The Crane for the Crane for the Texas Building Demo Is Here

Crane for Demolition of Texas Tower, 608 Main St. at Texas, Downtown Houston

What’s that giant red crane looming downtown on the block surrounded by Main, Texas, Fannin, and Capitol? Assembling another crane. Which, in turn, will do all sorts of nasty business to the 21-story Texas Tower, which happens to be in the way of the shiny new 609 Main St. office tower that Hines plans to build on that block. The Texas Tower’s original Art Deco details were removed in the 1940s; back then it was known as the Sterling Building. It went up in 1931.


Crane for Demolition of Texas Tower, 608 Main St. at Texas, Downtown Houston

Proposed 609 Main Office Tower, 609 Main St., Downtown Houston

Photos: Swamplot inbox (top); Adam Williams (middle). Rendering of 609 Main: Colvill Office Properties

Knock-em-Down ’Scrapers

15 Comment

  • Way to go H-town! Another win for crushing anything resembling historic precedent. I am aware the pinnacles and facade terracota detailing has long since been removed. However, you can still see the Chicago School influence in the spandrel glass panels and vertical articulation of the brick as seen in many a downtown Chicago building… This could have been a great adaptive reuse project! But then again, so could the Ben Milam and The Shamrock and The Dome and Foleys on Main and the Robinson Warehouse on Allen Parkway…. I’ll stop now. Sheesh!!!

  • The fact that all those were/are being demolished proves onto itself that they have no value. If there was any historic, architectural, sentimental value that would exceed the simple financial value, they would be preserved. In a nutshell, they aren’t worth enough to enough people.

  • @ Kineticdev- give me a break, there is not much redeeming about Texas Tower. Just because it’s old doesn’t automatically mean it needs to be saved. Plus, it’s already been empty for nearly 20 years. I’m all for adaptive reuse and historic preservation where it makes sense, but this does not seem to be one those cases… in my opinion. I like the look of the new tower going up in it’s place.

  • I’m all for historic preservation, but that building is a relic is in terrible shape, and has no real aesthetic or architectural significance. It’s not like they’re tearing down the gulf or Esperson buildings, just a useless rectangle with no historic value.

  • Agreed – it’s called progress, people! Get into it.

    Let’s be real, that building would have stayed empty and rotted away.

    Kudos to Hines + Houston!

  • Click on the “art deco details” link inside the story. The Texas Tower was once a gem that should have been preserved. But decades ago, it was so completely stripped of its wonderful deco details that it is nothing more than a mere shell of its former self. I am a rabid preservationist, but I realize that it is asking too much to expect someone to spend piles to modernize and bring up to code the interior while also completely rebuilding most of the original exterior deco facade.

  • As OldSchool mentioned, the original building looked beautiful, but the current building has already been stripped of its beauty.

  • As usual rabid old dusty, cobweb covered dust in dresses Swamplot “commenters” tear into some poor soul with their used dentchers. It’s sad really that nobody can speak of preservation without a bunch of old trolls haranguing about “progress” and so forth –it’s the main reason I rarely bother to comment anymore–bullying is so passé —

  • I do not know what is is about the Texas Tower that makes me like it, but I do wish there was a way to save it.

    Sadly, this building has been vacant for decades. I imagine in all that time many people have looked at a way to salvage it, I know it has been on the market several times before. Nothing really came of it.

    When a building is left vacant for such a long period of time it is highly unlikely that it can be salvaged.

  • Thanks Shannon! I don’t do much commenting on here anymore either because, APPARENTLY; most of these naysayers are non native, self interested developers promoting “progress” to line their own pockets! They are not architects or natives who remember the ghettos the developers of the eighties left in areas like Harwin, sharpstown or the near north side; lest of all my old stomping ground of south Houston and Broadway!

    I’ll stick with my clients and the educated of us who know better than to just wipe the slate clean… We will take our money and do the right think when and where we can as EVERY Houstonian should! Furthermore, I was a Hines intern overseas in Europe and know it can be done with good design talent. Sorry Mr. Hines should know better! But then again, I waited on his table once while in school and that did not work out well either, if you know what I mean…

  • LOL, “We take our own money and…” Yeah, that’ll be the day.

  • i would also like to register a comment on this page to let everyone know that i rarely bother to comment on here. you’re welcome, everybody!

  • Don’t be spiteful ;)

  • Some on here act like they are the only ones with money on here–they don’t have a clue

  • I’m all for preservation, but this one was too far gone.
    I used to wait for the bus across the street and look at that building and wonder what the hell it ever was. Now I know. A shame it was just not left alone.
    Interesting that in the 1940s they “modernized” buildings by taking off the Art Deco!