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Did grain elevators influence the Downtown skyline ?


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#1 BlueMound

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 11:08 PM

I've always wondered if past architects of downtown highrise buildings were influenced by the look of local grain elevators.

For example, Burnett Plaza and its mechanical penthouse.
Looks similiar to the mechanical penthouse of a grain elevator.

Any thoughts ?

#2 RD Milhollin

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Posted 24 September 2015 - 11:10 PM

NAW! Of they had been influenced by grain elevators there would have been more rounded corners on the sides and steel chutes on top.



#3 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 07:22 AM

I don't think so, either.  Burnett Plaza was influenced by its companion, the Bank of America Building, a.k.a. 500 West 7th.  If you remember, Burnett Plaza was supposed to be the new home of the bank, back when it was the First of Fort Worth.  Another influence on the building was the desire by the owner to build as large of building that the market could support on the narrow site.  That narrow site forced the elevator core to be on one side.  As for the penthouse, all high rise buildings have the elevator overrun, its just up to the architect whether that is hidden or expressed as a design element. 



#4 RD Milhollin

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 09:14 AM

Of course all said, at one time the grain elevators WAS the skyline.



#5 John T Roberts

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 10:40 AM

After the project was announced, Burnett Plaza billed itself as the tallest building in the city.  While under construction, it was discovered that the current D.R. Horton Tower was actually a few feet taller.  So, in order to keep their claim, the architects and engineers moved the antenna farm from the main roof up to the penthouse roof.  Since it would be in plain sight, the architects decided to hide it behind a concrete colored screen.  Therefore, about 20 extra feet was added for the building to claim the tallest in Fort Worth. 



#6 Austin55

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Posted 25 September 2015 - 11:16 AM

Burnett is about as aesthetically interesting as a grain silo. 



#7 johnfwd

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 07:38 AM

The first grain elevator was in 1842 in Buffalo, New York (Wikipedia).  Grain elevators/silos dotted the country's rural landscape from that period to the present.  During the period, nascent skylines appeared in New York, St. Louis, Chicago, and other cities. My layman's guess is that architects drew inspiration more from existing 3-6 story office buildings downtown on account of their suitability for occupancy rather than from the functional silo structures on the rural outskirts of the cities.  Fort Worth builders probably modeled their buildings after their counter-parts in Dallas and other cities.



#8 Dismuke

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 06:52 PM

Burnett is about as aesthetically interesting as a grain silo. 

 

Hey!  That's not fair to grain silos.  I think grain silos are cool (unlike the ugly building).


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