HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > San Antonio


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 1:20 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
SA Skyscraper Height Estimations using Live Local

Using pen, paper, a ruler, a calculator, and Windows Live Local Bird's Eye View, I have calculated the heights of DTSA.

Before I get in depth, I'll go ahead and say that based on this the Marriott Rivercenter is much shorter than thought.

Ok, here we go:

I've been able to calculate the heights of these buildings because Live Local takes pictures of everything from the same height. Ground level pictures just don't work, as I found out all afternoon yesterday. However, depending which angle you view a building, the scale is either 40, 50, or 60 yards. But as long as each angle I measured from was on the same scale (50), it should be close enough to estimate. So, we've got the vantage point height and scale the same for every building.

I did this is by using proportions and basing all buildings off of the Bank of America Plaza. I chose BOAP because we haven't really felt that its height is necessarily incorrect.

Based on this what we've been recently thinking about the heights are true. The Grand Hyatt is higher than the roof of the Marriott - by 22'.
The Weston Centre is higher than the roof of the Marriott - by 55'.

Results:
Bank of America Plaza - 387' Roof
Weston Centre - 418' Roof - 457' Frame
Marriott Rivercenter - 402' Roof - 472' Pyramid - 511' Spire
Tower Life - 387' Roof - 410' Base of Antenna - 588' Antenna
Tower of the Americas - 619' Main Roof - 635' Base of Antenna - Antenna height not calculated because it wouldn't fit in the same frame.

Tallest:
1. Tower of the Americas - 635' (Visual)
2. Marriott Rivercenter - 472' (Visual) 511' (Technical)
3. Weston Centre - 457' (Visual)
4. Grand Hyatt San Antonio - 424' (Visual)
5. Tower Life - 410' (Visual)
6. Bank of America Plaza - 387' (Visual)


You guys are free to check my calculations. Here are pictures of my work, and I apologize that it's kinda' hard to see. Just ask if you've got any questions about how I did it.
























Last edited by ydoc14; Oct 28, 2007 at 9:09 PM. Reason: Needed to change things so it wouldn't sound like I'm labeling my numbers as being the official building heights.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 1:51 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
I'm fairly confident about the heights for the Tower of the Americas Grand Hyatt. The Grand Hyatt heights came from the blueprints. The Tower of the Americas heights came out of a book I bought several years ago in the tower's gift shop. It listed heights to several points on the tower along with a lot of other information.

The best way to get this info would to be by nagging those architects, developers and building managers for hard facts.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 1:57 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
The best way to get this info would to be by nagging those architects, developers and building managers for hard facts.
I'll leave that up to you Kevin
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 1:59 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
Darn it. The problem with that you see, is, I'm lazy. Not really, but it's pretty difficult to get the heights for a number of reasons.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 2:01 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Darn it. The problem with that you see, is, I'm lazy. Not really, but it's pretty difficult to get the heights for a number of reasons.
Like...they'd be afraid you're a terrorist. That's why I don't wanna' email anyone and ask, so I guess I'll just stick to my calculations lol.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 2:08 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
Yep, that's one of the reasons. Usually though they just ask "Why" you want to know. Usually if you're straight up with them about it, tell them it's a hobby, (it is!) then they understand. I've actually gathered about 60 heights for Austin through the years. Also some of the developers are aware that there are people out there with a fascination of skyscrapers and they understand that. To some it's a way of free advertising for their project. I usually pitch that idea to them and they open up to the idea.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 2:18 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
Yep, that's one of the reasons. Usually though they just ask "Why" you want to know. Usually if you're straight up with them about it, tell them it's a hobby, (it is!) then they understand. I've actually gathered about 60 heights for Austin through the years. Also some of the developers are aware that there are people out there with a fascination of skyscrapers and they understand that. To some it's a way of free advertising for their project. I usually pitch that idea to them and they open up to the idea.
Hey wait a minute, what about Andres? He might know the heights, and if not I bet he could find them without having to worry about anything.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 3:27 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
He probably would. He works with 3D/I architects. He had sent me a few GIS maps that showed some heights for downtown San Antonio. They're on PDF file. What those are are satellite images. The maps contain two heights for a site. One shows the elevation of the land, and the other is the elevation of the land, plus the elevation of whatever structure stands there. So subtract the higher number from the lower one and you get the height of the building. These aren't exact however. I've looked at similar maps in Austin that had heights off by 5 to 10 feet, so I've not used these as an official source on building heights for that reason.

