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Pedestrian Downtown

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Random question:  how long has the parking garage on Main and Congress been there and what exactly was there before? That thing always looked out of place to me and looks like a huge wasted opportunity.

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15 minutes ago, brijonmang said:

I was recently commissioned to do a lot of photography for Main Street from downtown through the Med Center.  The city is aggressively trying to promote this corridor and I'm looking forward to how it will continue to grow.

Looking forward to seeing your work. What I appreciate about what's happening along Main right now is that the growth feels organic. It's taken quite a while, but there's synergy among the rail, restaurants, pedestrians, etc.

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For me, its been whenever I'm in Downtown at night. Especially weekends, but even during the week as well. It used to be that the only time there were people walking around at night on Main or at Discovery Green was during or after a sporting event. Now there are people everywhere! Its really exciting to see. Market Square as well. Those right now are the biggest: Main Street from the Bayou to Dallas (more so towards Texas Ave), Discovery Green, and Market Square. Been exciting to see and its a great start.

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11 minutes ago, Luminare said:

For me, its been whenever I'm in Downtown at night. Especially weekends, but even during the week as well. It used to be that the only time there were people walking around at night on Main or at Discovery Green was during or after a sporting event. Now there are people everywhere! Its really exciting to see. Market Square as well. Those right now are the biggest: Main Street from the Bayou to Dallas (more so towards Texas Ave), Discovery Green, and Market Square. Been exciting to see and its a great start.

And what's cool is that during "business hours", especially lunchtime, there are families, students, empty nesters, tourists, business travelers, etc. in addition to the usual work crowd--and no one seems out of place; which looks like what you see in NY, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. albeit on a much smaller scale.  What it doesn't feel like is downtown Austin or Uptown Dallas (which I both enjoy), but somehow more "real" and unique to our Bayou City.

Edited by quietstorm
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30 minutes ago, nate4l1f3 said:

Random question:  how long has the parking garage on Main and Congress been there and what exactly was there before? That thing always looked out of place to me and looks like a huge wasted opportunity.

 

HOUSTON%20MAIN%20AT%20FRANKLIN%201928.jp

 

Not sure how long it has been there but you can kind of see the two buildings that were there before on the left in this photo.  One was a bank (the far one), and not sure of what the three story building was next to it.

 

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1 hour ago, quietstorm said:

And what's cool is that during "business hours", especially lunchtime, there are families, students, empty nesters, tourists, business travelers, etc. in addition to the usual work crowd--and no one seems out of place; which looks like what you see in NY, San Francisco, Chicago, etc. albeit on a much smaller scale.  What it doesn't feel like is downtown Austin or Uptown Dallas (which I both enjoy), but somehow more "real" and unique to our Bayou City.

 

Yes. Particularly to the tourist question. I think we can all agree that we don't necessary want Houston to flooded with tourists like other cities, but its nice that the city is getting to that point where a tourist would even dare walk around places like this. Its going to be a very inviting change. When the tourist start coming its going to want us to improve the city even more and invite people to this city even more. Our city has a chance for all these things to manifest in a very real and genuine way. Its like that previous GQ article that came out. Unlike Austin or Dallas (which I love those cities and what they do), Houston ironically by not being completely planned out and try hard, it ends up evolving into an entity that is unique and genuine. Whatever strips of people this attracts it will definitely feel earned.

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19 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

Yes. Particularly to the tourist question. I think we can all agree that we don't necessary want Houston to flooded with tourists like other cities, but its nice that the city is getting to that point where a tourist would even dare walk around places like this. Its going to be a very inviting change. When the tourist start coming its going to want us to improve the city even more and invite people to this city even more. Our city has a chance for all these things to manifest in a very real and genuine way. Its like that previous GQ article that came out. Unlike Austin or Dallas (which I love those cities and what they do), Houston ironically by not being completely planned out and try hard, it ends up evolving into an entity that is unique and genuine. Whatever strips of people this attracts it will definitely feel earned.

It’s natrually getting to that point too which is a good sign we’re heading in the right direction. 

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I don't think we'll ever have  the numbers of tourist like San Antonio or Austin. We just don't have the historical (Alamo), or capitol/geographical appeal that they do. 

I do believe that Houston has developed a very nice package of museums, restaurants, shopping districts, parks, proximity to Galveston and Nasa, and

an urban appeal that lots of folks will now want to come enjoy.

With the upcoming additions to our Museum district, the renovation of Memorial and Buffalo Bayou Parks, and recents announcements for the new 

Islamic center on Allen Parkway, Bullet train, the botanical gardens, and the Med Center, we will definitely see an influx in visitors.

