Jump to content
HAIF - Houston's original social media

Prudential Building


Recommended Posts

I certainly hope that they do not tear that thing down!

It is a very distinct classic tower in the shiny new skyline of the TMC (esp with everything going up!)

Hopefully, this wont be destroyed like the Shamrock hotel!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

By sheer chance, I was in this building a couple of months ago.

Did you know that medical researchers sometimes randomly call people, and ask them to volunteer? It's true.

Someone called, and asked for my basic demographic information, then told me that they were looking for someone like myself, as a control for a cancer study. As luck would have it, their offices were located in the Prudential Building.

I was impressed by the circular area above the main lobby, and the mural - also the fountains in front of the building. The rest of the interior was unexceptional. If you stand back and look at it as a whole, it's a respectable (typical) mid-century high rise office building, and a pleasing design. I hope it's lovingly photographed before its inevitable demolition.

So far as it being some sort of iconic structure, I don't see it. While I'm sorry to see a nice example of mid-20th century architecture go down, it's not so exceptional to rate the outcry about its destruction IMO.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I remember swimming at the pool of the Prudential. My step-father was an executive there. They had tennis courts and a lanai like the Shamrock.

Flagstones made a huge patio around the pool.

I also had a memory for so long, which I could not confirm. Looking out of a very high building, but seeing bushes and trees at the same height.

I went up in the Prudential a few years ago, and found the old boad room. It had planters outside the windows, which explained the memory.

I so hope, that IF the building is torn down, the wonderful curved mural from the lobby can be saved. And the fountain out front.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was ON Cadet Don's show in about 1967. It was a birthday show, and he gave me a Cowboy hat. He had a puppet named Seymour, who lived in a flying saucer.

Later, I remember Cadet Don Davis. HE sings occasionally in Houston with a folk group called "Traveller".

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest danax
So far as it being some sort of iconic structure, I don't see it. While I'm sorry to see a nice example of mid-20th century architecture go down, it's not so exceptional to rate the outcry about its destruction IMO.

Yeah, I know what you mean but it's just that those 50s-60s buildings were plain by design and as such, are all the more vulnerable to being erased from the short list of remaining high-rises from that era. It's like no one figures they're worth saving. It's about the best one in town, that I can think of anyway. As for the interior, it might have been remodeled several times or just be could be a plain-jane from birth as the Moderne style was giving way to something less exotic.

It could be said that any eventual extinction of that era building would be a form of stylistic natural selection based on general unpopularity that just happens to coincide with the buildings needing complete revamping due to age and with a city-wide redevelopment cycle.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
A friend of mine who works at M.D. Anderson is positive that the Old Prudential building is not coming down.  Has anyone heard any updates on this?  Is it still slated for demolition and inferior building replacement?

Hey, I can remember the Prudential Building back in the early 1960s. I can remember riding around at night and seeing the neon "rock" logo at the top of the building. What's the name of the street that it's on?

Chet Cuccia

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I've heard rumors that b/c of the proximity of all the new construction, it would be extremely difficult to implode. That being the case, taking it apart piece-by-piece would be more expensive than renovating the building. So... that might be good news... no telling.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I've heard rumors that b/c of the proximity of all the new construction, it would be extremely difficult to implode.  That being the case, taking it apart piece-by-piece would be more expensive than renovating the building.  So... that might be good news... no telling.

Anyone have a picture of this building. I am having a hard time visualizing it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

it is still up and in use - the new tower(s) being built in the medical center, though, will be used to consolidate offices in leased space (apparently in prudential and nabisco buildings...).

it does need a bath, but i doubt it will get one before it is put to rest...:(

Link to post
Share on other sites

quote=pineda,Tuesday, November 30th, 2004 @ 2:51pm]

"I square danced on the Don Mahoney and Jeana Claire Show!"

LOL, anyone remember Cadet Don and Kitterick on KTRK (Ch. 13)?

Don't quite know how to seque from the Prudential to Don Mahoney but here goes.

Apparently Heights2Bastrop, pineda and myself have retained a few brain cells. I was on KiTiRiK's birthday carosel...get it KTRK? I remember cadet don too and seymore. Did you know Annette O'Toole got her start on Don Mahoney and Jean Claire's show? I always thought that Bunny Orsack aka Kitirik in the cat outfit was cool-skin tight one piece with fishnet stockings and black spiked heels...kinda sexey but I new I was gay when i developed a huge crusch on Cadet Don :rolleyes:

Click here http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/4931/ki...cadetdon6ui.png

for a pic of the 2 of them together...[keep your paws off my man you mangy cat!!!]

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...
here is another old postcard of the prudential building with a different view show the "piece of the rock" sign on top.

pc_tx_houston_prud_life_6674.jpg

This is the view that I remember of that building of back when I lived in Houston during the early 1960s. I can remember being at some amusement park and seeing "the rock" neon logo from the rides.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...