The best source is always the blueprints. But there are other good sources of building heights. Back in the 1950s there was a company that surveyed many buildings for fire insurance maps. These were for insurance, but also local fire departments used them. These were especially helpful with finding heights of old buildings. Older buildings become harder and harder to get heights for since blueprints and other documents get lost through the years, and often the architects who designed them either passed away, or the architecture firm doesn't exist anymore.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 3:29 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
I'll send him a PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 3:55 AM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
Be sure and ask for heights to the main roof and to the mechanical penthouse. And make sure it's from street level.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 4:56 AM
Schertz1 Schertz1 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 479
I hate to kill your work here, nothing personal, but being pro SA-as I am- I would much rather leave things as they are baring some truly scientific recalculation. As a construction manager, I can tell you construction is not an exact science. Buildings deviate from blueprints, in many ways, including height.

I think the task of determining building heights through interpolation/scaling and low quality pictures is a bit harder to do than you think. One, you really do not have two known values. What I mean by this is, who is to say BOA plaza is 387’ (0-387’) when the majority of the other heights are apparently wrong? Two, this principle assumes we have a constant rate of change. I can guarantee, this condition does not exist since the camera is not equidistant from each of the buildings, thus no equal rate of change. Third, you assume over 77’ feet per centimeter, that’s got to produce a large MOA.

You would do better to review building permits downtown or buying a laser range finder with a GPS.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Oct 27, 2007, 6:39 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schertz1 View Post
I hate to kill your work here, nothing personal, but being pro SA-as I am- I would much rather leave things as they are baring some truly scientific recalculation. As a construction manager, I can tell you construction is not an exact science. Buildings deviate from blueprints, in many ways, including height.

I think the task of determining building heights through interpolation/scaling and low quality pictures is a bit harder to do than you think. One, you really do not have two known values. What I mean by this is, who is to say BOA plaza is 387’ (0-387’) when the majority of the other heights are apparently wrong? Two, this principle assumes we have a constant rate of change. I can guarantee, this condition does not exist since the camera is not equidistant from each of the buildings, thus no equal rate of change. Third, you assume over 77’ feet per centimeter, that’s got to produce a large MOA.

You would do better to review building permits downtown or buying a laser range finder with a GPS.
You haven't killed my work at all. You're just saying that you won't take my figures as being the real ones, and I don't blame you I'm not considering them to be either. I want to see the real heights from whatever real sources can give them to us. This is something I just did for fun to see what I could come up with, and it'll be equally fun to compare my figures with the real ones to see how far off I was or wasn't.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Oct 28, 2007, 9:02 PM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
I guess I should've titled this thread, "SA Skyscraper Height Estimations using Live Local"
Kevin, change it if you want
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2007, 12:37 AM
westernmost westernmost is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: houston
Posts: 113
I did those exact calculations on houston buidings

apparently the jp morgan chase tower is only 780 feet tall despite what everyone else says

and the bank of america tower is just over 1000 feet
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2007, 2:38 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by westernmost View Post
I did those exact calculations on houston buidings

apparently the jp morgan chase tower is only 780 feet tall despite what everyone else says

and the bank of america tower is just over 1000 feet
I think you meant to say the JP Morgan Chase Tower is just over 1000 and the Bank of America Center is 780.
But I'm glad to hear that you did the same thing
Looks like you came out right on the money, which would make this seem to be a reasonable method. Contrary to what Schertz is thinking, I don't think I'm that far off if off at all.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2007, 4:46 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
friends don't lie
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: the upside down
Posts: 49,377
I heard a recent height for the JPMorgan Chase Tower in Houston (the tallest). 993 feet to the main roof. So that 1,002 foot number is to the mechanical penthouse. Also, the height for Wells Fargo Plaza (2nd tallest) recently changed. Everyone had been using 972 feet as the height, but apparently it's 992 feet tall. That's pretty awesome, only 8 feet from being a thousand footer. That also makes it the 2nd tallest 900-999 footer in the US, the tallest is the 995 foot Two Prudential Plaza in Chicago.
__________________
In America, today, it's not that truth has lost, it's that political bias has been accepted as a legitimate answer to every issue one struggles with.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2007, 10:28 PM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
I did some more checking, and no matter what angle you view the building from, you get the same results as long as the scale is the same. For example, on a 50 yard scale, BOAP is 5.0 cm from the N, S, W, and E views. Weston Centre at a 50 yard scale from each direction is 5.9 cm.
__________________
GO SPURS GO! | My Photography
SAN ANTONIO
~ been here since April 2005...formerly sanantoniorocks21 and sarocks14
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2007, 5:42 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Correction: On my calculation for the Marriott Rivercenter, I didn't take into account that the roof, pyramid, and spire is setback from the building; which would change the results. I went back and fixed it, taking into account the setbacks, and now came up with this:

