Elements of the Houston Skyline

Houston, Texas has no shortage of great architecture. Some of tallest buildings in Houston are J.P. Morgan Chase Tower, Wells Fargo Bank Plaza, Williams Tower and the Bank of America Center. Tall buildings are what make a city skyline.

Perhaps the most architecturally pleasing of these is the 56-story Bank of America Center building in downtown Houston. The Williams Tower is a close second, and is an art deco pleasure constructed by the same team of architects that designed the Bank of America building.

As someone who designs custom homes in Perth, I consider myself more than qualified to comment on this topic area.

 

The glistening black tower of smooth steel reaching for the sky is known as Wells Fargo Bank Plaza. All beacons of capitalism, these buildings were erected in the early 80s.

When discussing architecture in Houston, albeit not a structure that paints the skyline, the Astrodome also needs mentioning.

As one drives into any city, structures rise up to greet their guests, and give definition to the skyline. They act like an architectural welcoming committee! The night, complimented by the blessings of Thomas Edison, showcase a city’s skyline.

That being said, one cannot miss the 75-story J.P. Morgan originally planned for 80 floors, but later limited by the Federal Aviation Administration’s 75 story limit, was designed by I.M. Pei and was constructed in 1980.

The Wells Fargo Bank Plaza is the 2nd tallest building in Houston, at 71 stories. Having experienced a few name changes over the years, like several buildings subject to the gyrations in corporate America, it was once the Allied Bank Plaza and the First Interstate Bank Plaza.

This shining tower built in 1983, with its smooth lines and captivating appearance, is the largest multi-tenant building in this part of the country.The Bank of America Center building, a 56-floor wonder, built in 1983, was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee.

Appearing as if it were 3 buildings, the office tower is divided by two ascending setbacks rising into the sky. It is easily one of the most remarkable buildings in Houston. The Williams Tower, an architectural art deco masterpiece, was also designed by the same architectural team that designed the Bank of America building. This 64-story tower was built in 1983.

The Houston Astrodome was built in 1965. This multiuse arena, called “the eighth wonder of the world,” was considered an architectural marvel. This stadium, with 70,000 seats, was the first domed stadium ever constructed. Baseball seating capacity is 54,000 and capacity for football games is 64,000. It was also home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for 36 years.

The Astrodome is now in a state of disrepair, and referendums presented to raise funds and rehabilitate this aging facility have not passed. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in January 2014. This does render the property eligible for tax incentives for the value of expenses required to maintain it.

Protection under this status is not guaranteed, but there are financial incentives for the owners of buildings on this list to maintain them.

Architecture makes a city what it is. With limited land and expanding needs for additional space in our city centers, up was the only way to go. Today the tallest buildings collectively draw a city’s skyline, and Houston is no exception. It has an eclectic mix of pleasing architecture painting its evolving skyline.

About the author: Rob Frigo is owner and operator of Promenade Homes, in Perth, Australia.

Review of Texas Paintball

Texas Paintball, near Jonestown, is a great way to spend your weekend. Open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this place is the place for you. With 10 awesome fields spread over 40 acres, which inclues a turf field, I’d highly recommend this place, whether or not you are an experienced player or this is your first time.

 

I went there with three of my friends, two of which were inexperienced players, and we had no problems at all. We had just purchased a couple of paintball games after reading up about them on this site: www.thepaintballprofessor.com

I mean, first things first: the customer service was amazing! The staff was not only friendly, welcoming and well trained, but also incredibly knowledgeable! There are several skilled technicians in the staff, including the owner, who can help you fix up your gear and fine tune it if you are having any trouble. Their friendly attitude, and willingness to help, as well as their excitement about the game, made my experience at Texas Paintball pretty incredible.

Ultimately, the team was a perfect size on each field, which allowed them to be both friendly and good with the rules. Some of the members of my group were first time paintballers, and so they really valued the detailed safety instructions, and then the consequent reminders throughout the day.

Secondly, the fields are amazing. And I don’t only mean the size, though the size was a major advantage for me. I found that the work Texas Paintball put into caring for and organizing the arenas is what makes this place so spectacular. It made the overall paintball experience really cool, since it allowed us to have long, drawn out games. There were also enough obstacles to hide behind and it made the whole game unforgettable.
The variety of fields also means we could pick our favorite, which was a nice added touch that other paintball arenas, with less fields, simply can’t offer.

