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Real Estate / Mansions

The Man Who Built Houston’s Skyline Talks Handcuffs, Shredded Wheat, and Real-Life Heroes

BY // 08.30.16

THE NONAGENARIAN DEVELOPER OF SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST CELEBRATED BUILDINGS (MORE THAN 800 TO HIS CREDIT) HAS COAXED THE BEST FROM PHILIP JOHNSON, FRANK GEHRY, AND ROBERT A.M. STERN. GERALD D. HINES IS CAUGHT DUI — DISCUSSING UNDER THE INFLUENCE HIS LOVE FOR SHREDDED WHEAT AND CASABLANCAJAMES BROCK INTERROGATES.

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Gerald D. Hines with Houston’s Pennzoil Place looming large. (Photographed by Annie Leibovitz for the cover of Hines’s new biography, “Raising the Bar: The Life and Work of Gerald D. Hines” (Fenwick Publishing), by Mark Seal)

Have you ever been in handcuffs? No, but I am just 91 — there’s still time! My only experience with handcuffs was as a duty officer at Fort Lewis during WWII.

Profession other than your own in which you would like to excel. A military commander.

Favorite painter. My talented wife, Barbara, and my old friend Joan Miró.

Real-life heroes. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and George H.W. Bush.

Favorite food. Shredded wheat with bananas.

How high have you been? Over 18,000 feet on the approach to Mt. Everest.

Favorite bird. The cardinal.

Favorite poet. Robert Frost.

Best meal you’ve ever had. Either an authentic French dinner at home in Cap d’Antibes, or the meal Tony Vallone cooked for my 90th birthday party at the University of Houston.

Most beloved expletive. I don’t use many swear words, but I have been known to say, “Hell, no!”

You are most likely to be arrested for. Exceeding the 30-mph speed limit.

If there could be only one building in the world. Hard to choose, but Pennzoil Place is very special to me.

Favorite novel. Too many to choose; in nonfiction, I would recommend my new biography, which is written by Mark Seal.

What do you do to relax? Daily meditation.

Favorite drug. See’s Candy!

Favorite word. Imagination.

Least favorite word. Can’t.

Profession you would least like to do. Work in a steel mill … and I know this firsthand, being from Gary, Indiana.

Favorite film and actor. Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

Single most life-altering experience. Winning the opportunity to build One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston almost five decades ago. It charted the course for our firm.

The quality that should define a man. Integrity.

What quality should define a woman? Love.

Home, chic home.

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