Major Skyscraper Sale

Historic Gulf skyscraper sold off: Landmark loved by "cutting-edge tenants"

Historic Gulf skyscraper sold off: Landmark loved by the cutting edge

Gulf Building in Houston at 712 Main art deco architecture
Lionstone Group has purchased the historic art deco skyscraper at 712 Main St. for an undisclosed price. Photo by Reagan Rothenberger/Wikipedia

Downtown’s 37-story art deco building that was once the headquarters of Gulf Oil has been sold to Lionstone Group, a local investment company. The 800,000-square-foot building at 712 Main Street was developed by Jesse H. Jones, former publisher of the Houston Chronicle and opened in 1929.

“It is truly a local treasure nestled beautifully in the heart of downtown Houston, and cutting edge tenants are finding it very desirable,” says Lionstone chief investment officer Glenn Lowenstein.

It was the tallest building in Houston until 1963. At one time, a huge illuminated Gulf logo rotated on its roof.

 The building has been designated a City of Houston landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Eight Texas history frescoes adorn the lobby walls. The murals were painted on wet plaster with a method similar to that used by Michelangelo, Botticelli and Rosselli in the Sistine Chapel.

The building’s huge main banking lobby has a 50-foot-high richly carved vaulted ceiling, French marble, Italian Siena travertine walls and stained glass windows. It's 428-feet tall and was designed by Alfred C. Finn, Kenneth Franzheim and J.E.R. Carpenter. The building has been designated a City of Houston landmark and a National Civil Engineering landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

JP Morgan Chase is a main tenant and uses the property for its southwest regional banking operations. The price was not disclosed. The seller, Brookfield Asset Management was represented by Danny Miller and Trent Agnew of HFF. Lionstone, which has been very successful with investing in office space in The Woodlands, was formed in 2001 by partners Tom Bacon, Dan Dubrowski, and Glenn Lowenstein.