DT: 714 Main
Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:14 PM
I took some pictures of the building on Saturday, but I haven't posted them. I do have one thing to say, considering that hindsight is better than foresight. I should have realized years ago that parts of the original facade were still there. The clue is on the alley side of the building next to 7th Street. You can see where the terra cotta facade wraps slightly around the corner. Where the cornices were once located are brick infill patches. Knowing what I know now, I can see that this is a clue that parts of the original facade were beneath the 1950's remodel, and the 1988 remodel projects outward from the building's original face.
Cberen1, even though the 1988 facade was hollow, you do have to give that architect some credit. Except for the scale of the arches, that remodel was within the spirit of the original. I was impressed that XTO restored the Baker Building by putting a totally new facade that was a replica of the original on the base, but when this restoration is completed, I may be more impressed because they removed a base that was a facsimilie of the original, and could have sufficed for their purposes. Although not exact, the 1988 base was compatible with the skyscraper.
Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:41 AM
Posted 21 May 2008 - 10:47 AM
Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:09 AM
Although this is not the correct thread for this discussion, but not knowing various architectural trends and periods, what would the characterization of the classifieds building be?
IMHO, I would hope that whatever trend it was part of, it lasted no more than the duration of its design and construction.
Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:08 AM
One of my favorite cities is Tulsa because of that city's incredible architecture resulting from its 1920s oil boom. Definitely a place worth visiting if one has not already done so - go on a day when the downtown buildings are open so you can go inside the breathtaking lobbies which are still intact on the vast majority of the buildings. Even today Tulsa's skyline is very impressive - much more so than our own, despite the fact that the city is much smaller and less prosperous than Fort Worth.
Those 1920s era buildings in Tulsa are an enduring reminder of the vast amounts of wealth that flowed through that city during its oil boom. Perhaps it will turn out that one of the most enduring reminders of our own 21st century gas boom will be the restoration of our 1920s buildings. That's not a bad legacy at all.
Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:50 AM
IMHO, I would hope that whatever trend it was part of, it lasted no more than the duration of its design and construction.
Bart - the Classifieds Building is a blend of International Style with some Googie elements. You will find no bigger defender/lover/promoter of traditional architecture (and no bigger opponent of Modernism) than me, but I freakin' LOVE that Classifieds Building. When it was new, and before it had been renovated into the sorry state it's in now, I bet it looked great. It needs to be cleaned, it needs to have the mirrored glass removed, it needs its old translucent blue paneling put back on the fins, etc. but it's got awesome potential. I will defend it to the very end as a great little building.
I'd buy it, restore it, and reopen it as lofts with a Mid Century Modern feel (with bits of Metropolis-style industrial Art Deco thrown in - that zigzag awning just begs to be elaborated a bit).
Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:26 AM
I posted several pictures over the last week here. (And Atomic Glee has posted some ready for framing.)
As you are new here, I would like to point out the best feature of this forum. A button at the top, "New Posts" is great for quickly finding the buildings and items in the news.
Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:33 PM
The east face of the building is over half cleared of metal framing (which held up the previous facades). You can really start to see some of the original detailing, and it becomes more and more apparent what an awful disgrace is was to have defaced this building. I assume we will soon witness the removal of the horizontal concrete beam which runs across and through the original columns.
Also, on the SE corner of the building, there are people in man-lifts creating plaster molds of the original column stonework (above the base). As near as I can tell, the base's column stonework (which was chipped away) was of a similar style, so that probably explains the molds.
Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:43 PM
Posted 29 May 2008 - 07:53 AM
Sorry Saf, no mention of glowing eyes, animatronic faces, or spitting flames...
Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:41 PM
Come on now people, throw me a freakin bone why don't you.
Spitting FLAMES???? Never gave that a thought, interesting. Especially during the RODEO cattle drive and wintery weather months.
Public SMORES anyone?
I hope they consider those Battlestar Galactica enemy android style glowing eyes. And I mean the OLD SKOOL BG!
