Icon for Houston?Brian Shelly recently made this request in the comments of another post:
Not to sidetrack this thread, but could I make a request to have a discussion or brainstorming session on building some sort of Icon for Houston, a la Golden Gate Bridge, Statue of Liberty, etc...? (Preferably privately financed, of course :) )Here's the Houston Pavilions site, and here's a discussion of it. I don't know much other than what I've seen in the Chronicle about it. They did get the tax breaks and nearby city infrastructure investments they requested.
Also, does anyone know anything new about the Houston Pavilions project?
Believe it or not, I've done some thinking on a monument/icon for Houston. One idea I haven't fleshed out much would be a giant version of the 3D Lone Star on top of the San Jacinto monument - like a building or enclosed space. It could certainly make for an iconic building if it could be built. Ideally it would look like a 5-pointed star both from on the ground and in the air, which I don't believe this one does (it only has four sides, so the top view must be only a four-pointed star).
The other idea I have would similar in concept to the Eiffel Tower, but instead a composite-material latticework structure of the four legs of a giant pyramid over downtown, with no center support. It potentially could be the tallest freestanding structure in the world (CN Tower in Toronto would be the competitor). The legs would have to be assembled on the ground along two crossing streets (looking like a gigantic plus + sign from the air), and then raised into the pyramid configuration. The legs might hold a ski-lift-type transport that could take people up or down any leg to zip around downtown with a very cool view along the way. And the top point of the pyramid would hold not only an observation deck, but also a high-dollar restaurant and events facility (weddings, corporate parties, etc.) with the perfect name: "The Top of Texas". Based on the fees CN Tower charge and the revenues they make, it's possible the venture could be self-funding and possibly even wildly profitable. I saw a PBS special on the Eiffel Tower last night: it paid for itself within just a few years of construction and everything after that made Eiffel a very wealthy man.
So those are my two ideas. Additional concepts are welcome in the comments.