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squatterkid

The Savoy Hotel / Apartments

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My background is posted on the Central Square topic in case this doesn't make sense to anyone.

I lived in the Savoy hotel for about 6 months starting last February. I discovered and had to explore the building the moment I saw a huge chandeller (sp?) hanging from behind a broken window in the lobby. It's hard to keep me out of any building and it wasn't long before I had discovered an entrance.

The Savoy is actually two buildings, the older, shorter one on the north side and the addition on the south. The older building is absolutely rotten and decrepit. It has caved in from the top floor to the ground and actually looks pretty freakin cool. Toilets hanging by plumbing ten stories up and whatnot. Well anyways, that's where the fire escape was, though they had cut it off about two stories up. I had to climb up a support pole to reach it. And then go down an elevator shaft to get to the newer building. Once in it's always easy to find a way out.

My first astonishing discovery was that the place was still completely furnished and obviously nobody had been in it for quite some time. I'm from California where land is worth more than gold so this was quite shocking.

Also, the electricity was still on for some reason. There's a refrigerator downstairs in the kitchen that has the door ripped of and has been constantly on since 1988 and is probably still on. There was also a phone in the lobby that I used to get calls on. 713-something-1212. It's still listed and I used to get calls from people asking for room rates.

The downstairs is actually really pretty. Tall ceilings and curved staircases, huge chandelliers and a beautiful solid marble statue in the entryway. Two libraries, (stocked completely with Texas law books) a patio area between the two buildings had a fountain and a jacuzzi, now smashed and covered in pigeon refuse.

Anybody know why the hell they would leave the electricity on for so long? Makes no sense to me.

The owner is obviously hoping for the "New Main Street" effect to take place that far south and have the building converted into lofts ala Rice. I don't see that happening anytime soon, but then again it's already been closed for 16 years.

The upper floors are rather ugly and boring. Single hallways straight through with cookie cutter rooms on each side. The penthouse suites are kind of nice but still I don't think they could call this place urban lofts without gutting the whole building. There's no uniqueness to it. The older building was obviously a hell of a lot classier in it's day but when Best Western had control of it you could tell it was a bit cut rate. I have a pile of brochures for it from the 70's that I'll scan if I get the time. I think the hotel was mainly for visiting Shell employees across the street.

They'll have to demolish the older building before they can do anything with the newer one, as they are both connected and the older one threatens to demolish itself any day now.

I say smash it and start over, the building is too ugly to ever be profitable. But in the meantime, open it to the homeless sleeping on the sidewalks outside. (that's what I told the owner anyways, with a few expletives added in)

They have the parking garage open now, mainly so the penny pinching millionaire can make 30 bucks a day and watch the building he's sitting on sit empty while people sleep outside. Sorry, I hate landlords, particularly that one.

Any questions? Any other buildings worth getting into? I'll be back in Houston come January. Charles Grube beware.

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Where do you post from, anyway?

Interesting stuff, BTW. Any chance you could squat in the old Sheraton Marquis, or whatever it is called?

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Wow, thanks for the info. That's really interesting. I figured the electricity was still on because a couple times I went by at night and lights were on. Interesting about the law library. There is also a sign for a nightclub there called the Barrister's Club. Maybe they had some connection with the South Texas Law School. When the newer structure was built it was called the Savoy-Field and was supposed to be somewhat luxurious. Until recently there were still some "S-F" plaques embedded in the sidewalk. An office building was designed to surmount the parking garage but that never happened. I always figured eventually the whole thing will be torn down. The old section is useless, and judging by its age the new section might have asbestos issues.

The old Sheraton building has been gutted for asbestos abatement and right now is just concrete slab and frame. I happened to be in there a couple times a few years ago before they gutted it. Nothing special. The ground floor was the hotel lobby and what used to be shops and restaurants. The next couple floors were meeting rooms, laundry, etc.. Above that were offices, and the hotel rooms were on the top floors. The pool was on the roof above the fourth floor in the interior section.

Has anyone been inside the old Melrose building? It's probably pretty decrepit.

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Public libraries have internet access. I'm now at my "home" of the Bay Area in California. No empty skyscrapers here.

I can get in the Shamrock. That trailer out front with the stylized design isn't enough to fool me.

The old Days Inn has people living in it, purportedly there on behalf of the owner, in order to keep other people out. (just the sort of position I'm looking for)

So many empty buildings in just downtown alone, I can't keep track and remember which one's are worth getting into or not.