All equipment is available for rental on site if you are simply there for a one-off game. I was delighted to find that the quality of the rental equipment is very high, and they are also nice and clean, which is a first, t be honest! Everything comes for a fair price too! Better yet, the paintballs are really good quality for the price.

I didn’t have many bruises afterwards, and the paint exploded well to mark that you were shot. The equipment was also light, and my gun didn’t jam once! Experienced paintballers will be excited to hear that Texas Paintball also sells and repairs equipment in their pro shop! Special Event booking is also available.

In conclusion, I really loved this place! I would highly recommend it; its totally worth the extra drive. The staff and the overall experience made for a great weekend excursion with my friends, and I will definitely be doing it again later this summer.

Texas Jobs For College Graduates

The state of Texas is experiencing a favorable momentum in job growth.

There has been over 20,100 non-farm jobs added in January of 2015, with a total increase of 392,900 jobs expected during the year, as well as nine of the 11 major industries in the State, seeing growth in their economic and labor market stats.

Some of the entry level jobs in Texas, includes engineering, finance, marketing, business, media, IT and more. From the Texas Panhandle to El Paso to the city of Center, and to San Antonio, the favorable Texas markets for entry level college graduates in 2015 and going forward, include:

1. Entry Level Software Developer

Companies are looking for computer science graduates for entry level positions involved in software development. The positions being offered are those that require coding, designing, and testing. College graduates should have a good knowledge of Java, .Net, SQL BI, QA and other technologies.

2. Entry Level Medical Positions

Healthcare facilities are looking to hire Texas college graduates in the field of nursing. They will train degreed nursing graduates in their clinical environment. Nursing graduates can become licensed practical, vocational nurses, and nursing assistants with basic nursing responsibilities. Their continued work experience will enable entry level nurses to become surgical nurses and RN’s.

It’s funny, my son is actually graduating later this summer, and he’ll be going to nursing school. It may sound a little strange for a guy to go to nursing school, but it’s becoming more common these days. We had a nice little party for him to celebrate, I bought him a few nice gifts, and we had a really good time. If you have a family member in need of some nursing gifts, by the way, check out 4 a Nurse.

3. Financial Positions

  • Loan Officers: Texas entry level college graduates can become “loan officers,” who serve as liaisons between a financial institutions and loans to businesses and individuals.
  • Accountant: An accountant position for college graduates is a growing position that makes up about 28% of finance jobs.
  • Financial Analysts: College graduates are hired quickly as financial analysts and who are hired to review and consider various statistics on investments.
  • Auditor: An auditor monitors a company’s financial statements, checks for errors to ensure an accurate result.

4. Business Administration Graduates

Business Administration entry level graduates in Texas, can become:

  • Market research administrators – forecast the marketing field for specific companies and industries.
  • Entry-level managers – a great leadership building field.
  • Office administrators – these jobs for college graduates, will stretch their skills in leadership, general computer skills, communication skills and team-building skills.
  • School administrators – entry level administrators can grow to become school principles, superintendents, and directors in the field of education on all levels.

5. Engineers

Texas entry level engineering jobs are some of the fastest growing, highest-paid jobs for college graduates, who have an aptitude for math and science. These careers, include:

  • Land Survey Technician: Entry level, engineering graduates can work in varying fields, including oil and gas. The future goal is to become project managers, who can also work in offshore platform stations. Land Survey Technician graduates will perform various topographic surveys, pipeline surveys, and construction layouts.
  • Mechanical Engineers: college graduate entry level Mechanical Engineers will work with expert engineers on technical project developments. They will install, troubleshoot, operate, and configure company products and systems.
  • Entry Level Field Engineers: College graduates will be introduced to a variety of office and field activities, involving contract submittals, schedules, and project documentation. As an Entry Level Engineer you’ll be introduced to a variety of office and field activities.

Texas Real Estate Facts

Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. Therefore, Texas has some very interesting real estate facts that are both entertaining and interesting.

1. The Largest Real Estate Home For Sale

Champ d’Or is the most expensive home for sale, located in Hickory Creek, Texas in Denton, County. This massive piece of real estate was originally built for Alan Goldfield, a mobile phone executive.

