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bkjones98

New Downtown Fire Station #8

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That latest photo just illustrates how laughable out of place the new firehouse is. Sad for Houston as its probably going to be around for 50 years.

That tower is so constipated in design, what a waste.

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I drove by it again today and I was struck by how far it's set back from the street. What is the point of having a huge parking lot in front of the fire station?

The parking lot is behind the station, with the front facing Louisiana so that when the fire trucks pull out, they will be pulling out in to one-way traffic into downtown. It looks like it will be a "pull-through" station, which is very popular in the south and west where space is readily available. All the newer fire stations here in Houston, as with most other cities, are of this design.

It's actually better for traffic as the fire trucks don't have to take up all the traffic lanes in front of the station, then back into the station. Instead, they can make the block and pull in from behind. Having a large parking area behind the station allows for daily maintenance and cleaning of the fire trucks, helicopters to land, stage other fire trucks during emergency operations, and to perform various training activities at the station.

My only complaint has been with the Jiffy Lube design. I'm fine with it taking up a whole block, as being downtown, it's most likely to never have the space to perform the above said tasks otherwise.

Edited by Jeebus

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I thought about comparing this reception to that of another new permanent, prominent fixture on the face of Downtown.

You see, this thread contains a dozen separate Jiffy-Lube catcalls about the fire station's clunkiness; the MainPlace discussion isn't dragging with a similarly continuous inability to get over it clunking into the amateurish, embarrassingly visible form of a 600-foot pipe wrench, electric can-opener or cigarette lighter. Since a taut glass prism, shining and revealing as little humanity as possible in between its architectural features at the scale of a dozen feet and the scale of a few hundred feet, is absolutely nothing new, while even the sky court was done better than this in 1984 at Innova/Koch 20 Greenway Plaza -- since, in short, a tower that would have been crisply banal and non-revelatory a generation ago is not intrinsically superior to a station that would have been crisply banal and non-revelatory two or three generations ago -- it sounds like unoriginality has less to do with objections to Station 8 than annoyance at the temerity of the architects not to have embraced impressive ideas about progress which MainPlace fits much more proudly.

Edited by strickn

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I thought about comparing this reception to that of another new permanent, prominent fixture on the face of Downtown.

You see, this thread contains a dozen separate Jiffy-Lube catcalls about the fire station's clunkiness; the MainPlace discussion isn't dragging with a similarly continuous inability to get over it clunking into the amateurish, embarrassingly visible form of a 600-foot pipe wrench, electric can-opener or cigarette lighter. Since a taut glass prism, shining and revealing as little humanity as possible in between its architectural features at the scale of a dozen feet and the scale of a few hundred feet, is absolutely nothing new, while even the sky court was done better than this in 1984 at Innova/Koch 20 Greenway Plaza -- since, in short, a tower that would have been crisply banal and non-revelatory a generation ago is not intrinsically superior to a station that would have been crisply banal and non-revelatory two or three generations ago -- it sounds like unoriginality has less to do with objections to Station 8 than annoyance at the temerity of the architects not to have embraced impressive ideas about progress which MainPlace fits much more proudly.

Periods are your friend. Don't be scared to use them. :)

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Getting back on topic.....

Do you think they might have built such a large parking lot (obviously for the guys that stay there for days at a time) but perhaps it would be a likely staging place for additional equipment that might be needed for downtown?

You have to remember, this is one of Houston's most active Fire station if not THE most active. I seriously think they underbuilt this facility and should have made it larger to hold more equipment. Particularly given the fact that it's also getting to be as heavily populated (with midtown) and more buildings being made.

You have to also remember, the only other station closest to Midtown is Station 6 off Washington (which is no easy trip), The Elgin station (At Austin) and the montrose station at Richmond and Mandell. (I think)

While the Elgin station is relatively close, its fairly small for the area that it covers.

The fire Department needs to start expanding so that it can handle different alarms that may happen along its area of responsibility. Don't empty out a whole station if all you need is an ambulance, because then THAT engine wouldn't be able to respond to another incident (however major or minor) because its on a relatively minor run with an ambulance.

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Don't empty out a whole station if all you need is an ambulance, because then THAT engine wouldn't be able to respond to another incident (however major or minor) because its on a relatively minor run with an ambulance.
unfortunately, the ambulance shortage is real. since there are more engines, they've been equipped with proper response hardware and will call an ambulance if transportation is needed. when you have people calling an ambulance for ingrown toenails, etc that is where problems occur.

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I totally agree. It gets on my nerves when people call up ambulances for some of the dumbest of reasons and the EMT's that I've talked to have told me of some crazy ones.

When I had to deal with my mother, *I* couldn't take her to the hospital because I just couldn't handle her by myself and felt INCREDIBLY guilty to call them to help me take her to the hospital. The paramedics were cool when they realized the situation.

But back on topic, I realize that the ambulance shortage is real, but there has to be some sort of solution to make the whole thing more efficient once the numbers get back to acceptable levels.

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But back on topic, I realize that the ambulance shortage is real, but there has to be some sort of solution to make the whole thing more efficient once the numbers get back to acceptable levels.

having more ambulances (and qualified personnel to staff them) is the solution. when city leaders decide to sell 2 downtown stations for the "pretty projects" makes one wonder whether public safety is a priority.

