. 1800s Texans in 1909 marked an icon of progress with the construction of the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi the 190-foot steel-frame skyscraper was the 14-story Praetorian Building housing the Praetorian Insurance Company Dallas became the regional headquarters of the Federal Reserve in 1914 strengthening its dominance of Texas banking the city had reached 260,000 population by 1929 when the effects of the Stock Market Crash hit Texas causing a sharp drop in the prices of oil cotton and cattle; growth came to a standstill.
Three loop freeways provide north-south and east-west connectivity between Greater Houston's radial highways the innermost loop is Interstate 610 commonly known as the Inner Loop which encircles Downtown the Texas Medical Center Greenway Plaza the cities of West University Place and Southside Place and many core neighborhoods the 88-mile (142 km) State Highway Beltway 8 often referred to as the Beltway forms the middle loop at a radius of roughly 10 miles (16 km) a third 180-mile (290 km) loop with a radius of approximately 25 miles (40 km) State Highway 99 (the Grand Parkway) is currently under construction with six of eleven segments completed as of 2018. Completed segments D through G provide a continuous 70.4-mile (113.3 km) limited-access tollway connection between Sugar Land Katy Cypress Spring and Porter, Shift to the Republican Party In recent years Houston's love affair with the car has cooled somewhat with car usage falling by 15.2% since 1995 and heavy investment in public transport including a light rail system opened in 2004 effectively signalling the return of the streetcar, Much of Houston's success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy man-made ship channel the Port of Houston the port ranks first in the country in international commerce and is the sixth-largest port in the world Amid other U.S ports it is the busiest in foreign tonnage and second in overall tonnage Because of these economic trades many residents have moved to Houston from other U.S states as well as hundreds of countries worldwide. 3.1 Early Portuguese period The Niels Esperson Building stood as the tallest building in Houston from 1927 to 1929. . . Houston also hosts a number of graduate schools in law and healthcare the University of Houston Law Center and Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University are public ABA-accredited law schools while the South Texas College of Law located in Downtown serves as a private independent alternative the Texas Medical Center is home to a high density of health professions schools including two medical schools: McGovern Medical School part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Baylor College of Medicine a highly selective private institution Prairie View A&M University's nursing school is located in the Texas Medical Center Additionally both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston have pharmacy schools and the University of Houston hosts a college of optometry. . .