I welcome them and I'm sure the merchants and hoteliers couldn't be happier.

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2 hours ago, bobruss said:

I don't think we'll ever have  the numbers of tourist like San Antonio or Austin. We just don't have the historical (Alamo), or capitol/geographical appeal that they do. 

I do believe that Houston has developed a very nice package of museums, restaurants, shopping districts, parks, proximity to Galveston and Nasa, and

an urban appeal that lots of folks will now want to come enjoy.

With the upcoming additions to our Museum district, the renovation of Memorial and Buffalo Bayou Parks, and recents announcements for the new 

Islamic center on Allen Parkway, Bullet train, the botanical gardens, and the Med Center, we will definitely see an influx in visitors.

I welcome them and I'm sure the merchants and hoteliers couldn't be happier.

Idk we keep doubting ourselves and proving ourseles wrong. First it was the light rail, then it was downtown, and both have proven us wrong. 

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Finn Hall has been a great addition to Main Street .... stopped by yesterday and it was packed (as was it last Saturday).  Downtown used to be completely dead on weekends. 

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anyone that works in downtown and doesn't come out of the tunnels this week for some amazing weather better have a good medical excuse.

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1 hour ago, samagon said:

anyone that works in downtown and doesn't come out of the tunnels this week for some amazing weather better have a good medical excuse.

 

We've been having some wonderful springs of late. Actual Springs!

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With upcoming pushes farther east along with bayou with East River and the Partnership, the location of downtown is going to get inferior real quick. The abominations of the 70s-80s already seem to have done much of the work, anywho.

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13 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

With upcoming pushes farther east along with bayou with East River and the Partnership, the location of downtown is going to get inferior real quick. The abominations of the 70s-80s already seem to have done much of the work, anywho.

 

Perhaps we should flatten downtown and plant a forest there?

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8 minutes ago, august948 said:

 

Perhaps we should flatten downtown and plant a forest there?

 

I would be super pumped if that happened! 😂

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1 hour ago, AnTonY said:

With upcoming pushes farther east along with bayou with East River and the Partnership, the location of downtown is going to get inferior real quick. The abominations of the 70s-80s already seem to have done much of the work, anywho.

 

What do you mean by location?

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2 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Perhaps we should flatten downtown and plant a forest there?

 

Less concrete, more trees, great shade for the pedestrians in the heat of Texas.

 

28 minutes ago, Texasota said:

 

What do you mean by location?

 

The spot that downtown is located.

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Right, clearly the location of downtown should be moved east or west due to upcoming pushes.  Move abominations in the opposite direction. PrObLeM sOlVeD.

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Since the population center of Houston has actually moved westward over time, I vote we demolish downtown for parkland and rebuild downtown at City Centre. 

 

Who's with me?

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1 hour ago, august948 said:

Since the population center of Houston has actually moved westward over time, I vote we demolish downtown for parkland and rebuild downtown at City Centre. 

 

Who's with me?

 

How about we DON'T rebuild it and just have businesses located in widespread places? "Downtown" is such an outdated idea and causes so many issues.

 

I would like to have a big park with a nice water feature for all the birds and wildlife where City Hall is 😁

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, august948 said:

Since the population center of Houston has actually moved westward over time, I vote we demolish downtown for parkland and rebuild downtown at City Centre. 

 

Who's with me?

 

Nah, the west will become inferior too. The ammenities offered wouldn't differentiate Houston from Dallas (which people seem to hate). The east, at least, offers real natural potential.

 

4 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Right, clearly the location of downtown should be moved east or west due to upcoming pushes.  Move abominations in the opposite direction. PrObLeM sOlVeD.

 

No physical movement, just reshuffling of population mass. Especially easier to do in Houston since the growth follows the market.

 

1 hour ago, gmac said:

 

How about we DON'T rebuild it and just have businesses located in widespread places? "Downtown" is such an outdated idea and causes so many issues.

 

I would like to have a big park with a nice water feature for all the birds and wildlife where City Hall is 😁

 

The concept of a "downtown" is a strictly American phenomenon, anywho. Most modern cities around the globe are polycentric.

Edited by AnTonY

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26 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

 

Nah, the west will become inferior too. The ammenities offered wouldn't differentiate Houston from Dallas (which people seem to hate). The east, at least, offers real natural potential.

 

 

Well, it's true the east side does have certain amenities that differentiate us from Dallas....

 

Houston-Ship-Channelweb.png

 

It the west side becomes less popular, that'll means less traffic.  I'll be looking forward to that.

