A couple of weeks ago Super Bowl 51 was played at NRG Park in Houston. In the years I’ve lived in the area, the Houston skyline has changed quite a bit. Despite the downturn in the local economy caused by the collapse of the oil price in late 2014, construction has continued across the city and more glass towers have recently been completed downtown.
Houston is a classic western US city with a (mostly) grid-based street layout and a massive sprawl, enabled by the automobile and the air conditioner. In the 70 years since the end of WWII, the population of Houston has grown from 300,000 to nearly 2.5 million and become the fourth largest city in the US in the process.
The glass tower on the left was the former headquarters of Enron at 1400 Smith Street. Enron built a very similar tower (in the middle of the photo) across the street and joined the two with a circular walkway. 1400 Smith Street used to be called 4 Allen Landing after the Allen brothers who founded Houston in 1836. The original Allen’s Landing is about 14 blocks up the street on the left and five blocks over to the right. Of course, the Allen brothers wouldn’t recognize it today.
This particular view is poised to disappear in the not too distant future. Chevron plans to construct a 52-story tower between my vantage point and this view. Meanwhile, Exxon recently vacated the building at far right to move 25 miles north to a purpose build campus in The Woodlands.