The average home size in Texas is around 1700 sq. ft., but this massive estate is a 48,000 sq. ft., mansion. It is listed for $35 million. Tucked behind a long winding, gated driveway, it featured the following:

  • six bedrooms
  • six full bathrooms, including the ideal family toilet 
  • eight powder rooms
  • 2-story mahogany library
  • a conservatory
  • 2 elevators for its 4 stories
  • walls were designed after gold molding displayed in the Versailles•

Its 39 acres, also houses a waterfall – bedecked pool, a pool house, veranda seating for up to 450 people, two reflecting pools, and tennis courts.

2. Most Expensive Home in Texas

The Crespi Hicks Estate in 2013 could be purchased for around $135 million, Now, its off-market “pocket” listing price has dropped to $98 million.

The Crespi Hicks Estate had a name change and is now called “Walnut Place.” The original owners were Mr. Thomas Hicks, a former private equity firm owner and former owner of the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Stars. The features of this vast estate, includes:

  • 35,725 sq. ft., 4 story main home
  • 2-story guest house with 2 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths
  • 3-story recreation complex with an 18 seat movie theater
  • 10 bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms, plus 5 half baths, including 17 toilets!! (click here to read more about toilets)
  • 19th century Italian walnut and burl paneled library
  • a large 10th century Dutch Delft tiled kitchen

The Crespi Hicks Estate lies in the Mayflower Estates section of Dallas’ Preston Hollow neighborhood. The Preston Hollow community is a wealthy community of homes owned by former President George W. Bush, and many billionaires, including Darwin Deason and Harold Simmons. This community is only minutes from downtown Dallas.

3. Fastest Growing Texas Cities In The U.S.

Seven of the fifteen fastest growing cities in the U.S., are located in Texas.

These include:

  • Georgetown – located in Williamson County and is filled with Victorian commercial and residential properties.
  • San Marcos – located in the central Texas area of Austin–Round Rock–San Marcos.
  • McKinney – located in historic Collin County of northeast Texas.
  • Frisco – located in northeast section of Texas between Collin and Denton Counties. It is an affluent suburban city.
  • Odessa – located on the west coast of Texas in between the counties of Ector and Midland.
  • Pearland – located on the south-east coast of Texas. Situated within the counties of Brazoria and Fort Bend Harris.
  • Cedar Park – located in south-central Texas, located in Williamson and Travis counties. It is a major suburb of Austin, Texas.

Top 5 Texas Foods to Make your Mouth Water

When you think of Texas, there are a few things that come to mind like cows, cowboys, oil tycoons and people who love life and want to live it the way they see fit.

 

There is an indepent spirit that still thrives from its time as its own country. They try to live the true American dream and with that they have uniquely Texan cuisine that makes their local foods some of the best tasting and most appitizing in America. So here is a short list of some of the best foods they seem to do so uniquely well.

Barbaque

Going to Texas and not having barbaque is almost an insult; it is just wrong. They have turned smoking and grilling into a true art form.

To have brisket in Texas after it has been slowly cooked for hours on end is something that everyone has to try at least once in their lives. It will become one of the foods against which you will judge all other barbaques from that point on. No other place quite takes barbaqueing to the level that Texas has.

Pecan Pie

In a state that grows as many pecans as Texas does, it is only natural that they find a way to make pecan pie that makes everyone else’s just sort of pale in comparasion. Their pecan pie is really that good.

Cheese Enchiladas

There seems to be only one rule to cheese enchiladas and that is add more cheese. They are made with, you guessed, it cheese, a lot of cheese, and smoothered in a sauce that is like a gravy chili mix that makes this a true mouth watering carnival sensation of the taste buds.

Chicken Fried Steak

Not even joking, Texas is the place for chicken fried steak. Long ago, the people of the hill country turned this into a true American dish that can be found all across the country. However, no one does it better than the Texans who, in most cases, make it almost a crusade to just finish eating one.

The size and extraordinary taste of a Texas chicken fried steak makes them not just a satisfying meal but a memory to which none can compare.

Chili

This is the official dish of Texas and is an absolute must when when in Texas. The Texas version of chili has no beans in it at all, that is how you know you have reached Texas. There is nothing quite as tasty or as satisfiying as sitting down with friends and having a bowl of Texas chili.

If it is Tex-Mex style there will be beans, however, it will still be quite possibly the best chili you have ever had in your life. Being the state dish, it is hard to go wrong when you decide to have Texas chili.