Roof - 379'
Pyramid - 418' (would make the Grand Hyatt 6' taller, the close-up shot AustinSloanie posted shows the Hyatt nearly as tall as the pyramid and it's further back. If the Grand Hyatt was moved forward to line up with the side of the Marriott closest to the camera, the mechanical penthouse might slightly surpass the pyramid. But still, it remains a mystery. Some people say the penthouse is higher than the roof, but not as high as the pyramids. However in pictures it looks about as high as the pyramids, or at least from 281.)
Spire - 457' (same as what I got for the Weston Centre)

So that would change things to:

Tower of the Americas - 635'
Weston Centre - 457'
Grand Hyatt San Antonio - 424'
Marriott Rivercenter - 418' (Pyramid) 457' (Spire) 379' (Roof)
Tower Life - 387' (Roof) 410' (Base of Antenna)
Bank of America Plaza - 387'
__________________
GO SPURS GO! | My Photography
SAN ANTONIO
~ been here since April 2005...formerly sanantoniorocks21 and sarocks14
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2007, 7:10 AM
westernmost westernmost is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: houston
Posts: 113
So the sales tax around here is usually 8.25% or something close to that, yet some places around here will try to act as though with an extra value meal that's 5.25, that with tax it's 6.25, even though there's no way in hell there would be a full dollar's tax for something that's 5.25... (the correct amount would be 5.68 and not 6.25)

Which is how I feel about these calculations. Not only do I not believe them for a second, I don't believe them for half a second either.

Let's knock the height down some more, how about 100 more feet. For a building that's supposed to be 546' to the tip of the spire supposedly, does that mean every other building is ALMOST 100 feet shorter than what we've been led to believe. If not, why is that not the case with every other building. I can believe that maybe there's a 20-30 foot difference in any case with other buildings not being 100% to scale with the blueprints, but not when the difference is approaching the hundred mark (546'/457').

If that were the case with the JP Morgan Chase tower, well, it would only be around 910' feet, if it were the case with the Tower of the Americas, well, it would just be a 500 footer of one kind or another. This just in, Marriott Rivercenter, world's shortest building.

I don't care about the logic in this either, it still looks taller than anyone is willing to give it credit for. What happens when someone tries to act as though a building is almost 200 feet shorter than what it is. Though it's extremely unlikely, I'd consider that to be where this slippery slope is headed.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2007, 7:18 AM
ydoc14's Avatar
ydoc14 ydoc14 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 1,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by westernmost View Post
So the sales tax around here is usually 8.25% or something close to that, yet some places around here will try to act as though with an extra value meal that's 5.25, that with tax it's 6.25, even though there's no way in hell there would be a full dollar's tax for something that's 5.25... (the correct amount would be 5.68 and not 6.25)

Which is how I feel about these calculations. Not only do I not believe them for a second, I don't believe them for half a second either.

Let's knock the height down some more, how about 100 more feet. For a building that's supposed to be 546' to the tip of the spire supposedly, does that mean every other building is ALMOST 100 feet shorter than what we've been led to believe. If not, why is that not the case with every other building. I can believe that maybe there's a 20-30 foot difference in any case with other buildings not being 100% to scale with the blueprints, but not when the difference is approaching the hundred mark (546'/457').

If that were the case with the JP Morgan Chase tower, well, it would only be around 910' feet, if it were the case with the Tower of the Americas, well, it would just be a 500 footer of one kind or another. This just in, Marriott Rivercenter, world's shortest building.

Hey, if the Grand Hyatt wasn't taller than the Marriott's roof then none of us would probably be wondering about the heights. If you look at my calculations, the other buildings didn't drop by 100 feet like you want to assume...they actually got a little taller. The Rivercenter dropped, whether it's really 100 feet or 10 feet I don't know, these are just my guesstimations using Live Local. You act as if I went into Emporis and changed the figures to mine or something. Chill man!
__________________
GO SPURS GO! | My Photography
SAN ANTONIO
~ been here since April 2005...formerly sanantoniorocks21 and sarocks14
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > United States > Texas & Southcentral > San Antonio
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 6:16 AM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.