What about that HUGE skyscraper right downtown (I want to say Louisiana and Clay, maybe not though) north half is parking garage the south is a 22 story or more office building. Anyone know anything about that?

Hearne Lithograph in Midtown (across from Specs) had a horrible attack from copper salvaging crackheads. Seems the water was still on and the entire place flooded from the second story down. Ridiculous structural damage as a result. I did my best to turn the water off but the property manager stole my backpack anyways. I've gotta get on the right side of these things.

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Well I can give you an update. Some other squatter broke in and broke that beautiful marble statue in the foyer.

The lights are still on so they can show it.

and this is probaly the sickest (unhealthy) building I have ever been it. Its reeks of dead pigeons on the smaller tower (which has been condemed by the city).

I bet you couldnt get into the old Days Inn building. The guy who watches it rules with an iron fist.

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I had been waiting for the right time to post about this.

Have you guys heard of Urban Exploration?

UE is a past time of some folks who like to sneak into empty buildings and explore them. I first heard about it when a group from New York wrote a book about it.

Heres a link to a local site (they went into the Plaza Hotel)

http://suv.topcities.com/HOME.htm

Another site

Do a search for Urban Exploration and youll find alot of neat stuff.

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Cool! Thanks for the link! In Houston I made it into the old Sheraton before it was gutted, and the Texas State Hotel before renovation. The latter was in even worse shape than the Plaza. Somewhere or another I have some pictures.

In front of the old Holiday Inn/Days Inn building they have a LOT of no trespassing zero tolerance signs. Sounds like they mean business. I can understand that after the experience of the hotel being taken over by the homeless.

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All these years I thought I was the only one...

I used to go into abandoned buildings all the time. There were some lovely ones in upstate NY - factories, mansions, apartment buildings, theaters, stores...

And when (and not until) they were demolished, I'd salvage some great things. That's how I furnished my first apartment.

I've posted this link before, but it bears repeating - the abandoned subway of Rochester, NY. Some good links, too.

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Well, since were on the subject......this happens to be my forte.

Where do I begin.........

It all started with skippin skool. We had no car so we caught the 82 westheimer bus. The bus went 2 the galleria or downtown. We went downtown. Well, were skippin school in downtown, where do we go? We can't roam the streets for fear of a truancy enforcing police officer.

To the skyscrapers and tunnels......

Occupied edificios are the funnest though the abandoned 1s are fun 2. The tunnels were a blast 2, ESPECIALLY the abandoned 1s! Man, the fun I had in elevator shafts was unrivaled! Playing elevator chicken (hanging onto the sheathed wires under the elevator as it went up and seeing who could go the highest before letting go), standing under the elevator when the doors open and hollering "hold the elevator!", then laughing as we watched people re-open the doors ad-nauseum while the man who hollered never appeared!, and the view up womens skirts as they passed over the gap was OK, BUT, if u could get a woman to hold the doors open via above stated method, MONEY SHOT! (Hey, I'm sorry, I was in a breakdancing crew called LOS COCHINOS, and my nickname was ROACH as though this excused my behavior).

Stairwells........

Stairwells were the s**t. There's a quasi maze in 1 of the wells in ....well....wells fargo.....wow, wells well and wells in 1 sentence with 3 different meanings. That can't happen often. Well (dammit) anyway, u go in the well and jam the no re-entry door with a bus pass or what have you. I think its the well on north corner of second story of the observation floors. You go up a few stories and there it is; a wierd maze that goes left right left left blah blah blah till you finally pop out in a different well. This one time at the top of 1 of the wells at the roof hatch, we found 1 high heel, an empty wine bottle, a crimson red lipstick mouth marked wine-glass, and a pair of panty-hose. WONDER WHAT WENT ON THERE! But the roof hatch......

The heavens..........

There isn't a roof out of the 7 tallest in downtown I haven't breeched. And believe me, it wasn't easy. Most of the top floors are locked and even if you bypass the locks, most of the hatches are locked, but if you got skillz you can bypass both. My favorite roof would have 2 be be chase since its the highest. I swear I saw the gulf of mexico from up there! B.o.a.s roof is nice too. Its got observation type decks and an unobstructed view north. AND if anyones interested I've got a full square foot panel of the actual pinkish maroon facade of b.o.a. you see greeting you from 45 north coming home! Don't ask how I got it or how I got it downstairs and out of the building.

