The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has announced it will implode the former Prudential Building, 1100 Holcombe Boulevard, on January 8. An Anderson official has told the Houston Business Journal there are no plans to build on the site for 3 to 10 years.
Kenneth Franzheim designed the 18-story skyscraper, which was completed in 1952. In recent years, the property was known as Houston Main Building and included offices and classrooms.
A massive mural by noted artist Peter Hurd has been removed from the building’s lobby and will eventually go on display in New Mexico. It is not clear how much, if any, of the other building materials have been salvaged. The building was a model for Prudential offices around the country and featured exceptional finishes including Loredo Chiaro marble from Italy, guanacaste wood from Central America and okoume wood from Africa.
Project director John Chachere told the MD Anderson employee newsletter, “It’ll take about 4,000 dump truck loads to get all the debris off the site.” Removal is expected to continue through April.
In 1987, Texas Medical Center, Inc. demolished the Shamrock Hotel (1949) at Main and Holcombe. The site has been used primarily as a parking lot since then.
A few photos of the Prudential Building, taken in 2003 by Karen Lantz, AIA, are below.
Prudential Building (1952) in 2003. Photos by Karen Lantz, AIA.