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Demolition of the Landmark Tower (380 ft., 420 with clock)


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#501 hooked

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:43 PM

Actually (as I mentioned earlier), what Mr. Taft said was that it wouldn't be SURFACE parking.

#502 Shocker

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 11:25 AM

I have a source of info who does some contract work for XTO who says the latest RUMOR is that there will be undergound parking (at least 2 levels) with undergound connections to the XTO buildings for the emloyees. Then, above that at surface level, a park.

#503 RD Milhollin

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 04:35 PM

QUOTE(Shocker @ Apr 14 2007, 11:25 AM) View Post

I have a source of info who does some contract work for XTO who says the latest RUMOR is that there will be undergound parking (at least 2 levels) with undergound connections to the XTO buildings for the emloyees. Then, above that at surface level, a park.


That sounds like a very reasonable use of the property to me. There is plenty of office space surrounding the lot for now, and there is 3/4 of a downtown lot surrounding the XTO owned-and-restored Waggoner Building on which a future office tower/condo complex could be built.

#504 Fort Worthology

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 06:54 PM

I like that plan. I'd love to see them do that, giving an excuse to fill the Waggoner lot later. Now, let's just get it going!

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

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#505 Sam Stone

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 10:42 AM

I don't buy that. They buy the thing for $4M, spend god knows how much on demo, and then $10k/space (I think that's the going rate) on structured parking, then how much on a park that they'll have to spend more money on to maintain, or donate to the city? And they recently purchased the garage and Houston St mall. That just doesn't make sense to me. If they're going to bother to build structured parking, why wouldn't they build above ground too, so that they can at least make some money back by leasing? I'm not saying it's out of the question. I'm just saying that considering how much they're growing and gobbling up buildings (and beautifully restoring them), one would think they have plans for more intensive uses of that land.

But maybe I'm biased. I'd rather see a building there than a park.

#506 hooked

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 07:35 AM

I respectfully disagree, Sam. We desparately need more green space in the heart of downtown. And since the Bass family can't seem to get control of the 1/2 block they need to move forward with their master plan (with green space and town square), the Landmark Tower site is the next best thing. Even if they do build there at some point in the future, I'd like to think that they would be able to keep at least part of the block as a park.

#507 Sam Stone

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:05 AM

But the city's going to be building a park nearby. Hyde Park is going in at 9th and Throckmorton.

#508 cberen1

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:25 AM

QUOTE(Sam Stone @ Apr 16 2007, 09:05 AM) View Post

But the city's going to be building a park nearby. Hyde Park is going in at 9th and Throckmorton.


What, you think too many parks is gong to hurt DTFW?

#509 Sam Stone

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:48 AM

No, I don't think it hurts. Call me crazy, but I think economic activity should be a priority. That's what makes downtown downtown. It's a Central Business District. Given the choice, I would want more businesses, more shops, more restaurants, more people.

I just think that we're not hurting for parks. And that particular chunk of land could be a very important link between Sundance and south downtown/Lancaster. Filling it in with businesses would provide a better link than a park. For instance, if you want to extend Sundance's success southward, people (especially people who aren't as familiar with downtown as we are) need to see a bridge, not a barrier. A park is great during the day, but it's a dead space at night. As a pedestrian, you need to see activity up ahead. A dead space can make it seem like there's no activity any further. Parks are great, but I think we should be judicious about where they go.

#510 safly

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:43 PM

Gen. WORTH: " Hello, HEY! Over here, I have a park over here. Need some sprucing up though. PLEASE. Just a few blocks south. Come on over. Before 11pm." sleep.gif
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#511 hooked

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 04:48 PM

You make some valid points, Sam, but I tend to agree with cberen - you can't have too much green space. Of course, it has to be done right; there has to be a theme, a focal point; it has to be well-lit at night and patrolled constantly. The ideal thing would be to have it surrounded by retail and mixed-use, not just offices. Maybe a compromise - use half the space for retail, restaurants, etc. and keep the other half open. Sort of like the hole in the MW building, but with a fountain, some grass, and more places to sit/hang out; some shops that actually stay open past 6 p.m.

I think there was a link on the forum to a site about urban parks that work, but I can't remember where it was right now.

#512 safly

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:11 PM

With underground parking, where will these vehicles ENTER and EXIT? Same Block?
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#513 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:33 PM

Safly, they will probably have to enter and exit on the same block. However, if they tunnelled under 7th Street, then the entry could be on the Waggoner Block. In order to do that, the Waggoner block would have to be excavated as well and 7th Street would have to be closed for the construction. That would be a headache!

#514 safly

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 01:04 PM

^^^

QUOTE
That would be a headache!


That exact scenario (in my MIND'S EYE eek.gif ) is what had lead me to ask.

