When you look across the Houston skyline," says Francisco González, chairman and CEO of BBVA Group, "there's not one building that defines it." True enough. In the biggest city in Texas, there is no Space Needle, no Empire State Building, no Gateway Arch, no Sears (or make that Willis) Tower. Houston has Heritage Plaza, the JPMorgan Chase Tower and the Wells Fargo Bank Plaza, but nothing on the iconic scale of the postmodern Cuatro Torres (Four Towers) in BBVA's corporate home of Madrid, or even Dallas' Reunion Tower, capped by a bulging-ball design.

No, in Houston, the city's primary architectural achievement, the Astrodome, sits vacant and neglected, and the former Enron Tower now goes by the less-than-catchy name of "1400 Smith Street."

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