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So Downtown is currently on the edge of the Western 'desirable' development side of the city.  That desirable developer side is starting to push eastward making downtown more central.  Seems better location-wise to me.  Move it physically.

 

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Isn't moving cities part of the plot of Mortal Engines? :ph34r:

 

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20 minutes ago, mollusk said:

Isn't moving cities part of the plot of Mortal Engines:ph34r:

 

 

Now you're talking...let's go mobile and hunt down Austin and Dallas.  Then again, we might not want to absorb them....maybe just push them into Oklahoma.  😛

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9 hours ago, august948 said:

 

Well, it's true the east side does have certain amenities that differentiate us from Dallas....

 

It the west side becomes less popular, that'll means less traffic.  I'll be looking forward to that.

 

It's just funny how the city ended up focusing itself on the tiniest, dingiest, most sensitive portions of its waterway. But lo and behold, the parts that are actually grand and impressive are wasted on pollutive industry.

 

Reclaiming the bayou will definitely be a true game-changer for the city when it comes to connecting people here with the outdoors.

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I think it's because Allen's landing is as far upstream as was navigable on Buffalo bayou back in the day, probably to leave room for expansion.  Industry kept going downstream, because they could have access to the water for docks

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2 minutes ago, cspwal said:

I think it's because Allen's landing is as far upstream as was navigable on Buffalo bayou back in the day, probably to leave room for expansion.  Industry kept going downstream, because they could have access to the water for docks

 

IDK whether it was so much to leave room for expansion as it was that the town of Harrisburg was already there, around where the Loop crosses the ship channel (which was itself a massive expansion of the bayou and the San Jacinto River after their confluence).

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I believe Harrisburg was the site of a land dispute, because the owner died before the city founders arrived. Ironically, the area is now within Houston city limits. Go figure.

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28 minutes ago, AnTonY said:

I believe Harrisburg was the site of a land dispute, because the owner died before the city founders arrived. Ironically, the area is now within Houston city limits. Go figure.

 

Probably didn't help that Harrisburg was burned to the ground during another land dispute in April of 1836.

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Wait what do we mean by Downtown? The existing neighborhood or the concept? What are we moving? The people? But the population downtown is growing! The center of population? That's not downtown! The center of activity? That's only sort of downtown and only pretty recently after the destruction of the 70s and 80s.

 

What are we talking about? What does any of this mean?

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9 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Wait what do we mean by Downtown? The existing neighborhood or the concept? What are we moving? The people? But the population downtown is growing! The center of population? That's not downtown! The center of activity? That's only sort of downtown and only pretty recently after the destruction of the 70s and 80s.

 

What are we talking about? What does any of this mean?

 

It's simple, we move the abominations of the 70s and 80s physically, move the people in the spiritual realm, move the concept to the center of the east.  

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2 hours ago, Texasota said:

What are we talking about? What does any of this mean?

 

It's quite obvious.

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1 hour ago, AnTonY said:

 

It's quite obvious.

image.png.be84e609218fdbd08210236a5138ebe7.png

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11 hours ago, AnTonY said:

 

It's quite obvious.

 

Perhaps the most helpful possible response. Respectful, thoughtful, considerate of the inherent value of conversation to the exploration of ideas, the furthering of knowledge, and human advancement in general. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, bobruss said:

I think this train has left the tracks.

 

Of course it has, people are too busy dancing around the answer and bloviating to infinity rather than acknowledging the point and its nuances. Reefmonkey did this a lot, and it really kills the quality of discussion.

Edited by AnTonY

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5 hours ago, bobruss said:

I think this train has left the tracks.

 

It's an airplane now

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I don't know why I'm getting into this, but ok  I'll take the bait.

First the only thing that has to be moved is the confluence of White Oak Bayou with Buffalo Bayou to the eastern side of downtown.

This has been discussed and is one of the best options to solve the only problem with downtown.

Why move downtown from its original location of over 150 years.

If White oak was re-channeled to the east side of downtown where there is plenty of room for it to spread out then we wouldn't have the Fannin and SanJacinto 

area bottleneck  on Buffalo Bayou to slow the flow, and cause backup in downtown.

Also it would create a new area for development in the near north downtown island that would be formed by the moving of White Oak..

All of the infrastructure and civic centers are downtown. Not the Uptown satellite city.

Besides there was no serious thought for a well laid out masterplan of the Galleria area. It was just plunked down on some open land and has grown into a very unmanaged area until recently. Not even a park for all of those Uptown galleria residents , and don't cry Memorial Park. You and no one else that lives in those high rises are going to walk their pooch 3 miles for a potty break.

