The Future Is Now in Houston; Yet Another New Heights Project from Treadsack


Photo of Spring Valley: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


16 Comment

  • Hey, by turning the Astrodome into a parking garage, we’re well on our way to emulating Detroit

    Maybe Detroit’s fate isn’t such a far off future if we keep doubling down on a dying industry like oil/gas extraction.

  • Dear Dummass, good luck getting your algae farm financed while oil is plentiful for the next 200 years. The market will adjust to new realities and the oil financial capital of the world will be booming again.

  • Move the Battleship Texas in pieces to be dry docked inside the dome and create the World’s biggest ship in a bottle. This is Texas damn it!

  • I like the battleship idea. Turn it into a giant stage for concerts.

  • Re: New Aluminum Signage for Montrose
    While I like the artist’s renditions of the new signage, I worry that this will just add to the visual clutter. The “old” gateway monument (from the eons-ago 1997, which is eons in terms of Houston timelines) didn’t add a lot of oomph and panache to the area. I doubt anyone put it on a “must see” list or increased the number of visitors to the Montrose.
    Perhaps a better use of the signage cash would be to buy some pothole repair materials and hire a crew to fill only the potholes in the zone. They can even put a laminated card saying: “Repaired courtesy of the Montrose Management District”.

  • I like the Montrose signage and the concept of visual markers – but how else are the commercial taxpayers benefiting from the thousands of dollars collected by the MMD / the fees paid to sustain Hawes Hill Calderon?

  • Commenter7: the thing is, the oil industry is caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand you have demand reduction spurred by vehicle efficiency mandates, carbon emissions targets, and a potential switch to more electric cars and efficient driverless car-sharing networks. On the other hand, you have what 2008 and 2014 showed to be upper limits on oil prices that economies are willing to bear before price-driven demand destruction kicks in. In other words, the price Houston needs oil to be at for another boom is too high for the world to consistently pay.
    It’s not a bright future for oil. Just ask the coal industry.

  • I third the battleship idea. It would create the ‘Dreadnought Dome’.

  • I really like that Montrose sign. Call it the art deco fanboy in me (is that art deco? not much of an art buff, just reminds me of the Chrysler Tower and the 20s and whatnot so I just think art deco).

  • @Future The reality is that due to the shale boom, oil has just become locked in as the primary fuel source for the next 200 years. In that same time, we will see roughly 3.5M social media sites and phone apps come and go. One more thing – rockets use oil. Ask your friend Elon Musk how big space is going to be. Breaking the earth’s gravitational pull will use an incredible amount of fuel. Sure, once they’re up there they can switch to solar. The drop in oil prices will create winners and losers, but the reality is that oil is now here stay. The peak oil website even had to shut down.

  • RE the Montrose signage – Looks like Urban Living’s logo

  • We need to put a retired aircraft carrier in the dome. That would be a great tourist attraction.

  • The Montrose Signs are attractive but can this Management district think of anything that would actually IMPROVE the area? Supposedly the businesses have a security patrol which I have yet to see anywhere-especially in the heavily trafficked bar districts. Then there are lights on bridges which should be a TxDot
    issue and the while the addition of bike racks is touchy feeley, the area’s infrastructure is so far gone it is pathetic. Numerous small traffic improvements could be made that would actually benefit everyone ..As many others have questioned, are these people accountable to anyone?

  • @JT, and you are going to be getting a tirz. You will love them if you are looking for any semblance of accountability to constituents.

  • the montrose signage is a whole new low for what used to be a vibrant mixed community regardless of the good or bad issues it retained because of that. these signs just signify it’s slow morphing into a gentrified shopping mall and an extension of the uptown sleaze. not like there hasn’t been plenty of death knells these past few years, but this one is gonna sting.
    finding it hilarious that in the year 2016 people are still talking about the waste pit of taxpayers money called the astrodome and that we’re still wasting taxpayers money on it for useless ‘studies’.
    and of course houston is not a city of opportunity. that’s why every high wage industry in town is full of out of state / international grads that are ecstatic for the low tax rates that help provide substandard livings throughout vast expanses of the city.

  • @ The Future & Commenter7: You’re both partly right, I think. The use of oil for transportation will likely continue for a long time, but especially in energy-poor or infrastructure-poor regions or for high-torque applications not along a fixed guideway. It IS rather easy to imagine a future where electric vehicles handle most commuters in and around major cities; but that’s not going to happen without adding tremendously to power generation and either replacing nearly all of the existing electricity transmission infrastructure or shifting to vastly decentralized electricity generation. Either way, and perhaps both ways in some regions, this isn’t something that happens overnight, and its something that is going to take a lot longer now that low natural gas prices have been re-joined with low oil prices. But…only about half of oil consumption in the US relates to personal vehicle use. Meanwhile, in mainland Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where inexpensive and fuel-efficient motorbikes reign supreme, there remains a vast potential for market penetration by full-sized cars; and as those regions develop, not only will they consume more energy but they are also going to consume more manufactured goods and engage in more trade, and all of that will sustain hydrocarbon demand. Personally, I think that its a very very long slog downward; but I would never dare predict what life will be like 200 years from now and I don’t care very much about that.