All bridges lead to the George R. Brown

With recent linkage of the new Marriott Marquis to the George R. Brown, Houston’s downtown convention center complex now has five skybridges.

The process to install the final one (see video above) began on Sunday, December 6, and continued into the week. It connects the 1,000-room hotel to the GRB at the north end of the building. Another bridge was installed weeks earlier to adjoin the GRB to the new Partnership Tower and the adjacent 1,900-car garage.

“Skybridges that connect convention facilities to headquarters hotels is the industry norm these days,” said Luther Villagomez, chief operating officer and general manager of the GRB. “Convention-goers like being protected from the weather and staying above the traffic.”

The GRB also features three skybridges at the south end of the building, linking it to the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and their shared 1,100-car garage. Those bridges were put into place in 2003 when the GRB was expanded and the Hilton was built.

Check out our construction cameras

A fun way to grasp the progress and breadth of construction activity in the vicinity of the GRB is through the time-lapse photography feature on our project “construction cams.”

The time-lapse technique of running a series of still photos as a fast-paced slide show produces an old-time silent-movie vibe.  It has the advantage of distilling months and years of painstaking construction into 30 seconds. It’s pretty cool what the compilation of one photo per day can produce.

One of the cameras is mounted atop the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel and points north toward the Marriott Marquis Houston work site. The other cam is affixed near the top of Minute Maid Park and points south toward the Partnership Tower and parking garage being built at the north end of the GRB.

The link to these construction cams is on the left-hand side of the home page for this site, HoustonConventionDistrict.Com. Click where it says “Watch them Live” and select either of the two camera choices. Once you have chosen one, click on the time lapse button on the top right.

It's all very cool. 

Art works getting closer to installation phase

Progress continues in the new civic art projects inside the GRB and outside on the new plaza.

Scheduled to hang in the new central lobby will be a sculpture by Houston artist Ed Wilson. It is described as a large-scale mobile featuring bird forms made of perforated stainless steel. Wilson will be installing the winches that support the pieces in January.  With the installation of new ultra-transparent glass as the new façade of the GRB, the mobile promises both beauty and whimsy, especially in the evening as it comes to life with orchestrated lights and color.

Outside, the firm Creative Machines continues to explore the mechanism that will make their installation dynamic in the months to come.  The lighting designer is developing an interactive installation that works with movement, water and light to create a one-of-a-kind sculpture. It will be visible from all approaches to the area.

Skate on into the holidays in Houston

Houston First is the title sponsor for the ice rink at Discovery Green, across the street from the GRB. Skating began on November 24 and continues through February 7. 

The rink uses recycled water from Kinder Lake to create a 7,716 square-foot surface, making it the largest outdoor rink in the Southwest. The rink will feature a variety of programming so check in at for details and the latest updates.

Parking is available in the Convention District Parking complex beneath Discovery Green, accessible via southbound traffic on Avenida de las Americas.