News briefs

August 11, 2010

  • New green Seattle City Hall is an energy hog. The $72 million facility, which opened two years ago, was designed with the environment in mind, incorporating a slew of energy-saving technologies. But utility bills show that Seattle's city hall acts more like an old-fashioned electricity hog, consuming up to 50% more electricity than the larger building it replaced.

  • Yale alum's Freedom Tower lawsuit against SOM OK'd to go forward. A federal judge ruled last month that former Yale architecture student Thomas Shine's lawsuit against architect David Childs and his firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, could proceed. Childs is accused of appropriating one of Shine's student projects in a 2003 design class on the Freedom Tower.

  • Toyota plans first green auto dealership. The Japanese company that introduced the hybrid car to America may help build the nation's first certified "green" auto dealership. Architects for Toyota and a private auto dealer have presented plans for the eco-friendly facility in the Dallas suburb of McKinney, Texas.

  • Classic Houston hotel to reopen—as a medical center. The Plaza Apartment Hotel, once billed as "Houston's first million-dollar hotel," has stood vacant for nearly a quarter century. Architect Tim Cisneros plans to reopen the Plaza next February not as a hotel, but as a medical office building and cosmetic surgery center.

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