Tuesday, February 03, 2015

KPRC 2 to get a new station, plus secret of current building

UPDATE JANUARY 17, 2017
- New KPRC building moves channel 2 into 21st century
- Full coverage of new KPRC 2 building 2017

KPRC 2 will upgrade to a new, state of the art facility; plus the secret oddity about the current building

UPDATE JANUARY 2016
KPRC 2 new studio construction begins


Rumors have been flying around that KPRC 2 (don't call it Local) is planning to build a brand new, state of the art station at its current location on 8181 Southwest Freeway.

I held off from posting about this because the details are still being finalized. For example, will the current building be torn down or will the current station, which is more than 40 years old, be upgraded?

Recently someone posted details concerning the new KPRC facility on the Houston Architecture Information Forum (HAIF). KPRC Vice President/Creative Director Mike Guerrieri told mikemcguff.com those details aren't totally correct as the station is still working on the plans, but yes, a new channel 2 building is in the works.

As a result of talking with Guerrieri, I learned something new about the station which was built in the early 1970s in what I think could be called "brutalist architecture" (aka it looks like a fortress). Guerrieri was looking at the original plans for the current building and says from above, the station was designed to look like a giant film lens. Now that makes sense for a TV station at the time. Time to rent a helicopter (or drone) and take a look. Who's with me?

Down the the freeway towards downtown, KTRK abc13's current studio looks like a little Astrodome (although with recent updates it's harder to tell). According to Wikipedia, KTRK actually pre-dates the Astrodome by 10 years. Architect Hermon Lloyd designed both buildings.


Old timers will yell at me if I don't mention that KPRC was originally on Post Oak right where the Williams Tower (UPDATE: Former 950 KPRC employee Jim Bell says the old spot was actually across the street by the lake where Hidalgo and Richmond sit today Bill Bremer sent this photo.). That works perfectly for this post because Williams Tower (or Transco as I like to call it) has a secret cat design on its corners. 

Are we on the way to figure out The Da Vinci Code with all of this or what?

If you want to learn more about the history of KPRC-TV, go check out the book The Fault Does Not Lie With Your Set: The First Forty Years of Houston Television.

Stay tuned to mikemcguff.com for more details on the new KPRC facility as they become available.

UPDATE
Gary Griffin of Retronuvo Media adds that KPRC's original building was a Quonset hut down 610 behind what is now the giant Houston Community College (HCC) building inside The Loop. He says that was when the call letters were KLEE-TV.

Former KPRC 2 sports anchor Craig Roberts added he heard the Hobby family designed The Houston Post building to look like a typewriter from the sky. The Hobby's owned both KPRC and the Post at the time.

UPDATE JANUARY 17, 2017
- New KPRC building moves channel 2 into 21st century
- Full coverage of new KPRC 2 building 2017

UPDATE JANUARY 2016
KPRC 2 new studio construction begins

RELATED
KPRC Channel 2 documentary from 1965

(Thanks Bruce)


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