PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston May 2021

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Page 77 of 115

T hree years ago this spring, Gerald Hines presided over a cocktail hour for the grand finale of his lifetime. It was a project he was particularly proud of — a big- picture idea for his adopted hometown. The firm he founded in 1957 would go on to change the skyline of Houston and many world capitals over the successive 60-some years. The plan was neither straightforward nor expected. In fact, the adjectives that applied were the opposite: daring, challenging, innovative, ambitious, unique. Perhaps that's why the brilliant, principled developer went for it. A handshake was made with the patriarch and his son who brought the deal to him, who would both become partners in a historic landmark cherished and preserved in the heart of the Houston Museum District — one of only two surviving 1920s mansions that once lined Montrose Boulevard. This is a property that savored its greatest renown in boomtown Houston as the life of high society when it was transformed into a buzzy, beautiful, boutique hotel in the 1980s. By now you realize we're talking about La Colombe d'Or Hotel, a passion project of hospitality entrepreneur Steve Zimmerman, owner of the Alfred C. Finn-designed Fondren Mansion, who transformed it into the lush La Colombe d'Or 40 years ago. Propelled by his son, Dan Zimmerman, he reached out to Hines' senior managing director, Kevin Batchelor, and proposed the idea of adding a residential high-rise to the mansion hotel. A friendship between the global developer and the Houston hotelier/restaurateur and their families was born, which lasted until the passing of Gerald Hines in August 2020. CREATING COMMUNITY 2.0 It's a Friday night in the big city, and with a swath of Houston art and social circles vaccinated, the reborn La Colombe d'Or Hotel and its Tonight & Tomorrow restaurant are humming. The handsome Rottet Studio-designed restaurant and lounge — its opulent, Deco-inspired bar among the revamped hotel's calling cards — and the first guests checked into the cosseted suites on the second floor (again designed with austere beauty by Rottet Studio), the 1923 mansion is on its way to a second A TESTAMENT OF THE OLD AND NEW BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON THE CENTURY-OLD LA COLOMBE D'OR HOTEL AND A SLEEK NEW RESIDENTIAL TOWER UNITE TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE PRESERVATION SUCCESS STORY. La Colombe d'Or Hotel and The Residences at La Colombe d'Or, designed by Munoz + Albin PHOTOGRAPHY MABRY CAMPBELL, TARICK FOTEH, ERIC LAIGNEL. COURTESY HINES, LA COLOMBE D'OR HOTEL, ROTTET STUDIO. 76

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