The argument for the east is pretty much a no brainer. You tell Exxon, Shell, Goodyear, Rohm & Haas, Lubrizol, ITC, etc. etc. etc. that they need to move to Corpus Christi, because we think we went the wrong direction with the city. A lot of that beautiful land is so poisoned by chemicals and industrial manufacturing that I'm sure the ground in some areas glows at night .

Now I won't argue that it is pretty land but that's not the way the Allen Bros. planned it and I guess "Go West", in America, means go west. Look at every major city in at least Texas and for the most part the majority of growth has occurred on the western and northern sides  of all of the big cities.

You don't just say I want downtown to move because its not as good a spot as somewhere else. Just rectify the problem.

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Here's a dumb idea:

 

Dredge the bayou and make it navigable all the way to Uptown. If I'm thinking really ambitiously, go all the way to the Barker reservoir and make a lake. Put that in your Riverwalk and smoke it!

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3 hours ago, AnTonY said:

 

Of course it has, people are too busy dancing around the answer and bloviating to infinity rather than acknowledging the point and its nuances. Reefmonkey did this a lot, and it really kills the quality of discussion.

 

You mean this kind of bloviating?

 

On 4/2/2019 at 3:59 PM, AnTonY said:

With upcoming pushes farther east along with bayou with East River and the Partnership, the location of downtown is going to get inferior real quick. The abominations of the 70s-80s already seem to have done much of the work, anywho.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, august948 said:

You mean this kind of bloviating?

 

Nope, that's a clear, solid point.

 

3 hours ago, bobruss said:

I don't know why I'm getting into this, but ok  I'll take the bait.

First the only thing that has to be moved is the confluence of White Oak Bayou with Buffalo Bayou to the eastern side of downtown.

This has been discussed and is one of the best options to solve the only problem with downtown.

Why move downtown from its original location of over 150 years.

If White oak was re-channeled to the east side of downtown where there is plenty of room for it to spread out then we wouldn't have the Fannin and SanJacinto 

area bottleneck  on Buffalo Bayou to slow the flow, and cause backup in downtown.

Also it would create a new area for development in the near north downtown island that would be formed by the moving of White Oak..

All of the infrastructure and civic centers are downtown. Not the Uptown satellite city.

Besides there was no serious thought for a well laid out masterplan of the Galleria area. It was just plunked down on some open land and has grown into a very unmanaged area until recently. Not even a park for all of those Uptown galleria residents , and don't cry Memorial Park. You and no one else that lives in those high rises are going to walk their pooch 3 miles for a potty break.

The argument for the east is pretty much a no brainer. You tell Exxon, Shell, Goodyear, Rohm & Haas, Lubrizol, ITC, etc. etc. etc. that they need to move to Corpus Christi, because we think we went the wrong direction with the city. A lot of that beautiful land is so poisoned by chemicals and industrial manufacturing that I'm sure the ground in some areas glows at night .

Now I won't argue that it is pretty land but that's not the way the Allen Bros. planned it and I guess "Go West", in America, means go west. Look at every major city in at least Texas and for the most part the majority of growth has occurred on the western and northern sides  of all of the big cities.

You don't just say I want downtown to move because its not as good a spot as somewhere else. Just rectify the problem.

 

The problem is that you people on this site don't understand the concept of nuance. All my original point suggested was that revitalization of the bayou would radically shift the designated desirable area from west-focused to east-focused, which would cause implications on the desirability of the current downtown location. Somehow, that got spun into that I'm suggesting actual physical movement of downtown.

 

I really don't care anything about the west side, quite frankly, there's just nothing to it naturally. That goes whether we are talking about stepford-suburbs like Katy, or the urban-planning mess that is the Galleria. 

 

And I already acknowledge the current unfortunate status of the East side. But nevertheless, that area holds, by far, the best potential when it comes to integrating Houston with its natural features. No longer is the bayou a dingy brown creek that overspills the banks with every flood, it's an actual riparian feature that frames the land and provides significant recreation. Combine that with San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas, and Houston reconnects all the pieces that grant it sense of place: it finally becomes a true Bayou City. So yes, the East is indeed slave to toxic industry now, but as soon as clean energy sources hit greater uses, I can easily see that land being reclaimed in a vein similar to the revitalization of certain Rust Belt cities (i.e. Pittsburgh) after steel and automotive industries were outsourced.

Edited by AnTonY

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Well said. Sorry I missed your point in the first round, but to be honest I just skimmed over a lot of the nuance because it was jumbled and quite frankly confusing.

 

 

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