Thanks John.
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#515 Fort Worthology

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:55 PM

Well, since XTO hasn't felt the need to show any proposals for the property, I thought I'd give it a go.

I give you XTO Square. Underground are two to four levels of parking, accessed by the entranceway on 7th Street. Fronting Throckmorton and Houston streets are two eight-story buildings featuring office space in the upper floors and ground-level retail space. The buildings are red brick with large windows and decorative crowns that would be brilliantly lit at night. Each building features a large plaza for outdoor dining and the like. In the center is a grassy, tree-lined park.

Forgive the roughness of the renders, as I'm not an expert Sketchup user. This is just a quickie, too, so it's not superbly detailed. Just wanted to present a "what-if" scenario. I welcome comments!

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- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

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#516 DrkLts

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:03 PM

Were you inspired by the old radio shack twins? Actually, I like those crowns for the CityPlace towers.

#517 Fort Worthology

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 06:47 PM

QUOTE(DrkLts @ Apr 24 2007, 07:03 PM) View Post

Were you inspired by the old radio shack twins? Actually, I like those crowns for the CityPlace towers.


Not particularly - I was inspired by the fact that those towers were simple, and so would not distract from the historic structures, and were easily created. smile.gif Like I said, the details of the towers are lacking. If I go back and rework it, I'd probably spruce 'em up a little.

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#518 Brian Luenser

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 08:09 AM

A/G:

Like these "Atomic Tower's" a lot. Really fresh looking and the offset gives nice views for all. Nice green areas.

I am assuming that 2 8 story buildings are much cheaper to build than a 16 story building. (which would yield even more green space.)

Send it on to XTO! It may inspire them also.

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#519 Fort Worthology

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE(monee9696 @ Apr 25 2007, 09:09 AM) View Post

A/G:

Like these "Atomic Tower's" a lot. Really fresh looking and the offset gives nice views for all. Nice green areas.

I am assuming that 2 8 story buildings are much cheaper to build than a 16 story building. (which would yield even more green space.)

Send it on to XTO! It may inspire them also.


Thanks for the comments!

I really want to go back and work some more on the towers. In my mind, they're a bit more detailed than just brick boxes with glass crowns, but nothing overly elaborate. I did not want them to be really flashy, because I did not want to draw too much attention from the historic buildings surrounding the site. They have something of an old industrial loft + modern glassy feel to 'em (the glass looks bad in the renderings, I know). I wanted them red brick to give some color to an area surrounded by whites and greys - Petroleum Building, Fort Worth Club, the church, the W. T. Waggoner, the Grant building, that sort of thing. Also plays off the TXU Building's color. Come to think of it, a little green like in that building's panels might be neat for small trim.

Essentially, I wanted the towers to be just fresh and flashy enough to draw people to the square. Once people are there, I wanted them to be restrained and contextual enough to fade into the scenery so people would then pay more attention to and appreciate the historic structures around them, as well as the park and the "experience" of being there and eating/shopping in the square's shops and restaurants.

My reasoning behind two smaller buildings rather than one larger building is thus - I wanted more street frontage. I wanted Throckmorton and Houston fronted directly by retail, both to give an "enclosure" quality to pedestrians on those streets and to serve as a "connection" between the Sundance Square area and the SoDo area. The retail draws people up and down those two streets, closer to either Sundance Square or SoDo. With retail operating into the night, there would be a human presence in the area that would help people feel more comfortable walking between Sundance Square and SoDo, thus tying the two areas together. Retail fronting Throckmorton would also likely help a bit in tying XTO Square to the Burnett Park area, though not to the same degree. I did not care about the skyline - I cared more about the street and the pedestrian. I also wanted the park to feel enclosed and comfortable, and the twins solve that problem as well along with the trees lining the area.

The building offsets are for views, and to create large plazas at each end of the park. The site plan is open running north-south to present views of W. T. Waggoner/SoDo and the Petroleum Building. The east building sets back from 7th to give a view of the Simpson Building when traveling down 7th, and the west building sets back from 6th to give a view of the Fort Worth Club building when traveling down 6th.

The comments in this thread about parks being something of a "black hole" at night are hopefully solved in this design as well. Retail not only fronts Throckmorton and Houston, but the park and plazas as well. At night, activity is maintained in the park with the presence of shops and restaurants.

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

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#520 safly

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 01:50 PM

I like the rendering. the brick has to go, too Harris Methodist Business Park looking (off I-30W).

Do you have a rendering for more of a shopping square with a park in the center? One, maybe two story retail buildings, about 8 to 12 units. Patios, small marble fountain or Gazeebo (40's style). Be creative. And options are good.