Posted 30 May 2008 - 03:11 AM
I wonder if the people who were responsible for it are still around and, if so, what they think about people spending a great deal of money, effort and love in order to undo their vandalism. Do they realize that they had zero taste? Perhaps they will say that it was merely the trend of the times. I respond by saying that is a pathetic excuse. Should popular taste ever sink down to the levels that it did in the 1960s and 1970s - well, I for one will NOT participate in the trend. If 1970s stuff were to come back in fashion, I will NOT dress in the freakish ways that people did back then and I will NOT buy furniture that is equally ugly and in equally bad taste. If someone wishes to call me a fuddy duddy or "square" or "old fashioned" - well, I have a bit more self-esteem and intellectual self-confidence than to be cowed by such mindless attempts at intimidation. And if someone destroys something that is attractive in order to make it ugly because that is what "sells" or is the fad of the moment - well, I for one will not hesitate to identify exactly what is taking place in the most candid and blunt way possible.
One of the very worst examples that comes to mind still remains uncorrected - and probably will for some time due to the sad state of the economy in the city where it is located - is the Alico Building in Waco. Here is what it looked like when it was built:
Here is what the tasteless sheep trying to be "hip" "trendy" and "mod" did to it:
That is beyond disgusting. It is disgusting and in bad taste now and it was disgusting and in bad taste when it was done, the fact that it was 1960 something and there was LSD in the water supply notwithstanding.
Fortunately, they only botched up the lower floors - either they were too cheap to do the rest or else they figured that the intended audience was too stupid to look upward and realize that they were looking at a building that was "old" and therefore bad. Here is a color picture of what the top of the building looks like - and it gives an idea of what the base depicted in the black and white photo might have looked like:
Thank goodness for companies such as XTO. Someone in that organization has VERY good taste and gets it.
I would not be surprised if that ALICO Bldg. mess turned out to be something from the mid 1950's. That building was torn up pretty badly when a really bad tornado ripped up downtown Waco. I think it happened on 1954.
Posted 30 May 2008 - 07:58 AM
When I was in Waco for grad school, every year when tornado season was about to start they would run a documentary on this tornado. According to the documentary, if the tornado hadn't struck, Waco would be as large or larger than Dallas by now
Posted 31 May 2008 - 11:33 AM
The tornado happened on May 11, 1953.
As for the year the Alico was aesthetically vandalized, I sent an email to ask a friend of mine who is a life-long Wacoan and remembers the tornado. Here is his reply:
"I can remember specifically--it was when I was in high school--1960 or 1961, because I almost threw up when I first saw it--and I think 1961 to be exact. They waited until ugly was at its absolute Zenith before doing it. '61 was also the year of the ugly new library which took the place of the 1904 building and the new Buick dealership was built that year, too--a rectangular haydite brick structure with no character to it at all."
There is also the following from this page on the building's website:
"The nightmare of the '60s wherein everything considered "old" had to be destroyed or modernized did leave its mark and the lower front and side Facade of the building was altered, along with adjoining buildings, in hopes of revitalizing an inner city decline. A decline created in part by a tragic tornado in 1953."
Nightmare indeed. And observe that the efforts of so-called "urban renewal" which involved bulldozing whatever happened to be in place and replacing it with sterile ugliness had the exact opposite of it was supposed to accomplish: it actually accelerated the decline of the impacted areas. And observe that the actual renewal of urban areas in recent decades was almost always sparked by the preservation and revival of surviving pre World War II buildings.
