Tom Owens, ‘73, senior managing director - chief risk officer of Hines, a global powerhouse in real estate investment, development and management, headed a team of company executives who discussed the multibillion-dollar firm’s operations Feb. 8, 2019.
Hines' executives appeared at the John Miles Rowlett Lecture/4th Annual Aggie Leadership in Community Development Conference at the Hagler Auditorium in the university’s Bush Presidential Library Complex.
The day’s lineup of speakers also included Owens' fellow Hines executives Jerrold Lea, executive vice president of conceptual construction, and Charlie Kuntz, the firm’s innovation officer.
The speakers represent a company with a storied history, studded with ambitious projects that changed skylines and business districts in Texas, the U.S. and numerous countries since its 1957 founding.
- 1971: Hines built Houston’s 50-story One Shell Plaza, the tallest reinforced concrete structure in the world;
- 1975: the firm’s collaboration with the legendary design team of Philip Johnson and John Burgee resulted in Houston’s Pennzoil Place, a bold architectural statement cited as “Building of the Year” by the New York Times;
- 1982: Hines built Texas’ tallest structure, Houston’s I.M.Pei-designed Texas Commerce Tower, now known as the JPMorgan Chase Tower;
- 1992: the firm opened offices in Mexico City and Moscow. Three years later Hines offices opened in Paris, London, Frankfurt and Prague;
- 2003: 717 Texas, the state’s first LEED Platinum skyscraper, opened. Hines also completed the Hilton Americas-Houston and Toyota Center,
- 2012: Hines began construction in Porta Nuova, a massive development in Milan, Italy.
The event was hosted by the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and the CRS Center for Leadership & Management in the Design & Construction Industry.
The Rowlett Lecture, hosted by the CRS Center at the Texas A&M College of Architecture, was established by the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System in 1990. In addition to advancing innovation and leadership in the design and construction industry, the center hosts the business archives, slide archives, publications and architectural program library of CRS, the architecture engineering and planning firm, and its successor firm CRSS.
The archives, which include an oral history of the firm, are available to students and scholars of architectural and business history. Caudill Rowlett Scott, later known as CRS, was established in College Station, Texas shortly after World War II by William Wayne Caudill and John Miles Rowlett, both of whom were professors of architecture at Texas A&M, and Wallie E. Scott, Jr., a graduate student.
The center fosters discussions of major issues in the design and construction industry, encourages graduate study in its areas of interest, participates in the instructional program at the Texas A&M College of Architecture and develops research programs in its areas of intellectual concern.