Deluxe apartment in da sky..........

If I was ever homeless I would live better than I'm livin now. Probably with a 50th floor or higher view. There are so many empty floors with lights, outlets, restrooms, running water, hiding spaces and locking doors its beautiful. I used to practically live in these places during my school daze, or school days, I can't remember which.

Abandoned buildings.........

These are cool if bums popping out dark places doesn't frighten you. Tagging the 5th floor outside wall of the world trade center was cool before tilman refurbished the building. Dead pigeons smell like s**t. Or is that the pigeon s**t? There is no abandoned I can't breech. When u hang out with taggers u become an expert at this. I gladly accept the challenge mr. Wulfe co. issued. Not only will I BREECH days inn and pull an "enter the ninja" on mr. iron fist, ill take pictures of the inside and from the roof to prove I did it. Squatterkid, I can't find the post with your story, what's your story?

Your signature is better than mine.

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Nice triple post 77017! Sorry, I post from my sidekick.

S'all right, 77017.

Deleted two duplicate posts

Edited by dbigtex56

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I just found this forum today. This is so cool. I thought I was the only one with a curiosity about old and abandoned buildings. This started for me with the Rice Hotel. You guys have posted about 2 buildings that I have wondered about over the last few years. The Central Bank Building and The Savoy. I have always wanted to see the inside of these two buildings and to find that the Savoy is still furnished, has running electricity and the phones are still working is mind blowing. I too have seen the chandelier through that broken window and wondered what was inside. I vaguely remember the Savoy being open. I've been in the Central Bank bldg back in 94 when my wife was attending some clerical training school there. One afternoon while waiting for her to get out I decided to do some exploring. I wanted to know what was up in that penthouse suite. I might have known that KKBQs old studios were once there and wanted to see if anything might still be there. I almost made it there, I had made it near the the top of the stairwell but started to get an erie feeling so I left. Funny to find out that place is haunted. Ooh but I was so close. I've wanted to go back ever since. Squatterkid you are too cool. I could never have the nuts to try entering an old building but man I'd love to. Everytime I'm on the pierce elevated I look at that old clock on the Central Bank bldg and wondered if it still worked and if there would ever be a day that we would see it on again. Its cool that you've actually tried to turn it on. Others I'd like to see is one that sits I want to say at the corner of Walker and San Jacinto, also the one that sits above the old Palais Royal on Main and McKinney. Looking up through a window of that one you could see what looked like wood office cubicles, very early 80s looking. I think something went on in there recently because I havent seen them there lately. Have you seen any of those buildings?

So many thoughts and questions going through my head right now about this subject I want to post but I think I'll stop here. This is too cool.

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It can be very hard to figure out which buildings are empty and which ones aren't, especially in Houston. Reason being that oftentimes the street level retail shops are open, while the residential/office building upstairs has been closed for years. I do believe I know the building you're speaking of on San Jacinto at Walker. Haven't been in there yet, but it does intrigue me.

A good case in point for my above interjection is the building that's directly across Louisianna from the Hyatt Regency. The northside of the building is a very busy parking garage, while the southside is (I'm guessing from the remnants of a sign) the old Houston Chronicle offices.

See, I'm involved in this little informal contest to squat the tallest building possible. I'm still the winner with the Savoy at 17 stories, but I need to beat my own record.

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That's the old Sheraton building (just about my favorite downtown). It was definitely "squattable" at one point - I made it in a couple times - but now there's not much left of the interior except the floor plates and steel frame. The one at San Jacinto and Walker must be the Melrose Building. Squatterkid if you're going for height can you try the old Holiday Inn?

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Hey 77017, did you get in to the Days Inn yet? I want to see those pictures from the roof or is SquatterKid is still the "Houston King of Urban Exploring" at least on HAIF.

Dream

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It can be very hard to figure out which buildings are empty and which ones aren't, especially in Houston. Reason being that oftentimes the street level retail shops are open, while the residential/office building upstairs has been closed for years. I do believe I know the building you're speaking of on San Jacinto at Walker. Haven't been in there yet, but it does intrigue me.

A good case in point for my above interjection is the building that's directly across Louisianna from the Hyatt Regency. The northside of the building is a very busy parking garage, while the southside is (I'm guessing from the remnants of a sign) the old Houston Chronicle offices.

