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J. P. Morgan Chase Tower (Texas Commerce Tower)

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Texas Commerce Tower
1981, I. M. Pei and Partners and 3/D International. 600 Travis St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead )
  • "Personage and Birds," by Joan Miro (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

What distinguishes the seventy-five-story, 1,000-foot-tall, and 1.99-million-square-foot Texas Commerce Tower is the authority with which Pei's office detailed its surfaces of stainless steel and polished gray Barre granite. Pei tried to mitigate its aloofness with the broad granite-paved plaza at Capitol and Milam streets, offset on the southeast with a raised terrace, and landscaped as an Islamic water garden. Pei's most inspired decision was to persuade his clients Gerald D. Hines Interests and Texas Commerce Bank to commission Catalán sculptor Joan Miró to produce a giant-scaled, colored version of Personage and Birds (1970) for installation in the plaza. Its boldness and delight play off the slightly repressive good taste of the architecture. Across the street at 601 Travis is the nineteen-story J. P. Morgan Chase Center of 1982 by I. M. Pei and Partners and 3D/International.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "J. P. Morgan Chase Tower (Texas Commerce Tower)", [Houston, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 331-331.

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