Getting to the Bottom of the Williams Tower

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE WILLIAMS TOWER The $412 million sale last week of the Williams Tower seems to have provoked some curiosity in the Houston Chronicle’s Katherine Feser: Pursuing a lead from a retired employee that, were it not for those pesky FAA regulations, the record-breaking 64-story skyscraper would have been even taller, Feser goes into the paper’s archives and finds evidence that the tower’s slab was something to behold, too: “The foundation pour . . . started at midnight Friday and was completed early Saturday night. The contractor, J.A. Jones Co., said it was believed to be the largest continuous pour ever made in Houston — more than 10,000 cubic yards of concrete. There have been larger pours but they have been completed in several stages. The area of the poured mat is 200 feet by 200 feet, almost an acre.” [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Russell Hancock

12 Comment

  • Attention downtown supporters!!!! I was downtown saturday morning for a fun run along allen parkway. runners (mostly taxpayers) were parked throughout downtown and got there early, say 6 am ish. When I got to my car parked near Mckinney, there was a parking cop giving every car a parking ticket. Everyone parked parallel on most blocks got a ticket. You ask why nobody goes downtown, here is your reason, becasue it is a pain in the ass and a piece of $hit. the Houston police dept should have to show up at one of these “Let’s develop downtown and make it friendly” meetings. I didnt get a ticket becasue I have access to a garage since I work nearby, but I bet a bunch of taxpayers were pissed saturday morning on their drive out of downtown. Just one example why downtown Houston doesnt work. I ran Austin 1/2 marathon in February, cars were parked illegally and legally all over downtown Austin and I didnt even see a cop at all.

  • a lot people don’t realize you have to pay for parking on saturdays, or that there are time limits… cops just enforcing the laws that were put in place. Really the fun run organizes should have communicated to the participants better. I do feel warnings for first offenders would be nice though.

  • Benny, why are you commenting on this particular post about downtown parking and your ‘taxpayer’ friends inability to read a sign?

  • Maybe it’s just me, but parking downtown is a simple, straightforward thing for me?? Is it that hard to pay a parking meter? Most of the ones in dt even accept debit cards now. The instructions are simple and clearly displayed as to when and how to pay. It’s not exactly rocket science… give me a break!

  • Sounds like someone got a good deal on the Williams Tower. And yes, parking should be free on weekends if they expect people to show up down there. Were they at meters, or were these normal no parking zones?

  • I was at the same event and saw something even more horrible. St. Arnold’s was there giving away free beer and the line to receive t-shirts after the race was several times longer than the free beer line.
    THAT’s what’s wrong with this town!
    I rode my bicycle so I was able to park close and not risk a ticket (except maybe cycling under the influence.)

  • some were at meters and some in unmarked spots, lots of unneccesary tickets IMO. I posted this because the Williams tower isnt downtown, maybe the original planners looked at a location downtown and got a parking ticket and saif F it, we’ll build in Galleria! Weekends downtown parking should be free or people will continue to stay away

  • Maybe they were getting tickets for expired meters? Saturday parking hasn’t been free for a while now, but maybe the race participants couldn’t get back to feed the meter. I suspect that the City isn’t going to leave that money on the table. They probably don’t really care if there are large events downtown or not, when they can rake in money from parking every weekend.

  • This Transco Tower (it will always be that to me) is most Houstonians favorite skyscraper. It’s beautiful from the side ( not as beautiful staight on), but no one can say it’s not iconic. I keep waiting for the famous lot in front of One Shell to built on..come on Hines!, build 1000 plus foot building there, and please hire Pickard-Chilton, they did a great job with MainPlace or whatever it’s called now (just wish it were taller)–im 40 and the Houston skyline looks almost the exact same as when I was a kid..Houston has had the best economy in the country for 10 years and still not one skyscraper over 700’s irksome that Chicago, New York, and even Philadelphia have build major skycrapers, and they’ve all have very mediocre growth. Houston needs a developer to step up..and we know it can only be Hines, so Mr. Hines let’s build on last great building for Houston

  • If this race was the AIDS Walk, apparently there was a HUGE misunderstanding about parking that proved a disaster. I parked in Allen parking garage and it was free. Too bad that wasn’t advertised.

    I agree, downtown Houston is a hassle. That’s why I can quote dozens of restaurants elsewhere but only a handful downtown. Probably the same reason Macy’s is closing.

  • @shannon, chase tower stands at 1000 feet. Wells Fargo plaza is almost at 1000 feet too.

  • I agree with Shannon that it would be nice to see a new 700’+ tower built downtown, but much has changed in the Houston office development environment since those buildings were put up 30 years ago. Mainly, the growth of suburban “campus style” office parks for major companies. Today, what oil majors are downtown? I see Shell, Chevron, Hess, and Enterprise Pipeline. The suburbs have Exxon, Conoco, BP, and all the service firms like Baker-Hughes, Schlumberger, and Cameron.
    The Mayor’s Office, along with the Greater Houston Partnership should be doing a better job of encouraging companies to stay in, or move to our downtown core. If nothing else, it would help shore up the tax base. This is where commuter rail to downtown, along with more retail, residential, and restaurants would help, by being amenities that could be “sold” by developers looking for tenants for a new downtown tower. But when people perceive downtown to be a “hassle” as others on this thread indicate, location scouting firms will continue to show their corporate clients suburban locations close to their employees’ homes with shorter commutes, free parking, and more amenities.