Whether you’re an architecture nut or a casual admirer of Houston’s marquee buildings, such as Pennzoil Place, One Shell Plaza, and Williams Tower, you have the Houston heat to thank for such handsome structures – the heat and Gerald Hines. Hines grew up in Indiana and following graduation from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering, he took a job with a Detroit-based engineering company that specialized in air conditioning. After training and orientation, he was given the choice of three office locations – Indianapolis, Detroit, and Houston. He chose Houston, in part because a couple of college friends lived here, but also because, without a doubt, the air conditioning business was going to be stronger in Houston than the other cities. While still working for the air conditioning company, Hines took on his first project – a 5,000-square-foot warehouse. He met his first client at a neighbor’s barbecue, and when the fellow mentioned he needed a warehouse for his company, Gerald Hines said immediately, “I can build that for you.” And he did, eventually founding his own firm, Gerald D. Hines Interests in 1957. Click to read more at www.downtownhouston.org.