Thursday, August 4, 2011


At 5:00 this afternoon, for the first time, I showed a group of good friends this city building that has occupied me for over a year. They got to experience the lobby with its 85 year old concrete columns, brick walls and wide expanses and art by Metlab Studio, Havel Ruck Projects, Kaneem Smith, Jesse Sifuentes, Agnes Welsh Eyster and MMH. All of this is just in the lobby.
Steve Stelzer was still at work in the Green Building Resource Center and he very graciously talked about the information and opportunities he offers to builders, contractors and the general public.
We went floor to floor, looked out the windows at the top of the central stairwell, stopped to look at the art in each elevator lobby and pushed open bathroom doors.
I love the bathrooms and wanted everyone to see the tile work that circles each column and the dropped portions of the ceiling that punctuate the tops of those columns. The bathrooms are wonderfully detailed.
Everyone loved the green roof and they agreed that Jesse's mural is indeed reminiscent of a WPA project.
And my friends moved the chairs away from my 'Overheard' wall on level 3, so they could read every single word. I'll talk more about those chairs in another post. It's complicated.
I was disappointed to discover that this building is so energy efficient that Serena's monitors in the central stairwell were OFF when we looked down expecting to see blue skies and clouds. Guess the monitors are only on during working hours? What a pity.
We moved outside to see Dick Wray's elevator tower. I have to say that one needs to walk over to the Amtrak station to really see this piece. It looks so different with a bit of distance. At a distance, uou can see the faces and figures that become invisible up close.
I sure do love this building and I loved playing a part in its transformation. And it was fun to show it off to good friends. I cannot believe that I've not walked friends through this building until today. I suspect there'll be a few more of these tours. I know absolutely that these women will be spreading the good word about the facility's 'greenness' and public art.
I heard more than one mention made of the lobby as a potential venue for receptions for green groups, the Greater Houston Partnership and organizations like Houston Tomorrow. Receptions could be another income stream for the GBRC and would certainly bring in folks that might never, ever have cause to visit the building.
BTW, I handed in final paperwork today to Houston Arts Alliance. I also gave them the individual artist plaques to install. I think I am just about done with this job, except for more thank you letters with updates to donors and collaborators.
Thank you to everyone who came to see the building this evening. It's wonderful to be able to show it off and hear folks say that the whole place is terrific.
And it was also fun to move on to Beaver's for good food and conversation and that mulled cucumber habanero infused vodka cocktail.

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