News

SUPER-TECTURE: How Super Bowl LI Changed Houston's Architectural Landscape

By:  James Glassman

How long has it been since you visited Houston? If it’s been a few years, then you are in for a surprise from the nation’s fourth-largest city. Lots of new, while still plenty of the odd and offbeat. Leading the charge are the rock star chefs and mad scientist bartenders. These visionaries and tinkerers in the hospitality industry have created a vibrant community, and roused the sleeping giant that is Houston pride. Thanks to their innovations, mash-ups, and willingness to experiment with our unique cultural melting pot, we eat and drink better than ever. Fortunately for the rest of us, that mojo has spilled over into so many other aspects of Houston life. The national media has taken notice too, writing countless love letters, and turning the world’s attention to the Bayou City.

In May 2013, Houston was awarded the 2017 Super Bowl (our third time). When we hosted in 2004, it was in exchange for our new team and stadium. This time, we won the right to host the Super Bowl on our own merits! Since we got the good news, city leaders and developers have been working towards that event to complete long dormant projects and to dream up a few new ones. But the truth is, Houston is constantly rebuilding itself. The Super Bowl’s influence is hard to see if you’re already witnessing our mini-boom (don’t jinx it, Glassman). Yes, we still love anything new. In contrast, since we last hosted the Super Bowl in 2004, Houston’s preservation community has created a protected landmark ordinance, established 22 historic districts, and succeeded in rallying to save our beloved, erstwhile, signature landmark – the Astrodome.

The Super Bowl LIVE! Experience is an interactive fan event taking place in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center the entire week leading up to Sunday's game. Photo by Jenn LaPlante

The Super Bowl LIVE! Experience is an interactive fan event taking place in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center the entire week leading up to Sunday's game.

Photo by Jenn LaPlante

Pickard Chilton's 609 Main Building has provided Houston with a signature presence in the city's downtown skyline. Photo by James Glassman

Pickard Chilton's 609 Main Building has provided Houston with a signature presence in the city's downtown skyline.
Photo by James Glassman

In the past decade, we’ve certainly grown quite a bit. Hopefully, with all eyes on us for the Super Bowl, we will remind the world what a world-class city Houston is!

Who will win Super Bowl LI:
 


James Glassman- no background.jpg

James Glassman has been with STG Design’s Houston office for over two years as an architectural designer. He enjoys projects that allow him to improve the community, whether through new construction or historic preservation. As a fifth-generation Houstonian, James takes great interest in sharing his city’s history, and recently published his first book, “The Houstorian Dictionary: An Insider’s Index to Houston.”