, 20's, and 30's buildings. The Gulf Building is one of my Houston favs. Anybody have any day and night pics of the building??

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I'm not one that subscribes to tallest is always best. Nobody can argue that Houston has some really nice towers and the Bank of America is a jewel among the newer buildings. However, I have always been a fan on the 10's, 20's, and 30's buildings. The Gulf Building is one of my Houston favs. Anybody have any day and night pics of the building??

Taken by me:

hryaoi.jpg

Found:

hryccz.jpg

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ChaseBankBuilding-001.jpg

ChaseBankBuilding-002.jpg

Interesting pictures. Does anyone know if this building used to have a sign on the top of it, perhaps in the '50's or '60's? If so, does anyone have a picture? I've heard that it used to have a circular rotating sign on top and was referred to as "The Lollopop." Pilots used it to navigate at night. The story sounds plausible, but is just bizarre enough that it could be an urban myth.

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the following is from a souvenir booklet designed for the opening of the Gulf Building in 1929.

Houston's Official Air Beacon

Four hundred fifty feet above the street level is mounted the Jesse H. Jones Aeronautical Beacon. This is the Houston air mail beacon authorized and approved by the United States Department of Commerce. Utilizing twenty-three thousand candle power, this light is visable on clear nights for a distance of fifty miles. Two shafts of light are incorporated into the scheme, one of fifteen thousand candle power, pointing vertically into the heavens and another of eight thousand candle power, sending a horizontal beam towards the Houston airport. The searchlights are equipped with an automatic device which changes globes in case of burned-out filaments, so that light is constant between sunset and sunrise.

The general arrangement of exterior floodlighting for the edifice utilizes two hundred thirty-two projectors distributed between the twenty-second floor and the top of the building, bathing it in a clear white light which brings into strong contrast the carvings and ornimentation of the upper thirteen stories of the structure, The whole plan provides for a distribution of twelve million six hundred thousand candle power.

The booklet also says that ground was broken in late summer 1927 and first tenants, Sakowitz Bros., moved in on 16 Apr 1929.

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I did some research and found something on the Gulf Building Sign in the Houston Chronicle archives. Quite an interesting history, and quite contraversial at the time, it seems. Here's the link:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=2001_3296980

Thanks for the link. That was an interesting article. I know the sign was considered garish at the time, but I really wish it had been kept. It would make a nice local landmark.

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Here is a small pic from an ebay auction. you can see the gulf sign on top of the bldg. in the pic on the map.

64_1.JPG

Thanks for the pic. It does kind of look like one of those old timey gas pumps with the big orange sign on top. Good idea or bad , it must have been quite a sight in its day!

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Thanks for the pic. It does kind of look like one of those old timey gas pumps with the big orange sign on top. Good idea or bad , it must have been quite a sight in its day!

It was definately one of those things kids look for when you are going by downtown.

I always had to look at it just like the flying eagle on the budweiser plant.

i can remember the center white section of the Gulf sign being out at one time and I used to think it looked like a hamburger. I am sure I rattled endlessly about this to my parents. Kids :P

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It was definately one of those things kids look for when you are going by downtown.

I always had to look at it just like the flying eagle on the budweiser plant.

i can remember the center white section of the Gulf sign being out at one time and I used to think it looked like a hamburger. I am sure I rattled endlessly about this to my parents. Kids :P

All of those skyscrapers in Downtown Houston naturally contain many offices. Offices are mostly for businesses. Are there enough businesses that occupy at least half of all of those offices? Or are most of the offices in the building vacant?

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All of those skyscrapers in Downtown Houston naturally contain many offices. Offices are mostly for businesses. Are there enough businesses that occupy at least half of all of those offices? Or are most of the offices in the building vacant?

I recently had access to the 46-47 Morrison & Formy City Directory and as best I can remember I counted ALL the tenants of the Bldg. @ that tyme and the # was approx 855 for the 37 flrs.

Amazing thing about those old reference sources if they listed tenants for ALL floors in ALL Bldg's downtown. You wont't find that kind of data today. Probably sum'n 2 do w/homeland security.

Also since most Bldg's had additional entrances on more that one street they too were list @ the cross street addy.

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I recently had access to the 46-47 Morrison & Formy City Directory and as best I can remember I counted ALL the tenants of the Bldg. @ that tyme and the # was approx 855 for the 37 flrs.

Amazing thing about those old reference sources if they listed tenants for ALL floors in ALL Bldg's downtown. You wont't find that kind of data today. Probably sum'n 2 do w/homeland security.

Also since most Bldg's had additional entrances on more that one street they too were list @ the cross street addy.

When I worked for a geographical firm, a house/building was identified by what street the front door was on. The back and side doors weren't to be noted on my report.

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Thanks for the pic. It does kind of look like one of those old timey gas pumps with the big orange sign on top. Good idea or bad , it must have been quite a sight in its day!

The Continental Oil Co had a CONOCO sign on top of their building also during this period. Tennessee Gas had TENNECO spelled out on the top of their building on all four sides. It was really neat for awhile. They all came down during the Nixon era price freezes.

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