What’s Old Is New Again

By: Claudia Morlan

In 2004, the photographic exhibit Essentially Modern debuted at JPMorgan Chase’s Heritage Hall at 712 Main. Under the direction of JPMorgan Chase, Houston Endowment and Elmore PR, the exhibit highlighted the 75th anniversary of the 1929 Gulf Oil Building – its history, architecture and place in Downtown Houston history.

Fast forward to April 2016 and the Elmore PR team – once again – returned to 712 Main. This time alongside client, Midway, and their partner Lionstone Investments, to announce a rebrand of the experience of the buildings at 712 and 708 Main as “The Jones on Main” to a crowd of 40+ downtown stakeholders and news media. Renovations to this iconic building include ground-level connection of the two buildings, street-level restaurant and retail spaces with sidewalk patios, and a bike valet. One of the coolest features? The dual-level Currency Lounge, a social space available to tenants and guests for informal meetings, collaborative working sessions, or social occasions. Read more in this Houston Chronicle feature.

The historic elements of the buildings – original frescoes and art deco flourishes and finishes – will remain untouched. Midway VP Ann Taylor said, “Jesse Jones wrote that his conception of 712 Main and the City of Houston was ‘essentially modern.’ We think it’s exciting that what’s modern today is making the most of wonderful historic buildings.”

Fun facts about the buildings:

  1. At 37 stories, 712 Main stood as the tallest building in Houston for more than 30 years.
  2. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
  3. The stained glass artwork on the west side of the lobby depicts the Battle of San Jacinto.
  4. JPMorgan Chase is the main tenant of 712 Main and has called the building home since 1929.
  5. Jesse H. Jones’s original office was in 708 Main and remains open to this day.