SHOW MORE 

Ask 2: Where did the spires on top of that Houston hospital building go?

A photo by Jonah Baumgarten of the building, the O'Quinn Medical Tower.
A photo by Jonah Baumgarten of the building, the O'Quinn Medical Tower. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON, TexasAt KPRC 2, we’re dedicated to keeping Houstonians informed. As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston.

Question: Where did the spires on top of that Houston hospital building go?

Answer: An observant KPRC 2 user alerted us to the disappearance of a Houston medical building’s iconic spires, which have been an integral part of the Medical Center’s skyline since the tower’s construction in 1991.

See an image of the towers with the spires.

A promotional image of the O'Quinn Medical Tower at St. Luke's. (Hines)

KPRC 2 reached out and this is the statement from Texas Children’s Hospital about what happened to them.

AFTER:

A photo by Jonah Baumgarten of the building, the O'Quinn Medical Tower. (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Lindsey Fox, public relations manager, shared this statement with us:

“Texas Children’s Hospital purchased Fannin Tower in late 2016, and has discussed branding opportunities as the new owner. While most of our focus was on developing a plan for the building’s interior, the recent failure of an aviation strobe at the top of the east spire prompted a study of some of the exterior elements of the building as well. Our engineering team discovered the hoist system designed for strobe repairs became compromised at some point over the last 30 years, causing the work to replace the aviation strobe to be much more complex and costly. Out of an abundance of caution, we commissioned a study of the hoist system and structural elements of the spire system. The results indicated it would be more cost-effective to remove the spires rather than implement a long-term repair of the system. Texas Children’s opted to remove the spires when factoring in the risk and cost of accessing the strobes 470 feet above ground level every five years.”

What do you think about the change? Do you like it or not? Let us know in the comments.

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.

_


About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, social media news and local crime.