Texas has so much truly Texan fare that when you travel to Texas, you have to try them, unabashedly, and wash them down with true Texan drinks such as a frozen margarita or Dr Pepper.

Your dining experience in Texas will surely be a time to remember with good food and company. Forget about paltry things like diets and heart conditions, because you do only live once and these five foods are something that must be tried.

What Is So Great About Texas?

Texas is a lot different from other states and some would even say that it’s the best state in all of the United States.

 

From it’s delicious southern BBQ, to it’s football culture, music scene, hot weather, and more, there are plenty of reasons why millions choose to call Texas home and why they choose to visit this state.

Sometimes referred to as the state with the freest economy, many people really love to travel to Texas. Whether it’s for a wedding in a small chapel, or to taste some delicious food, there is lots to do and to see here.What Comes To Mind When You Think Texas?

From the Cowboys football team, to real rodeo cowboys, to ranch cowboys, and impersonator cowboys, and every other kind.

You are sure to see someone in cowboy boots and a stetson when you arrive in this state.

However, you might find the same thing, aside from the football team, in a few other states as well. Texas has shopping, food, music, and more. It’s a great location not only to visit with the family, but also to have a wedding reception, or even to live.

Millions of people call this beautiful state their home and there is no secret as to why they are so fond of it.

There are many reasons why so many people choose to travel to this state. From the live music shows, to the delicious BBQ, the comfy sleek hotels, and fun sporting events, you surely will not run out of things to do and fill your time with should you ever plan to visit Texas in your life.

If you haven’t yet made the decision to do so, you should consider seeing what Texas has to offer, as so many others have before.Whether it’s watching horse races, seeing a movie, watching a live music show, attending a beer festival, or some other fun event, there is always something that you can take part in and enjoy when you are in Texas.

The people there are friendly and it’s easy to make your way around and to find new places to see and experience. If you want to travel to a place that has great weather, and lots of sites to see and things to do, then you should add Texas to your list of places that you are going to eventually go.

You wouldn’t want to miss out on a place that had so much to offer, from what you eat to where you sleep, and everything in-between.

Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Texas

We all know that when you go on vacation, entertaining the kids has to be the highest priority. Luckily, the Lone Star State has plenty of fun attractions for all the family to enjoy. Here are some of the best.

Theme Parks

Everything about Texas is big, and that includes its roller coasters!If you and your kids are true thrill seekers, you’ll know that Six Flags are the kings of amusement parks and Texas has two of them for you to enjoy. Six Flags Over Texas in San Antonio was the chain’s original location and is home to the legendary Texas Giant coaster. Alternatively, if family friendly shows and music are more your thing, Six Flags Fiesta Texas offers a different take on the traditional theme park.

If you like your amusement parks with animals thrown in, SeaWorld San Antonio is a great day out for all the family and even offers its own Aquatica waterpark for added fun in the sun. If you are traveling with hard to please teens, perhaps Zero Gravity in Dallas will satisfy their appetite for excitement. Offering no less than five terrifying thrill rides, this park is the only one of its kind in the world.

Museums

If you want to combine your vacation with some hands on education, Texas has some amazing interactive museums to offer. The Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas offers 180,000 feet of spectacular exhibits encompassing everything from life size dinosaurs to earthquake simulators.

The Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg outlines the region’s heritage from the prehistoric age to the present, taking in everything from the Spanish colonization to the civil war and the coming of the railroad. The Children’s Museum of Houston is specially designed to appeal to little ones with cool hands on experiments, shows and workshops.

Animal Attractions

All kids love animals, so it’s lucky that Texas has plenty of zoos on hand to keep them busy. The Dallas Zoo is the oldest established zoo in the state and has been in operation since 1888. Home to 2,000 animals and covering 106 acres, it offers a full day of activity. Austin Zoo operates as an animal sanctuary and aims to rescue and rehabilitate animals in need, educating hundreds of thousands of visitors annually through a program of keeper talks.

Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi is one of the top 10 aquariums in the country and lets you get up close to a wide range of sea creatures such as dolphins, rays, otters and sharks.

There are plenty of other exciting attractions to enjoy in Texas too. From dude ranching to exploring underground caverns, the Lone Star State can keep any family occupied for weeks. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your vacation in beautiful Texas.