Friday, March 16, 2007

Alternate design

I found this in the 1907-1908 edition of the Standard Blue Book of Texas Who's Who.

The image says the Chronicle building "will be one of the largest and handsomest newspaper and office buildings in the Southwest."

Of course, the building ended up looking like this:

Now, some may say that first image sure looks like the Rice Hotel. Well, construction on the Rice Hotel as it looks today wasn't complete until 1913. The third wing was added 13 years after that.
Plans change, I guess!

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At 10:08 AM, Anonymous tmariar said...

The original plan does look an awful lot like the Rice. I think the two buildings were built in succession by Jesse Jones - maybe there's some connection, even if the Rice was built up piecemeal?

At 12:17 PM, Blogger J.R.G. said...

Well, Jones bought part of the Chronicle in 1908, right about the time the original plans were drawn up.

The Handbook of Texas says "(Alfred) Finn began independent practice in Houston in 1913. His first job was to supervise construction of the Rice Hotel, designed by the St. Louis architects Mauran, Russell, and Crowell for the Houston entrepreneur, Jesse H. Jones. This began his life-long association with Jones, Houston's foremost real estate developer and builder."

I haven't come across anything that says Finn had a role in the Chronicle building. But considering that Jones was connected to the Rice Hotel and the Chronicle, I wouldn't be surprised if there is some intentional link between both buildings.


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