Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Downtown Houston is Houston's largest business district and the seventh largest in the United States. Downtown Houston contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. The streets are not as full in downtown compared to other cities, as there is an extensive network of tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district.
Houstonians in general are reluctant to live in downtown. Few large high-rises exist for those looking for a downtown living alternative. Many whom want to live in the area like to live from often-stylish townhouses in Midtown. Realtors and developers had noticed this trend over the years, and started the trend of converting older buildings into more modern and luxurious loft spaces. A number are located around the performace halls of the theatre district and near Main Street.
A noticeable trend is that Houston is becoming more "downtown-centric". The baseball, basketball, and hockey teams had moved into downtown facilities. January 1, 2004 marked the opening of the "new" Main Street, a plaza with many eateries, bars and nightclubs, which brings many visitors to a newly rennovated locale. To complete the scene, Main Street Square offers dancing fountains throughout the day and offers a dramatic scene as one of the METRORail trains pass under. Along the Main Street corridor is the original Foley's department store.
Downtown Houston has many notable buildings that form its skyline.
- The Esperson Buildings , one built in 1927 and the other in 1942, were modeled with Italian architecture.
- The Houston City Hall was started in 1938 and completed in 1939. In front of City Hall is the Martha Hermann Square.
- Houston Public Library's Central Library, consisting of the Julia Ideson Building (1926) and the Jesse H. Jones Building (1976).
- The Houston Industries Building , formerly the 1100 Milam Building, was built in 1973 and renovated in 1996.
- The Pennzoil Place was built in 1976.
- The First City Tower was built in 1981.
- The Houston Chase Tower, built in 1981 and formerly the Texas Commerce Tower, is the tallest in Houston and the second tallest in the United States west of the Mississippi River.
- The Chevron Tower , formerly the Gulf Tower, was built in 1982.
- The Bank of America Center, formerly the RepublicBank Center and the NationsBank center, was built atop and joined to a previously standing two story building; It was built in 1983.
- The Enron Center North , also the Four Allen Center, was also built in 1983.
- The Wells Fargo Bank Plaza, formerly the Allied Bank Plaza and First Interstate Center, also came in 1983.
- The Heritage Plaza was completed in 1987.
- The Enron Center South , also the Enron II, was started in 1999 and finished in 2002.
- The Hobby Center for Performing Arts was started in 2000 and completed in 2002.
- The Lyric Centre is filled with lawyers, but also is next door to many performing arts venues.
Also, two sports stadiums, the Minute Maid Park (formerly Astros Field, Enron Field, and the Ballpark at Union Station), being built from 1997 to 2001, and the Toyota Center reside in downtown. Downtown's Theatre District, operating out of the Alley Theatre is second in size to that of New York City's district. The George R. Brown Convention Center is also widely used in the city by conventions of various types.
In comparison to other cities, there aren't many major hotels downtown, partly because demand for lodging exists for other parts of the city that have other attractions. Two notable hotels downtown are the Hilton Americas hotel which is connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center, and the Hyatt Regency Houston, which has the Spindletop restaurant, which is on the 30th floor and revolves. A number of upscale, botique hotels are also around the Downtown Core.
Retail and transportation
Downtown has The Shops in Houston Center shopping mall . It has around ninety stores and the building itself straddles two city blocks, making it the widest building downtown.
Part of Chinatown extends into downtown.
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