I never knew that the Prudential Bldg. was the "first tall office building constructed outside downtown Houston". Sat on a 27 1/2 acre site, 18 stories. I can still picture the huge turquoise pool, looking down from an elevated office window, at night, many years ago...quote is from the book I'm reading right now...Ephemeral City, Cite Looks at Houston

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Unfortunately, they filled that pool in so it's just a plain old patio now. I was in that building last night and it's not so bad inside. Yeah, it's old but there are some really nice curved wood walls in the lobby. It also has a circular open balcony overlooking the first floor. The big mural is very ugly IMO but I understand why people want to save it. There is lots of marble on the walls in the upper floors. I'm assuming they would salvage the marble at least? And the windows actually have the capability of being opened. (MDA locks them so you can;t open them though).

The elevators look like they were once very nice but someone has put this horrible carpet on the walls. It looks like the elevator interior might have been wood before it was covered up by the ugly teal carpet. I'm wondering if the elevator floor was uncarpeted at one time too.

All in all, it's an old building but it could be nice if someone was willing to fix it up. I guess it's cheaper to just tear it down though. I can tell you, the new construction at MDACC looks very nice in the public spaces. But the offices are small, cheap and cramped. The office space is better in the Main Building- you have more room. I need to go back and take some pictures so I can remember this building. It's probably coming down once that new admin building is done on Fannin in 2011 or 2012 so there's still time.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Please take interior pictures if you can - and yeah, it's definitely cheaper for them to tear it down once they tell everyone it's a "sick" building <_<

Yeah. If it's a "sick" building, why are they making people work there for another 3-4 years. Wouldn't they be in a hurry to evacuate that building before the lawsuits start rolling in? Sick, my ass.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of memories about that building. UnoCal used to occupy a floor or two there in the 50's and 60's. My Dad worked there and I sometimes swam in the pool. Then in the 90's UTHSC had it's administrative offices there and I worked there for a couple of years. It was like stepping back into time. After UTHSC left MD Anderson took over. I can tell you that neither one of those institutions take very good care of their facilities so it probably is in real bad shape right now. I would hate to see it torn down for nostalgic reasons but I would understand someone not wanting to refurbish it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a lot of memories about that building. UnoCal used to occupy a floor or two there in the 50's and 60's. My Dad worked there and I sometimes swam in the pool. Then in the 90's UTHSC had it's administrative offices there and I worked there for a couple of years. It was like stepping back into time. After UTHSC left MD Anderson took over. I can tell you that neither one of those institutions take very good care of their facilities so it probably is in real bad shape right now. I would hate to see it torn down for nostalgic reasons but I would understand someone not wanting to refurbish it.

My dad worked for Unocal, as well (mentioned somewhere else, on HAIF). Remember going up there with him, one night...to see the pool from up high. It was in the 60's. I was young, but can remember how beautifully lit up it was.

Link to post
Share on other sites
My dad worked for Unocal, as well (mentioned somewhere else, on HAIF). Remember going up there with him, one night...to see the pool from up high. It was in the 60's. I was young, but can remember how beautifully lit up it was.

If your dad worked for them a long time then I'm sure our dads knew each other. One of my childhood memories was spending time with the Unocal operator (I believe her name was LaVada or something like that). This was back in the day when they had huge switchboards and the operator was constantly plugging wires in and out to connect different parties. It was fascinating to watch. Kept me entertained for hours.

Edited by LunaticFringe
Link to post
Share on other sites
If your dad worked for them a long time then I'm sure our dads knew each other. One of my childhood memories was spending time with the Unocal operator (I believe her name was LaVada or something like that). This was back in the day when they had huge switchboards and the operator was constantly plugging wires in and out to connect different parties. It was fascinating to watch. Kept me entertained for hours.

My dad "escorted" Unocal thru three bldg locations (that I know of), the Prudential Bldg., the Hwy 59 & 610 loop location (close to the Post), and the newest bldg in Sugarland, that stairstep one. So they probably did know each other, :) .

Link to post
Share on other sites
My dad "escorted" Unocal thru three bldg locations (that I know of), the Prudential Bldg., the Hwy 59 & 610 loop location (close to the Post), and the newest bldg in Sugarland, that stairstep one. So they probably did know each other, :) .

Cool. My Dad retired right when they moved to Sugar Land. Only went there once. He was an engineer. Designed the Cerveza platform which at the time (20 years ago) was the deepest well in the Gulf and was one of UnoCals most productive wells.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
Cool. My Dad retired right when they moved to Sugar Land. Only went there once. He was an engineer. Designed the Cerveza platform which at the time (20 years ago) was the deepest well in the Gulf and was one of UnoCals most productive wells.

Wow, that's quite an accomplishment...Bravo, to your dad. When I would ask my dad what he did, he said he "explained to them how their money was spent", using figures with lots of zeros. HaHa..of course, it is an oil company. My dad also retired after so many yrs at the Sugarland office.

Guess the Prudential Bldg. is sitting idly by...til it's doomday...really hope this doesn't happen. Living in this city is pure torture, sometimes.

Edited by NenaE
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...