Not Preston Hard Enough: A Shade Loose Downtown

The brise-soleil modern Harris County Administration Building at 1001 Preston Downtown — across from a Metro Rail stop on Main St. — has been having a little problem holding it all together, reports the Chronicle‘s Liz Peterson. And it’ll take a little fixing:

Employees noticed the first bits of fallen concrete in February 2008, prompting the county to hire Walter P. Moore and Associates to evaluate the extent of the problem, said Mike Swain, the county’s deputy director of architecture.

The firm’s workers spent the next several months removing the most dangerous loose concrete and studying the rest of the 31-year-old building’s façade, he said.

Their report urges the county to install protective scaffolding around the building’s perimeter as soon as possible. Doing that and removing the rest of the loose concrete is expected to cost about $175,000.

Repairing the concrete façade is expected to cost at least $4.5 million, while waterproofing all the windows will eat up another $460,000.

Photo: Harris County Purchasing Agent

6 Comment

  • Didn’t this building flood during Tropical Storm Alison? If it is the one, it was a brand new building that they had just moved into and all the DAs had to work out of home for quite awhile.

  • I don’t think this is that building. I know the Harris County Engineering group is on the 7th floor since I’ve been there many of times for meetings or to get information for work.

    At least it’s just some crumbling non-structural concrete. It’s still a steel structure building underneath.

  • I’m pretty sure $4.5M to replace the facade is a whole lot cheaper than a lawsuit from someone walking on the sidewalk who took a piece of falling cement on the noggin.

  • That’s probably what the county thought and will use to justify the expense.

    This is definitely not a structural failure.

  • The DA’s office is in 1201 Franklin. 1001 Preston was completed in 1978. According to Houston Architecture Info it is “Not exactly offensive, but not very pretty either. But what do you expect from a building that is home to mid-level government offices? Horizontal louvers on the south-facing windows add to the sense that it’s a giant milk crate sitting on a concrete table.”

  • That building, the good old grey glum Admin Bldg, is well known to those of us who would go downtown to do our own title checking on the fourth floor. Property Records have since moved to the new Palace of Law several blocks east.