Nice work.
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#521 Fort Worthology

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Posted 25 April 2007 - 02:59 PM

QUOTE(safly @ Apr 25 2007, 02:50 PM) View Post

I like the rendering. the brick has to go, too Harris Methodist Business Park looking (off I-30W).


Brick was only one option. I could easily do a few more with different finishes.

QUOTE
Do you have a rendering for more of a shopping square with a park in the center? One, maybe two story retail buildings, about 8 to 12 units. Patios, small marble fountain or Gazeebo (40's style). Be creative. And options are good.

Nice work.


Thanks!

I could do other renders - this was actually fun, and since I was just playing around a little I could probably do better. I wanted to put a fountain in really badly, so next one I do will have to have one. I'll mess around some more tonight and see what I can come up with.

- Architecture/urban planning/transit blogger, Fort Worth Weekly

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#522 Fort Worthology

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Posted 01 August 2007 - 10:28 PM

Feeling frustration at the continued lack of updates, news, or work on the Landmark site, the staff of Fort Worthology turns to the Internet's most powerful method of communication to ask the tough questions...

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#523 mosteijn

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Posted 02 August 2007 - 10:07 PM

lolcatz! I didn't think anyone above my age knew what that was. haha

#524 David Love

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:41 AM

XTO Energy to start filling hole left after implosion of tower
By SANDRA BAKER
Star-Telegram staff writer

Demolition workers inspect the debris left by the implosion of the Landmark Tower on March 18, 2006.
S-T ARCHIVES/MILTON ADAMS
Demolition workers inspect the debris left by the implosion of the Landmark Tower on March 18, 2006.

FORT WORTH -- XTO Energy next week will begin the process, which could take two months, of filling in the huge hole left after the implosion of the Landmark Tower at Seventh and Houston streets, a company executive said Thursday.

The block will be then be paved and landscaped and used for employee parking, said Joy Webster, vice president of facilities for XTO.

Webster said XTO would like to have the hole filled by Oct. 17, when the Texas Downtown Association starts its convention in Fort Worth. The 400-member organization honored XTO this year for its work on the Bob R. Simpson Building on the northeast corner of Seventh and Houston streets.

"We want to have it spiffy and shiny for our company," Webster said.

XTO, a Fort Worth-based independent oil and gas company, bought the vacant 30-story Landmark Tower in 2004 in a foreclosure sale. In March 2006, in a spectacular early-morning implosion, the building collapsed into a three-story pile of twisted aluminum, steel and concrete. It took workers several months to separate the debris and haul it off.

The southeast portion of the block where the building stood was excavated to several feet below street level and has been that way for more than a year. The remainder of the block has been used by construction crews working on the renovation of the Petroleum Building, another XTO property across Sixth Street. The empty block is fenced.

Webster said company executives researched possible uses for the block for several months, considering an office tower and an underground garage. Finally, the decision was made to fill it in, she said.

"I hoped there was a better plan for that block," Webster said. "We're ready to do this. We think it's dangerous and the city thinks it's dangerous."

Workers will take down the scaffolding on the Petroleum Building soon, and the scaffolding on the Bob R. Simpson Building may be down by Thanksgiving, she said.

During an informal discussion of the Downtown Design Review Board on Thursday, some board members expressed concern over the appearance of the scaffolding as well as the length of time it is taking XTO to fill in the hole.

"I couldn't say enough great things about XTO, but we have got a block in the middle of downtown that has had a chicken-wire fence around it for a long time," said Bill Boecker, chief executive and president of Fine Line Diversified Development. "It's blight, and it's been a blight a long time."

In 2005, the Baker Building was renamed the Bob R. Simpson Building for XTO's founder and chairman. XTO bought it in 2003, and renovations required that scaffolding be up for months. But almost as soon as the scaffolding came down, it went up again for the repair of high cornices.

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#525 Brian Luenser

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:07 PM

I see today they have dropped off 6 Porta-Potties on the Landmark Tower sight. That seems like a lot for parking lot construction. Seems like this is a good time to start a rumor like "one potty per 5 floors of building ratio" that's a secret amongst architects.




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#526 Papaw

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 07:38 PM

Man, with all the downtown coverage and photographic skills of this board it seems like nothing gets past you guys - even new outhouses. It's a shame you can't find out who is stealing our parking meters. unsure.gif

#527 Brian Luenser

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:19 PM

It does kind of look to me that XTO is about to Rock & Roll on their parking lot in this Landmark Tower lot. (Warning: I have been wrong before.)


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#528 Brian Luenser

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 09:55 AM

I wanted to do a big XTO DRILLS IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN! Headline. But have too much respect for XTO. I am guessing they are drilling for Light poles. They are definitely "Rock'n and Roll'n" on that lot.

What a great location this lot has.