See, I'm involved in this little informal contest to squat the tallest building possible. I'm still the winner with the Savoy at 17 stories, but I need to beat my own record.

Oh yes, thats another one I've been eyeing lately. I pass right by that one some mornings on the bus and have seen all of the activity in the parking garage. It looks like the ground floor is in use on that one. Maybe just the people working the garage have access to it.

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That's the old Sheraton building (just about my favorite downtown).  It was definitely "squattable" at one point - I made it in a couple times - but now there's not much left of the interior except the floor plates and steel frame.  The one at San Jacinto and Walker must be the Melrose Building.  Squatterkid if you're going for height can you try the old Holiday Inn?

Where exactly is the old Sheraton bldg?

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Squatterkid,

Are you back in town yet? Are you back at the Savoy or did you get a new space? How was the Bay area?

77017,

Did you ever sneak into the Day's Inn and get those ninja pictures or did you get scared and chicken out?

Dream

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An odd bit of trivia about the Savoy I stumbled on: Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have stayed there in October 1963. He was in Houston to apply for a job at Conoco.

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Speaking of the old Days Inn, I still see people with hard hats going in and out, pretty much every day save for weekends. I have no clue what they could be doing, though, because they never seem to be doing any work.

Could these be homeless people who are using the hard hats as a ruse to sneak in and out of the building? If so, pretty clever.

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An odd bit of trivia about the Savoy I stumbled on:  Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have stayed there in October 1963.  He was in Houston to apply for a job at Conoco.

interesting...what would lee harvey oswald be doing in houston applying for a job, if in only a month, he would be in dealey plaza allegedly assassinating JFK? where did you hear about this?

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interesting...what would lee harvey oswald be doing in houston applying for a job, if in only a month, he would be in dealey plaza allegedly assassinating JFK? where did you hear about this?

also remember JFK was in houston before dallas, stayed at the rice hotel nov. 21st '63

who knows why oswald was down here, interesting indeed.

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interesting...what would lee harvey oswald be doing in houston applying for a job, if in only a month, he would be in dealey plaza allegedly assassinating JFK? where did you hear about this?

From google links that showed when I was looking up either the Savoy or the Conoco weather ball in another topic.

Here's one of the links:

www.jfk-online.com/alicelho.html

Jack Ruby shows up with the Sheraton-Lincoln.

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My old office at 1201 Louisiana faced the Sheraton. There really isn't much to see in there; as others have said, it's been completely gutted.

It's also quite leaky. Everytime a storm blew through downtown you could see big puddles form on all of the floors.

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Our offices at Louisiana Place faced down Louisiana Street... and the Sheraton, but I never actually thought too much of it when we where in that office.

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See, I'm involved in this little informal contest to squat the tallest building possible. I'm still the winner with the Savoy at 17 stories, but I need to beat my own record.

does anyone know whatever happened to this guy?

does he still post here? maybe under a new handle?

thanks.

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In the last post from Squatter Kid he said, "he was off to the Bay Area for the Winter." That was back in Novemeber. He said he was coming back to Htown in Jan. He's either locked up or traveling the country. Who knows? I'm looking forward to his return. I believe he is still the "man to beat" as far as getting into the tallest empty buildings in Houston.

Dream

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Back in the '80s, the Savoy was used as housing for South Texas College of Law students. I don't think the school was associated with the building. The building was called The Barrister Club. I think there was a bar on the first floor as well, but I am not sure. I bartended to get through law school, and much of 1984-1986, is a blur. At any rate, not much redesign was done. They just rented the old hotel rooms to STCL students looking for cheap rent and no transportation. Don't know when it closed. I left after 1986.

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whats with downtown and creepy 50's style high rise abandoned hotels anyway?

they are absolutely awesome! I would love any stories about the savoy (or the central square building, for that matter) either as a forum or member message post. please & thanks.

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Back in the '80s, the Savoy was used as housing for South Texas College of Law students.  I don't think the school was associated with the building.  The building was called The Barrister Club.  I think there was a bar on the first floor as well, but I am not sure.  I bartended to get through law school, and much of 1984-1986, is a blur.  At any rate, not much redesign was done.  They just rented the old hotel rooms to STCL students looking for cheap rent and no transportation.  Don't know when it closed.  I left after 1986.

I think the bar was the Barrister Club. The sign is still outside. The building was just the Savoy. It closed in the late 1980s.

