Last year, Boxer Property told reporters it wanted to do something “iconic” with the St. Joseph’s Professional Building along the Pierce Elevated. Well, how about this idea: bringing the 18-story Midtown office building to life by attaching 2 massive, swinging arms to its east and west sides. Boxer engaged The Art Guys (Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth) shortly after purchasing the building in September 2017 to make it happen. They worked on the project in secret, dubbing it The Walking Building. It had an estimated budget of $2.8 million.
Alas, the vision of a giant robotic pedestrian attempting to cross a busy section of I-45 into Downtown was not to be. Boxer informed The Art Guys 2 months ago that it would no longer pursue the project.
The arms would have swung back and forward roughly once a minute, making for a somewhat leisurely gait:
Having troubleÂ sifting through some of the massive freeway jumblesÂ in theÂ latest plans for that major I-45 rerouteÂ between Downtown and the Beltway? This new videoÂ (making the rounds this month asÂ TxDOTÂ hosts a set of public meetings to chat about the project) may or may not help you out. The 10-minute animation shows offÂ what the project plans look like in multicolored, car-spangled 3D action, dragging viewers slowlyÂ along the entire project route from Spur 521 up to Beltway 8.
The project plans pullÂ 45 over to the east side of Downtown, toÂ line up alongsideÂ US 59 and dive underground behind the George R. Brown convention center. Various flavors of new express lanes, managed lanes, managed express lanes, and connectorsÂ weave into and out of a massive newÂ 45-59-10 junctionÂ as shown above, all labeled by color. Here’s a clip of the above video showing just that section of the animation:
THE ODDS ON A PIERCE ELEVATED COMEDOWN Writing in theÂ latest issue of Texas Architect magazine — which is now debuting a redone website with a new web address and a new all-articles-are-now free policy — Ben Koush surveys the prospects for the raised section of I-45 nowÂ dividing Midtown fromÂ Downtown:Â “While there have been some plans floated around to convert the decommissioned section of the Pierce Elevated into Houstonâ€™s version of the Highline,most people I spoke with didnâ€™t think that was going to happen, simply because TxDOT needs the money it could get from selling that right of way to private developers. Some still hold out hope that at least some of the land or maybe even a small section of the elevated roadway could be made into a public green space.” [Texas Architect; previously on Swamplot]Â Plan of “currently approved scheme” for I-45 rerouting around downtown, showing possible green space: SWA Group
Who says Houston isn’t fast-paced and funky when the sun goes down? If you’ve got a minute, check out this time-lapse video made by Spenser Harrison. It takes in all the lit-up hotspots in H-Town: Main St., the Galleria, Reliant Stadium — heck, even the Pierce Elevated!