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As far as I'm concerned, infrastructure was never "sexy" and has a tendency to get overlooked. I've made this statement several times in several posts over many topics and it all just comes back down to that.

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Thanks for the picture. From ground level it looks more firehouse-y and less Jiffy Lube-y. The red garage doors are a nice touch.

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I think that's the point. :) I never counted the bays, so looks like they'll have quite a few pieces of equipment. If they built it a bit differently, they could have added some more pieces. I did wish they went multi-level, though.

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It's got 8 double bays. So you could fit 8 heavy apparatus, 16 light apparatus, or a combination of both. The current fire station 8 has 2 fire trucks, 2 ambulances, and 1 chief.

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Than that is about the right amount that is needed for the downtown area.

One thing that caught my eye in the picture that I took:

The "no left when when light is flashing" caught me a bit by surprise, I guess they plan on going going southbound on that (northbound) street if they have to. getting in and out of that station is going to be interesting. It'll be interesting to see what procedures they work up.

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One thing that caught my eye in the picture that I took:

The "no left when when light is flashing" caught me a bit by surprise, I guess they plan on going going southbound on that (northbound) street if they have to. getting in and out of that station is going to be interesting. It'll be interesting to see what procedures they work up.

The news did a report about the current fire station turning the wrong way on Travis (southbound) as well about 2 years ago. The signal is probably to warn motorists about to make a left turn that fire trucks are pulling out of the station and on to the street, headed northbound.

Edited by Jeebus

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The completed station, I'm going to try to take better pictures next time, I was a bit rushed.

station82.jpg

IMG_0145.jpg

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I drove by it again today and I was struck by how far it's set back from the street. What is the point of having a huge parking lot in front of the fire station? It's not going to be a fire station plus CVS, is it? (j/k).

So you can move applianes out front & back to clean bay floors.

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Was sorting through some photos and came across this one that I forgot about:

P1020741.jpg

I happen to be going by and noticed all the various firetrucks in the street, I was only able to take one decent photo, but as I circled the block, i saw that there were engines surrounding that block and along a couple of other streets.

When I looked inside, there seemed to be several tables filled with people that were obviously in some sort of meeting. So many infact, they cleared out the bays to have it in.

Another reason why they should have gone at least a few floors on this thing.

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That latest photo just illustrates how laughable out of place the new firehouse is. Sad for Houston as its probably going to be around for 50 years.

That tower is so constipated in design, what a waste.

Seriously.... lol

This thing is totally out of place. Hopefully at the very least this took up a parking lot so I can sleep well tonight.

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The design faux pas of this fire station is so typical of Houston.  Rather than thinking about a design that works in an urban setting surrounded by sleek mid to late 20th century skyscrapers, the architects and their clients (City of Houston) put up a suburban-style building that very cheaply references architecture of the 19th century without incorporating its interesting detailing and craftsmanship.  I agree that this looks like a Jiffy Lube, CVS, Dollar Tree (pick your favorite kitschy, disposable box retailer).

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On 1/23/2008 at 0:16 PM, texas911 said:

That latest photo just illustrates how laughable out of place the new firehouse is. Sad for Houston as its probably going to be around for 50 years.

That tower is so constipated in design, what a waste.

If the construction is as shoddy as the design, don't worry about it lasting 50 years!  Architecture has become so 'democratic' in its expression that it truly has come to reflect the base qualities of our society...ugly, cheap, faux, and temporary,

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15 minutes ago, tuscany2004 said:

If the construction is as shoddy as the design, don't worry about it lasting 50 years!  Architecture has become so 'democratic' in its expression that it truly has come to reflect the base qualities of our society...ugly, cheap, faux, and temporary,

 

For some reason I find this comment funny coming from someone with "Tuscany" in their name.

 

At least we seem to be mostly past the whole "Tuscan" phase...mostly...

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14 hours ago, Texasota said:

 

For some reason I find this comment funny coming from someone with "Tuscany" in their name.

 

At least we seem to be mostly past the whole "Tuscan" phase...mostly...

 

I like how someone's first post is digging up a thread from 2011 to critique a relatively small building's design. 

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I know that the downtown aquarium used to be a fire station.  It probably opened around the same time

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7 hours ago, downtownian said:

 

I like how someone's first post is digging up a thread from 2011 to critique a relatively small building's design. 

That relatively small building in orange stands out like a sore thumb, especially seen from I-45.  I saw it very recently while driving and had to look it up online.  As it turns out I saw it mentioned here in the 2011 thread.  That is why I posted the comment now.

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7 hours ago, Chi-Char-Hou-Dal said:

Bc it was bumped - what was the fire station situation before this buidling?

From http://www.houstonfiremuseum.org/fire-stations/

 

Washington #8 was organized and located at the corner of Crawford and Polk where it is still located today. (Note: A 107-year tradition of the fire station being located on this corner will end in 2001 with the building of the new sports arena.) Washington #8 had the distinction of having a Clapp & Jones Steamer (state of the art for that period). (It was located in 1895 at Polk and Crawford, Polk and Crawford again in 1958, Polk and Crawford again in 1970 and will be closed in 2001.) Stations 1 and 8 were combined and relocated to the corner of Milam and St. Joseph and Station 8 was reopened in June of 2001. A new Station 8 broke ground in 2006 at 1919 Louisiana at the site of the Old Borden Ice Cream plant. This new “super station” went into service on April 21, 2008.

 

More here on the borden building

 

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