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Hello -

I'm new here, and excited to know that others look at old buildings with the same curiosity as me. This may have been discussed previously, but anyone have any info on the Plaza on Montrose (history, etc.)? thanks

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Hello -

I'm new here, and excited to know that others look at old buildings with the same curiosity as me.  This may have been discussed previously, but anyone have any info on the Plaza on Montrose (history, etc.)?  thanks

You've come to the right place. :)

The Plaza was the first combination hotel-apartment building in the city. It opened in early 1926 and the architect was Joseph Finger. Since it was designed as a luxury residence, the rooms included refrigerators and an early cooling system, which was rare back then. Most apartments and hotels at the time were

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You've been in all of those? Great! I'm jealous! :D What will your website have on it?

The only ones I have been in were the old Sheraton and the Texas State Hotel.

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Hi folks. I'm back. In Houston, and on this forum. Didn't know there was still so much interest in this stuff. Let's see...

My girlfriend got an apartment so I don't have to live in empty buildings anymore, at least in Houston anyways.

The Central Square seems to have changed ownership again. Watercolor drawing of what they hope to have happen in the area. I'll believe it when I see it. That area just seems destined to forever fail. That donut shop changes hands every so often, the Thai place is never open, the 50's Diner that looks like an Airstream trailer (who's idea was that?) just down the street speaks for itself. More and more people have gotten into the building. Just smash a window on the ground floor and go for it. Never my style. But the owners are silly, instead of boarding the whole bottom floor up, they just board up whichever window got smashed.

I spent some time in Detroit last month. Possibly the only place with more empty actual skyscrapers than houston. I got into one, the Fort Shelby Hotel. Completely wrecked but still interesting.

I dunno, pretty boring town.....

kid

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there is a new fence up at the central square swimming pool

(the swimmig pool is the underground parking garage after Allison)

yes - it is chain link and wood-framed and has casters for easy opening and closing at the entryways

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Yeah, the people who "secure" buildings aren't always that great at what they do. Look at the two new murals on the Wast side of the building for proof. Spoke and whoever didn't have a tough time getting in.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending upon how you look at it) for the owners, there isn't a scrap piece of metal left in the building worth salvaging. Scrappers got every bit of copper plumbing, wire and aluminum that was possible. Crackheads, among other things, are efficient.

I'm really still curious about the Days Inn. A couple years ago, some friends and I went in to have a look, despite the signs outside saying that tresspassing was a felony. (What, is it a government historical site or something? Ha.) We we're greeted by a fellow who was the "caretaker" and said that he had the day shift and another fellow had the night shift, and if we came back at night he would give us a tour.

This intrigues me because I would love to have a position like that. I do miss living in a 17 story building with a few friends. We used to slide down the laundry chute at the Savoy. We filled one room with mattresses and had a bouncy wall room. At any rate. I'd be perfect for the job. I've vowed to never again pay rent. And being the type of person that gets into buildings, I'm perfect for keeping other people out. Not to be exclusive and proprietary, but I don't agree with gutting a building of all of it's usuable copper plumbing and electrical wiring, rendering the building almost beyond repair. That's dumb. Unless the owner of said building is a rich jerk...

Well, I'm only around for a few days, headed up to NYC. No abandoned skyscrapers there...

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I'm really still curious about the Days Inn. A couple years ago, some friends and I went in to have a look, despite the signs outside saying that tresspassing was a felony. (What, is it a government historical site or something? Ha.) We we're greeted by a fellow who was the "caretaker" and said that he had the day shift and another fellow had the night shift, and if we came back at night he would give us a tour.

i would doubt there are still caretakers at the days inn - although i would love to get a tour. where did you run in to the caretaker?

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i would doubt there are still caretakers at the days inn - although i would love to get a tour.  where did you run in to the caretaker?

Unless they are just people who live there posing as caretakers. But since there are plans to begin renovation next year maybe there is a real caretaker now. I wonder how much longer people will be able to get into the days inn, before I believe landco's the one doing it starts cleaning it out.

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The old savoy apartments, which is the building behind the taller hotel (and connected by an upper level courtyard) is in complete ruin on the inside, and reinforced on the outside...most of the building has no flooring, and about half of the roof is off.  What could be the prognosis for this building? will it fall on itself anytime soon?

here are some pictures: savoy

and here is an example of the outside:

savext005.jpg

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