As for damage to the Alico from the tornado - it was actually VERY minor, something which is documented on the building's website and in a number of other sources. It was the first skyscraper to have a direct hit from a tornado. When the tornado struck, the building swayed several feet and the people on the upper floors were thrown against the walls - but the damage to the building was very minor, mostly consisting of broken windows and the destroying the glass skylights on the top floor. When the building was designed, it was deliberately over-engineered to withstand full hurricane force winds. The building had been built with its own artesian water source and its own electrical generating plant. After the tornado struck, it was the only building downtown that had electrical power and became the center of the recovery efforts. The tornado changed its direction immediately after hitting the building - I am not sure whether that was simply coincidence or whether a building that large and strong would actually be enough to have an impact on a tornado's behavior. The building immediately across the street from the Alico was a multistory furniture store that completely collapsed - and that was were a great many of the casualties took place.
I have heard similar claims but suggesting that, had it not been for the storm, the city would have experienced the growth that Austin later saw. I am not sure I buy that. Most of the damage was to the downtown and tornado hit just before downtowns in virtually every big city went into a downward spiral. A decade or so later, cities would voluntarily destroy large sections of their downtowns - as Fort Worth did with Hell's Half Acre. Undoubtedly it was a major set-back to the city at the time and certainly had an impact on it relative to other major cities - I am not doubting that. But the tornado does not explain the city's permanent state of stagnation that continued long after downtowns became largely irrelevant to the economic health of a city. Waco is the type of city one would expect to stumble across driving through a state such as Louisiana or Mississippi - not on I-35 halfway between the Metroplex and Austin. Not all of the downtown was destroyed - but most of what is left is vacant and boarded up while the downtowns of most other large Texas cities are coming back to life. And driving around the rest of the city, one sees very little of the sort of developments from recent decades one sees in other Texas cities. Judging from old photos, during the early 20th century, it was one of the more charming cities in Texas. Now, it is a very sad place to drive around - especially seeing all of the potential that is still there but decaying. According to Wikipedia, 26.3 percent of the population is below the poverty line verses 10.9 percent in Abilene, which is about the same size and 15.9 percent for Fort Worth. I am not sure what exactly it is, but regardless of the impact of the tornado, something is responsible for that city's ongoing stagnation and inability to recover five and a half decades later. But obviously that would be a subject for another thread.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 01:21 PM
That is a BACKWARD baptist of a universitry if I ever knew one. They just started allowing dances about 8 or 10 years ago, I mean there is no wonder most of my friends who attended there ended up transferring to a less established university, or graduated on time and caught the next train out of DODGE. I understand the shunning of alcoholic bev's due to the religious affiliations, but GOOD LUCK winning most collegiate prospects over other schools and towns with that.
Everything about that town is dependent on the state of BAYLOR U, aka WACO HIGH.
I don't know what else would capture anyones attention when driving through that town. Maybe catch some good JuCo baseball action over at McLellan JC, or visit one of those two highly touted Texas oriented museums. Other than that, if and whenever I drive down i35, it's pedal to the metal for me near WACO world.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 03:27 PM
Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:51 PM
I think you're right at least to a certain extent. Having spent 3 miserable years there, it was very apparent how much hatred there is in the non-Baylor part of the community for Baylor, and how Baylor treats the rest of the city with arrogant disdain.
I spend most of my time in Lubbock right now--it seems to me that the entire community there embraces TTU.
Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:57 PM
Fully agree on the TTU and Lubbock chemistry. Waco is just not that happening of a scene. I remember when my friends were all FRESHMAN at BU and how giddy they were when they talked about that naked runner near the Baylor track. Some stupid tradition, I think??? I was like, WHAAAAAT. That was the BLAST of a time and cutting edge part of going to BAYLOR?
Heck, even little old SCHREINER College out in Kerrville, TX RAWXX THE HIZZIE! Escpecially when Texas Music was making it's comeback to regional commercial popularity back in the 90's. Kerrville was at the EPICENTER of that mission.
Dr. Kathleen Hudson (coolest professor on THAAA PLANET!) is starting a course for credit on Texas Music coming this Fall. That's how HIP that place is. On a Texan's level.
Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:07 PM
Posted 01 June 2008 - 09:14 PM
Posted 25 June 2008 - 09:55 PM
Posted 26 June 2008 - 08:11 AM
I feel pretty safe in saying XTO will be doing nothing less than a full accurate restoration.
Posted 02 July 2008 - 09:47 PM
Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:20 PM
Posted 10 July 2008 - 09:40 PM
Posted 11 July 2008 - 08:51 AM
Posted 12 July 2008 - 10:09 AM
That quote doesn't seem to say "sans current building codes", it appears to request permision to restore the facade as much as possible to the original appearance WITHIN the restrictions of the current building codes. Does anyone else read it this way?
Posted 13 July 2008 - 02:30 PM
Posted 15 July 2008 - 07:52 PM
COA08-057 714 Main Street; Zoned H / HSE
Applicant/Agent: XTO Energy / KHK Group
Requests a certificate of appropriateness to renovate and restore the building facade
Motion By: Edith Jones
Motioned To: Approve COA08-057 as submitted
Seconded By: Brenda Sanders-Wise
Question: 6-1 (Commissioner Willis dissenting)
I haven't seen the replay on cable TV, so I don't know what transpired during the discussions. It airs several times per week during the month, so I'm sure I will catch it before the next meeting.
On Wednesday, the project goes before the Downtown Design Review Board.
Posted 16 July 2008 - 09:36 PM
Posted 29 September 2008 - 09:26 PM
Posted 01 October 2008 - 09:48 AM
As it was pre-sunrise (Shutter speed like 1/4 second) you can see the movement of the construction elevator hard at work already. I only hope XTO gets this building finished before the price of Natural Gas gets any lower. (It's about half what is was 6 months ago!)
Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:14 AM
Here is a shot from this morning. They are installing some kind of metal framework on the roof.
Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:28 AM
Posted 31 October 2008 - 10:42 AM
Support for HVAC systems, etc? That's my guess.
Also, most windows are installed on the upper floors of the 7th street side. I hope the frames will be painted a color that contrasts better with the concrete/stone. The current white frames don't look too hot to me.
Posted 02 November 2008 - 01:57 PM
If you think I am posting this picture to show off my pretty sky picture, you should be ashamed of yourself. It's true, but still you should be ashamed of yourself.
Posted 08 November 2008 - 11:53 AM
I may have found a driver that wasn't texting somebody while driving this chopper. (Close up shows guy only working controls.)
I took 260 pics with 3 lenses. Culled them down to like 15, but still too many to clog up the Forum's pages so here is the link to my morning's slide show. As usual, click the button in the lower right corner to fill the screen with the show...
Posted 08 November 2008 - 10:02 PM
Posted 09 November 2008 - 07:51 AM
I did have to resist the urge to tie a red towel to my balcony just to remind these guys we were pretty close to their operations.
BTW: Do me a favor. If there ever is a disaster at The Tower, like a big helicopter running into us or an earthquake bringing us down or whatever, go to the disaster site and find my camera and recover the chip. It likely has the whole story!
And I sure do wonder what it costs to have equipment put on the roof. I am guessing with liability insurance and all, a pile!
I am also wondering if the operation is computer/GPS controlled. There was like a 7mph variable wind and that chopper kept the same place for 5 minutes at a time. I mean THE SAME PLACE. Pilot could not be that good. (Could he be?)
Posted 09 November 2008 - 09:56 AM
Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:42 AM
Posted 09 November 2008 - 03:40 PM
Posted 09 November 2008 - 07:02 PM
$100k!!! Like I told ya in an e-mail, monee, you should sell your photos to these guys for advertising purposes!
Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:12 AM
Posted 26 November 2008 - 08:27 AM
400mm X 2x. In my large file size (not uploaded) I can read the tags on the equipment. Pretty good considering I am dealing with a slightly swaying Tower as well as a slightly swaying Transport Life Building.
I am getting really excited about this building coming back to life.
Posted 03 December 2008 - 11:05 AM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users