Monday, May 21, 2007

Williams Tower

Metro bus routes at the Williams Tower stop

Okay, its time to get started with some of the photos from last week's trip to Houston. A good place to start is the iconic Williams Tower on South Post Oak in the Uptown District, also known as The Galleria Area.

Williams Tower was constructed in a record 16 months, and was completed in 1983. It was originally known as Transco Tower, and many locals still refer to the building that way. Transco Energy, the major tennant, was acquired by Tulsa-based Williams, thus the renaming of the building.

Williams (formerly Transco) Tower.
Notice the lone cloud reflected in the buiding's glass surface.

I worked across the freeway from this structure during its construction, and watched over the months as it rose from the ground to its ultimate height of 64-stories and 901 feet above the street below. The tower's architects, Philip Johnson and John Burgee, created in glass the echoes of Art Deco skyscrapers of stone. Topping off the building is a rotating beacon that sweeps across the nighttime skies of Houston. When I fly into Hobby Airport, it is one of the things I look for on approach, although most flights I have taken into Bush Intercontinental take a path too far to the north to readily identify it.

This building's design is unusual in other ways; for example, it is actually built as two separate buildings stacked one atop the other, each with its own lobby and elevator system. At the time it opened, it was the tallest skyscraper in the world outside of its city's central business district. Currently, it is the fourth tallest building in Texas.

Front facade

Adjacent to the Williams Tower is the Waterwall. Situated across a park green to the south of the tower, the waterwall is another Houston landmark. The first photo below is a view of the entire north-facing front of the waterwall.


Here is a picture I took up close, under one of the arches. I like the arcs, lines, and angles of this shot.

Waterwall close up

Anyone interested in architecture should definitely make a stop at the Williams Tower when visiting Houston.

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