11/22/17 12:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT WE MEAN NOW WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ‘TRADITIONAL’ BUILDING “. . . A ‘real’ dome would be constructed of stacked bricks that rest on each other and use physics to stay in place, like they did in the ancient times that you seem to be so fond of. This is a faux dome made of steel meant to replicate a classical look. Just because something mimics an older style, does not mean that it’s any more ‘real’ than the new stuff.” [Superdave, commenting on New Dome Rises from the Streets of Montrose to Top Church Position] Illustration: Lulu

11/20/17 2:00pm

The metal dome situated street-side at the Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral on the corner of Yoakum and Kipling for just under a month has been lifted and installed atop the church’s sanctuary. The photo at top shows the dome in its earthly state just over a week ago. Members of a crowd that watched its ascension early Saturday morning snapped pictures showing the half-sphere, now sheathed, being placed via crane on top of the metal dock that now exalts it:


Annunciation Orthodox
11/01/17 4:15pm

Now sitting near the corner of Yoakum Blvd. and Kipling St. in place of the electronic sign for Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral: framework forming the new dome that will soon be mounted atop the structure’s sanctuary. The steel half-orb, meant to cap off a $12.5 million cathedral renovation and expansion project, has been under construction streetside since at least last week, as these pics submitted by Swamplot readers show:


Annunciation Orthodox
08/16/10 1:12pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THEY LAUGHED AT THE IDEA OF PUTTING A DOME ON TOP OF A SPORTS STADIUM, TOO “. . . It is possible. The air space, the cooling system, flooding, venting, and anything else you could possibly think of. You people don’t think they have already thought of every possible scenario? These are very smart people, smarter than me and everyone else on this opionated blog. Like one of the guys on here said about us not ever imagining [an] indoor sports arena possible, and now we have many. And let’s just say it did happen. Did any of you ever stop to think about the extreme economic growth it would create for our city? A major city turned into probably the worlds number one tourist attraction. Resturants, shops, malls, and probably every business would boom. Not including the thousands that would pop up becasue of it. Creating thousands of jobs. . . .” [fhp, commenting on We’re All Astrodome Now: The Mile-Wide Dome Over Houston] Image: Engineering, Discovery Channel

02/04/10 11:13am

Private security guards were stationed outside the premises of the St. Agnes Missionary Baptist Church south of the Loop yesterday, and an attorney for the bank that owns the property confirms to Fox 26 reporter Isiah Carey that the church has closed. The guards were originally under orders from Herring Bank not to allow anyone to enter or remove any furniture or equipment from the church building off Scott St. near Sims Bayou. However, bank attorney Dwight Jefferson told Carey late last night that

church workers have been given approval by the bank to remove certain personal items and belongings from the building. Just to make sure that’s all they take security guards outside the building are also video taping all activities.

What’s all the fuss?


06/10/09 4:28pm

Too bad we can’t embed the video here. So here’s a transcript of the rationale — presented by the writers of the Discovery Channel’s Mega Engineering series — for building that massive, mile-diameter geodesic dome over Houston (or at least the Downtown part):

Houston, Texas — the country’s fourth most populous city — is in peril.

Houston has always been vulnerable to killer hurricanes: From the great storm of 1900, the deadliest in U.S. history, which killed 8,000 people, to Hurricane Ike in 2008, which caused more than $10 billion in damage, and forced the city center to shut down for nearly a week.

And it’s not only hurricanes. Searing heat and humidity also oppress this great city. On nearly 100 days each year, the temperature climbs above 90 degrees, which in muggy Houston feels even hotter.

Air conditioning provides relief, but at a cost. Houstonians’ soaring electricity use has nudged the city ahead of Los Angeles in the race to become the country’s number-one producer of greenhouse gases — a dubious distinction. And the problem is only getting worse.

Forced to spend a fortune in a losing battle against nature, and with energy costs spiking unpredictably, Houston finds itself square in the path of an environmental juggernaut, which threatens to make the city unlivable.

That’s why some think that the only way to save Houston is to move it indoors.

Diagram of Houston Dome: Engineering, Discovery Channel

06/09/09 8:20pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FLOATING THAT HOUSTON DOME IDEA “This TeeVee show and Gus both imagine the enclosure extending all the way to the ground, in which case it has to withstand surges or deflect bayous or whatever, but Fuller did not: by WWII it had been discovered that a dome that was very open around the base, and vented at the crown, would actually set up a standing current that sucked cooling air into the top and expelled hot air at the bottom (counterintuitively). I believe this was used to turn Midwestern grain bins into instant comfortable barracks for GIs serving in Asian desert theaters of operation. As for whether it could work “around” here, my own scale model tests have been inconclusive, but I know that after the war Fuller set up something like a 30′ radius dome in Kenya and the visitors complained it was too cold – though probably not to the point of condensing the humidity and dribbling it on you.” [Neil, commenting on We’re All Astrodome Now: The Mile-Wide Dome Over Houston]

06/09/09 11:55am

Okay, Discovery TV engineers, we’re all on board with your idea of building a ginormous, 1-mile-diameter, 1500-foot high dome over Houston. Dibs on the thermostat!

Too bad, though: It looks like all that lightweight geodesic Buckminster Fullery goodness only gets you coverage over . . . Downtown. Isn’t that all air-conditioned already?

We’re especially looking forward to the next episode of Mega Engineering, where you describe that giant ring-moat bayou drainage bypass carved through swathes of Midtown and the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Wards they’ve gotta be planning to go with this.

So . . . how’s the Houston Dome supposed to work?