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#529 Fort Worthology

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 09:59 AM

QUOTE (monee9696 @ Sep 5 2008, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What a great location this lot has.


Too bad it's going to be the lowest form of use imaginable. Hopefully it won't last too long as a parking lot and XTO will fill it back up with something worthwhile. (Or they might take another look at filling the W. T. Waggoner block back up with a building with this one coming online.)

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#530 bhudson

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:22 PM

Light poles was my guess as well, but I walked by and watched some today. I saw them drop the bit 15'+ down and they were still drilling. Those holes seem awfully deep for light poles, but maybe that's normal...

#531 Big Frog II

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:30 PM

Maybe since this building had a basement and they are putting the lights on top of fill, they need the extra support. We wouldn't want one of those poles falling in a stiff wind.

#532 Brian Luenser

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:53 PM

QUOTE (Big Frog II @ Sep 5 2008, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe since this building had a basement and they are putting the lights on top of fill, they need the extra support. We wouldn't want one of those poles falling in a stiff wind.


I think you nailed it, alright.

I bet there is 30 feet of fill. I think fill has to be compacted hugely if it doesn't sit for 5 years or something.
There is something in the code like that for residential housing I know. (I was on a "Fill ordinance task force" for the City of Fort Worth in 2004.) It is at this point my wife usually says, "You just put your face back in your comics and let the engineers figure that out!"

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#533 bhudson

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 02:51 PM

QUOTE (monee9696 @ Sep 5 2008, 02:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Big Frog II @ Sep 5 2008, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe since this building had a basement and they are putting the lights on top of fill, they need the extra support. We wouldn't want one of those poles falling in a stiff wind.


I think you nailed it, alright.

I bet there is 30 feet of fill. I think fill has to be compacted hugely if it doesn't sit for 5 years or something.
There is something in the code like that for residential housing I know. (I was on a "Fill ordinance task force" for the City of Fort Worth in 2004.) It is at this point my wife usually says, "You just put your face back in your comics and let the engineers figure that out!"


It seems like it's been five years...

#534 Brian Luenser

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 02:42 PM

Here is a picture I took this afternoon of this construction project. As they progress on the parking lot construction, it looks like they have done quite a bit of digging. If I am not mistaking, (And I've never made a mistake before) they are digging up pieces of the fallen skyscraper. I sure thought they had that area really cleaned of steel and excavated that site very deep. Like 20 feet from Hell or something.



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#535 cbellomy

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Posted 21 September 2008 - 02:55 PM

I was wondering why Midwest Wrecking was on site. "What are they going to demolish," I asked my friend, "the ground?" Apparently so!

#536 John T Roberts

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Posted 02 October 2016 - 07:26 PM

A person who frequents the site e-mailed me and wanted me to ask if anyone ever took the guided tour of the building?  He did and they finished the tour up on the 31st floor beneath the clock.  It was held once per day during the business week.



#537 Urbndwlr

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 09:10 PM

I toured the building when it was mothballed and owners were considering converting to condos.

I remember it was a windy day and the building whistled loudly, presumably b/c of old single pane windows. 

 

What would be an interesting thread is a hypothetical: what would someone do if the vacant office building were to exist today in the same condition as it did in, say 2002. 

Convert to condos? hotel? 



#538 JBB

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 11:07 AM

I seem to remember that the building had a very short floor-to-floor height and was going to require an exceptional amount of work to bring it up to code for any use, maybe even so far as needing an additional stairwell that would have taken up a lot of usable space. I have no idea if today's market would be strong enough to overcome those obstacles.

#539 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 October 2016 - 06:20 PM

I don't know if the floor to floor height was that big of a problem for a residential or hotel conversion.  When you don't have a set of floor plans, it is often hard to tell what is the exact floor to floor height.  You can come close, but you don't have the exact figures.  Most bank buildings had a taller first floor and shorter upper levels.  You can see from the exterior and from the demolition shots this was the case.  Also, high rise buildings have mechanical penthouses that are often additional floors.  These penthouses can have taller or shorter floor to floor heights depending on the function.  Let's take the easy way and just divide the height to the roof level by the total number of floors.  The building was 380 feet tall and had 32 floors above the street.  That gives us an average of 11.875 feet per floor. 

 

The 31 floor fire escape on the outside of the building is no longer allowed by building codes.  An additional stair on the inside would have to be built inside the building, and yes, this would eat up a significant amount of space that was once leased. 

 

I think the biggest problem the building had was the structural issue of adding the two extra floors and the revolving clock on top after the lower floors had already been completed.  From what I had been told the structural modifications were not enough to make the building comfortable during high winds.  As I said back when XTO decided to demolish the building, if they could not find an economical way to rehabilitate it when they were in dire need of office space, then probably no one could have justified saving it.






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