Big Apple Beginnings, Growth in the Lone Star State

Thursday, May 30, 2024

By the time the first U.S. census count was complete in 1790, New York City had already grown to be more populated than Philadelphia, which was the biggest city in the United States when the nation declared its independence in 1776.

Simply put, the growth of New York City started early on, and it hasn’t stopped since.

In the 1990s, buildings everywhere were becoming taller and more tightly compressed, including many of the skyscrapers and commercial spaces in New York City. These structures needed a more innovative door design, and the balanced door proved to be the ideal fit upon its introduction to the market in 1932.

Balanced doors experienced a boom, particularly in the Big Apple, as architects were specifying them for sky-high office spaces, multifamily residential buildings, and much more.

With its roots firmly planted in the bustling streets of New York City, Ellison Bronze’s reach and influence has expanded to cities all around the world over the last century. This includes the vibrant cities of Texas — such as Austin, Houston, and Dallas — where balanced doors have become synonymous with quality, innovation, security, and aesthetic appeal.

Balanced Doors in Texas Today: Austin

Block 185

Austin nearly topped the charts as the fastest-growing city in the United States in 2023. It trailed only Phoenix, which held the top spot.

Capitalizing on the good talent flooding the area, several major employers have set up shop in Austin, including Amazon, Oracle, Tesla, and Google.

In fact, in 2022, Google announced a $9.5B investment that would create approximately 12,000 new jobs across the country at its new data centers and offices. One of these developments is a brand-new skyscraper in Austin called Block 185, which includes a number of Ellison custom balanced doors. The building’s design, which needed to possess a contemporary flair, had two main requirements: security and aesthetics.

Ellison balanced doors were specified for the job by Pelli Clarke & Partners because of their “minimalist beauty, integral hardware, reduced leaf projection, and ease of operation for users.”


The “smartest and safest” building in Austin (if not all of Texas) also received the balanced door treatment from Ellison Bronze. The LEED Gold-certified building features a floor-to-ceiling glass curtainwall, and the doors needed to achieve narrow sightlines to remain consistent with the overall open design.

The project team specified satin stainless steel Ellison balanced doors in a narrow stile with tempered glass to match the glass curtainwall. The doors allow natural light into the lobby space and give RiverSouth’s main entrance a cohesive look and feel with the rest of the structure.

Following its official opening, the structure earned LEED Gold certification and the first SmartScore Platinum certification for any building in Texas, underscoring the importance of also selecting the right doors for this top-notch Texas project.

Heading to Houston

Market Square Tower

165 miles to the southeast of Austin, in Houston, the market is experiencing a surging demand in the multifamily sector, and real estate developers are taking advantage of it. Market Square Tower serves as the pinnacle of upscale living in Houston where multifamily resort-style spaces are in high demand. For this 40-story, 463-unit deluxe apartment tower, architects and owners “wanted that bronze monumental New York-style entrance” look and relied on Ellison Bronze to deliver it for a head-turning main entrance.

Aside from the main entrance, two pairs of doors are located under the carport off Milam Street. These two entrances are 73” x 104” – slightly larger than the main Market Square Tower entrance of 73” x 95” – all with the classic look of expertly-crafted Ellison formed bronze doors.

The entrance design was an ode to Ellison’s humble beginnings, celebrating the iconic New York City door design style the company had become known for.

Bank of America Tower

In 2019, Houston added the Bank of America Tower to its skyline. The building was the result of the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank consolidating three downtown offices into a state-of-the art building, putting more than 600 employees under one roof. This modern commercial skyscraper needed the right entrance doors ideal for heavily trafficked pedestrian pathways. The doors have proven to be especially advantageous during the busy morning rush and afternoon departure. Quality construction, durable materials and components, and unique balanced hardware that allows for air pressure relief at both sides of the door leaf all lead to truly effortless operation for users.

The stainless steel Ellison balanced doors were finished in US32D satin to match the ground floor’s entrance framing materials in addition to the canopy above the doors.

Bank of America Tower also achieved LEED® V4 Platinum certification by the USGBC because of its daylight harvesting technology, a 40-percent parking reduction, tenant metering, alternative vehicle charging stations, and a rainwater collection system.

Trending in Texas

Innovation, ADA compliance, and long-term functionality are driving factors when designing modern-day entrance systems. Ellison custom balanced doors deliver on all fronts, which is what led to their original boom in New York City and ensuing growth around the world.

As the big Texas markets continue to grow vertically and in terms of population, Ellison balanced doors are poised to continue to serve as the first impression for high-end multifamily and commercial structures throughout the region.




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