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Keep Houston Press Free
4

What $9 Billion Would Have Wrought

We talked

below

about a 1970

Time

magazine article on Houston's efforts to attract Yankees.

As we mentioned, one of the things Time discussed was a $1.2 billion development that was about to be built "on the edges of downtown." That translates to about $9 billion in today's dollars, which is one big development.

We asked and now have heard back from Steven Fox, the Rice professor who knows all and tells all when it comes to Houston architecture and history.

He's not too sad the project didn't get built.

It's the 33-block Houston Center development, which Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. sought to undertake. The Los Angeles architects William Pereira Associates did a master plan that proposed covering all thirty-three blocks with four levels of parking that bridged over all the streets, leaving only the street intersections open to the air. The top deck would be a landscaped pedestrian deck, from which office, hotel, and apartment buildings would rise. The only building constructed in conformance with the plan was Two Houston Center at 909 Fannin and McKinney.You can see in the 900 block of San Jacinto the dreary conditions that would have resulted had the plan been carried out.

Sounds futuristic. And, yeah, dreary.

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Fox says the George R. Brown Convention Center and Discovery Green were built in what was to have been the eastern end of Houston Center.

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