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Old 12-17-2017, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,850 posts, read 7,795,643 times
Reputation: 9469

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringSnow View Post
You made an assertion that urban form was tied to weather, it's not.
Houston in the 1920s had a dense walkable downtown:


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/8725792999313278/

Then came AC. People no longer needed to go downtown for shopping and for other necessities and amenities. They could take care of life’s needs in a suburban air conditioned paradise. As these services decentralized, buildings were razed and parking lots and garages were put in their place. The once dense walkable downtown looks like this today:


https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/a...an-fatalities/


https://www.emporis.com/buildings/19...houston-tx-usa
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Old 12-17-2017, 08:50 AM
 
377 posts, read 201,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
Then came AC.
No.

Houston still has that same downtown. The problem? Houston in the 1920s was a tiny city. After the 20s, cars became affordable and urban development took that into accordance. Same thing happened to Detroit and many other US cities. And in cities like Detroit, AC had nothing to do with it since most homes didn't have AC until maybe 10-20 years ago.

Please stop repeating falsehoods. It's annoying. If you want to sing about how much you like cold weather, that's one thing. But no "alternate facts" please.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:03 AM
 
377 posts, read 201,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
Just because you repeat the same opinion over and over again doesn’t make it a fact.
Funny, because you were repeating your opinion over and over again in the other thread ad nauseam.

It's my opinion, but also an opinion shared by many people that walking in cold weather is miserable. Hence "cabin fever" and beach gateway vacations. People may find constant heat a misreay of its own, but I doubt anyone (removing sunburn here) finds the heat to hurt like the cold does. It's a very different type of misery.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:35 AM
 
1,290 posts, read 1,199,293 times
Reputation: 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringSnow View Post
No.

Houston still has that same downtown. The problem? Houston in the 1920s was a tiny city. After the 20s, cars became affordable and urban development took that into accordance. Same thing happened to Detroit and many other US cities. And in cities like Detroit, AC had nothing to do with it since most homes didn't have AC until maybe 10-20 years ago.

Please stop repeating falsehoods. It's annoying. If you want to sing about how much you like cold weather, that's one thing. But no "alternate facts" please.
Houston also has an extensive underground tunnel system downtown, which connects multiple buildings and is about 6 miles long. This carries most of the pedestrian traffic that is typically above ground in other cities, but it is very utilitarian and in most places is usually not much more than a hallway with some periodic retail. The tunnels are all private, and it is very much a maze. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, or small shops and restaurants, but most are only open for weekday lunch traffic. As far as I know there is only 1 point of public street access, otherwise one needs to enter thru the connected buildings.

The tunnels are really not there for casual visitors, and I may be missing something but during my visits the best parts I have seen were basically comparable to a mid-end mall food court.

The tunnels flooded extensively during TS Allison, but as far as I know most did better with Harvey as storm doors were added since Allison.

I disagree that Houston has the same downtown - the street grid remains, and there are some areas near Main and Preston that retained some of the old downtown structure, but most of downtown was replaced by car-centric development, and there is no longer a significant downtown shopping district remaining.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:36 AM
 
4,480 posts, read 2,661,399 times
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AC and heat without question have played a big role in moving retail inside, and it's certainly related to Houston's lack of sidewalk retail relatively speaking. Pine to Vine is correct about that.

Regarding tunnels and skywalks, that's a big issue you bring up RocketSci. Much of the office worker related retail goes there (also tied to hotels, etc.) and it makes retail terrible in both the tunnels and the street, neither of which are busy enough to keep good retail going.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:50 AM
 
9,418 posts, read 5,238,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine to Vine View Post
The point is not the civic-boosting headline, but the fact that the Philly’s walkability extends far beyond the traditional boundaries of Center City, and continues to grow in population at a fast clip. Here’s an illustrative view of South Philly, as an example, which falls well south of Center City: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiascapes/5396573474/.

I’m sure plenty of people are walking around down there.
Also the silly main remark with the photo of South Philly stating that S. Philly is one the roughest neighborhoods in Philadelphia is a ridiculous lie.
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,850 posts, read 7,795,643 times
Reputation: 9469
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringSnow View Post
Funny, because you were repeating your opinion over and over again in the other thread ad nauseam.
I know, if it’s the thread about 4 glorious seasons. The difference between is that I’m usually careful to offer my opinions on CD as preferences, not as objective fact.

Also, I have a pretty good understanding about Houston and its development. I lived there for over 26 years. You?

“The prosperous middle class built low-slung ranch houses, so much easier to air-condition than the old high-ceilinged styles. And they commuted between their air-conditioned offices and their air-conditioned houses in air-conditioned cars. Downtown, they could walk between buildings in air-conditioned tunnels (which got really under way in 1956, when the Bank of the Southwest Building linked itself to the 1010 Garage and the Mellie Esperson Building). And, of course, in 1965, Houston opened the Astrodome, the world's first air-conditioned stadium.” Gray: 'Air-conditioning capital of the world' - Houston Chronicle

“Once central air was introduced to cool off homes, the Houston housing boom got hot. ‘You get a 50 percent increase in population from 1940 to 1950 in Houston,’ Scovil says. ‘It’s pretty substantial.’”Cooling Off: The history of A/C in Houston | khou.com
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:57 AM
 
9,418 posts, read 5,238,138 times
Reputation: 3220
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringSnow View Post
No.

Houston still has that same downtown. The problem? Houston in the 1920s was a tiny city. After the 20s, cars became affordable and urban development took that into accordance. Same thing happened to Detroit and many other US cities. And in cities like Detroit, AC had nothing to do with it since most homes didn't have AC until maybe 10-20 years ago.

Please stop repeating falsehoods. It's annoying. If you want to sing about how much you like cold weather, that's one thing. But no "alternate facts" please.
Pine to Vine lived in Houston for 26 years. His attitude about it is absolutely valid.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:24 AM
 
377 posts, read 201,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Pine to Vine lived in Houston for 26 years. His attitude about it is absolutely valid.
Just because someone lives there, doesn't mean he's right. I have no idea why Houston has underground tunnels but I do know that New Orleans has none, and pretty much has the same climate as Houston and one of the most walkable urban areas in the USA after the big named cities.

And I also know that Minneapolis has underground tunnels as well as a sky-bridge system to keep people from walking outside during the winter. In fact, Minneapolis is more famous for this than Houston because I never have heard that Houston had such a system before today.
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Old 12-17-2017, 10:27 AM
 
377 posts, read 201,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
AC and heat without question have played a big role in moving retail inside, and it's certainly related to Houston's lack of sidewalk retail relatively speaking. Pine to Vine is correct about that.
Miami, which is hotter longer than Houston, has been moving retail outside. The new City Center in Brickell is essentially an open-air shopping mall and it's recently constructed. This complements the famous open air mall in Miami Beach - Lincoln Rd.

Not just retail is moving outdoors, the recently constructed Frost Science Museum is essentially open air as well. You move between exhibitions outside, and in fact much of their exhibitions are completely outside. This is a recently constructed project and if they wanted, could have been completely inclosed.

It's not that Houstonian's are more addicted to AC than Miamians - for the heat that lasts 6 months in Houston, it lasts 8 months in Miami. While Houston can get snow, it's basically impossible in Miami. So if your premise holds, why is this supposed trend not being done in Miami?

Houston's indoor retail is probably related to the fact most retail around the USA is indoors. It's rare to find a city that embraces the outdoors in the USA. I don't see Houston to be any more exceptional in this regard.
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