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JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation
This image is available as a print or poster.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
View of downtown Houston from the unfinished building, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
View of downtown Houston from the unfinished building, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Building 75th floor under construction, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Ian Ralston dropping a one cent Australian coin into the concrete being poured for the tower's 75th floor, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Building under construction, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston) photograph.
Building under construction, 1981.
Photograph courtesy of Ian Ralston.

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JPMorgan Chase Tower

Formerly: Chase Tower
Formerly: Texas Commerce Tower
Built: 1981
Designed by: I.M. Pei & Partners and 3D-International
Type: Skyscraper
Stories: 75
Maximum Height: 1,002 feet / 305 meters
Location: 600 Travis Street, Houston, United States
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80% of readers like the JPMorgan Chase Tower (Houston).
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B ecause of its location it often gets lost in the background of skyline photos, but this structure rises to 75 stories, making it the tallest building in Houston. It was the tallest building west of the Mississippi until the First Interstate World Center (now known as Library Tower) was built in Los Angeles. That building is 16-feet taller. The Chase Tower was originally designed to be 80-stories, but the Federal Aviation Administration felt the extra five floors would be a hazard to air traffic out of Hobby Airport. The observation deck is on the 60th floor, and offers a panoramic view of downtown from behind glass. It is one of the best views in the city, and is completely free. Just use the elevators on the right side -- they provide an express trip to the 60th floor. In the photo above you can see the sky lobby; it's the level with the extra-tall windows. This building is still occasionally referred to as the Texas Commerce Tower, even though it has been taken over by Chase. Chase Bank actually has more than a dozen substantial buildings in Houston where it has moved many of its financial departments from New York.

  • September, 2008: This building is seriously damaged by Hurricane Ike. Video from KHOU television shows the majority of windows blown out, and the surrounding streets littered with glass, mangled computers, and bits of furniture.

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Richard Ray
Sunday, November 14th, 2010 @ 6:23pm
Rating: Three stars.
I was working for the geotechnical consultant, then called McClelland Engineers, now Fugro. The foundation for the structure was difficult in that it is a compensated slab (weight of removed soil = weight of building). None of the below-ground construction was easy. It was a 65-ft excavation (deepest in Houston, and deepest in soil as opposed to rock almost anywhere). The base slab was about 10-ft thick and used 9000 yds of concrete. I remember having barricaded 9 city blocks for the night pour.

daniel
Saturday, January 30th, 2010 @ 9:48am
LOS K LAQURITICAN YA QUISIERAN SER LOS DUEÑOS DE UNA LLARDA ES MUY PERO MUY BONITO FELICIDADES

H
Friday, December 4th, 2009 @ 9:29pm
Rating: One star.
It might have been cool to have a 75 story building in Houston back then. But now it's just an ugly, gray, squared building. It's time for a major facelift.

Michael
Friday, October 9th, 2009 @ 12:44am
Rating: Five stars.
I worked at this building when it was called Texas Commerce Tower. Observed and admired the construction of it. But it took me awhile to appreciate the scrulpture by Miro's "Birds in Personage" in front of it. Love the simplicity of this building. So did Hurricane Alicia and Ike. But it's still standing!

Laura Garza
Thursday, June 18th, 2009 @ 1:37pm
Rating: Five stars.
I worked for United Gas Pipe Line company and we all moved from the Pennzoil Bldg. into the Chase Tower in the fall of 1981.We were first on the 14th floor, later on the 13th floor and lastly on the 51st.I loved working in that building! It was awesome! KOCH Ind. bought this company in the late '90's and moved to 20 E. Greenway Plaza. How we missed working in the downtown area and in that great building. I will always remember those days!

Patrick b
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 @ 3:00pm
Rating: Five stars.
I had the privilege of watching the mammoth building take shape from the huge foundation to the final steps of the construction. My office was across the street in Pennzoil Place, so I had a bird's eyer view - until the structure soared well beyoud my view. The building is awe inspiring and has its own beauty.I also had the honor of meeting I.M. Pei.

tabish
Saturday, May 26th, 2007 @ 3:25pm
Rating: Five stars.
good massing nice elevation

Moni Smith
Thursday, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:42pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is a beautiful building. I love how the top gets lost in the low hanging clouds over Houston.

Will Sheffield
Friday, April 27th, 2007 @ 11:37pm
Rating: Four stars.
sadly, i have never been in downtown even though i live less than 30 minutes away. Just seeing this building, even from far away, lets me think of the wonders of architechture...how high can one building go?

Nick Del Toro
Wednesday, May 10th, 2006 @ 11:09am
Rating: Five stars.
To have a structure be so massive and rize so far above the Earth there is no other word to descibe it than amazing. The tower is so beautiful, it is the tallest in Texas and completes the Houston skyline.

AJT
Friday, July 29th, 2005 @ 5:52pm
Rating: Five stars.
Wonderful building! I just went up to the sky lobby on the 60th floor today and the view was outstanding!

Otu Oviemo Ovadje
Sunday, March 13th, 2005 @ 6:54pm
Rating: Five stars.
Great and very wonderful piece of Architecture. truly facinating

Obuke Ovadje
Wednesday, March 9th, 2005 @ 2:12pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is one masterpiece of architecture, particularly with regard to its foundation (on rollers?). Wao!

Saige
Tuesday, November 30th, 2004 @ 4:57pm
Rating: Five stars.
I agree with Susan M. The Chase Tower does punctuate Houston SkyLine...and the guy that commented that ITS ugly needs to get his eyes checked. : o )

Bryant Kruskopp
May 5th, 2003
I've been to Houston a lot, and i like all the buildings there, especially the Chase Tower, because it makes the skyline complete(just like the WTC's)why i like it also, is i like buildings that stand out, it looks very good, especially coming down Hwy 45 going toward Galveston I agree with the comment, "it's plain, but very tall" 1, yes its very plain, but the tall part,is what i say again, makes the skyline complete, unlike European cities.

Martell Williams
March 22nd, 2003
I Agree with susan motley,chase tower is plain but very tall and beutiful.Houston Is a big city so it needs tall,and big buildings like the chaxe tower.

Mies2
August 13th, 2002
I.M. Pei's building brings a higher level of sophistication and intellectual challenge to Houston. I think it is fitting that Joan Miro's sculpture, which serves as a perfect counterfoil to the uniformly colored and shaped 75-story tower, represents man aspiring for his dreams. Pei was right when he said in "The Oral History of Modern Architecture:..." that a monochrome building can be attractive just by reflecting the changes in the sky. The fact that it is, at times, anonymous adds to its mystique and power.

Susan Motley
August 8th, 2002
I have to disagree with the guy who thinks that the JP Morgan Chase Tower is ugly. It punctuates the Houston skyline. I think it's a plain, but elegant building.

James Stull
August 4th, 2002
Chase Tower is not very pretty at all! It's tall, but very UGLY.


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