4th and San Jacinto

4th and San Jacinto - Austin, Texas

4th and San Jacinto – Austin, Texas

I’m near the intersection of 4th Street and San Jacinto Blvd looking west. The pointy skyscraper on the right is the Frost Bank Tower, once the tallest building in Austin for four years. Completed in 2004, the internet claims it’s the first skyscraper to be started after the September 11th attacks. At 516 feet, it’s now the 5th tallest in Austin.

I’ve always thought the tower was on the cusp of greatness. But ultimately too stubby to have the right proportions. I think it needed to be double the height or half as thick. I’m sure real-world considerations like profitability played a big part in its overall design. However, imagine the potential impact of a 1000 foot version of this tower. Now, increasingly, the Frost Tower is getting lost within the taller and newer buildings.

The Railyards, the two-story condominium on the left, is rumored to be the site of a new tower. Still in its planning stages, some initial designs call for an impressively large skyscraper. If built, the Frost Tower will further shrink in relevance and be relegated to the history books.

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