About Preservation Houston

Preservation Houston is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation founded in 1978 as Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. Members include individuals, corporations and organizations. Preservation Houston depends on donations, membership fees, grant funding and ticket sales for tours and events to fulfill its mission.

Our mission

Our mission is to preserve Houston’s local culture of diversity, invention, vitality and can-do spirit by celebrating and revitalizing our historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places.

We will accomplish our mission through:

  • Education
  • Collaboration
  • Consultation

By providing:

  • Technical Advice
  • Information and Resource sharing
  • City-wide heritage-based marketing, tourism and outreach initiatives

Together, we can effect change

The accomplishments of an advocacy organization are, by definition, difficult to measure. Preservation Houston's achievements can be seen as the effect of water on stone. Progress is slow and steady; cumulative change is evident over time.

Progress in historic preservation can be seen in revitalized homes in the Old Sixth Ward, among many other neighborhoods. / photo by Jim Parsons

Today, progress can be seen in downtown Houston's revitalized historic buildings, in the restored homes of the Heights and Old Sixth Ward historic districts, and in stable residential neighborhoods and active civic associations such as those in the Norhill and Woodland Heights historic districts. Progress is evident in the widespread recognition of historic preservation as an important tool for economic development, an awareness that grew in part from Preservation Houston's active support of the successful redevelopment of the landmark Rice Hotel as a market-rate apartment building.

When Preservation Houston incorporated in 1978 as Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, historic preservation was largely the work of individuals scattered throughout the city's older neighborhoods. Preservation Houston provided an umbrella organization for like-minded people to come together to effect change. In 1978, Houston did not have a preservation ordinance; there were no historic districts and no designated landmarks. Getting the fundamental tools in place required a grassroots community effort.

Although broad-based advocacy remains crucial for many issues, such as the future of the Astrodome, Preservation Houston's work is now more nuanced. Each historic neighborhood is different. Each has its own concerns. Preservation Houston works to address those concerns.

In March 2006, the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized Preservation Houston's ongoing efforts to create a preservation ethic for Houston by designating PH as Houston's Local Partner of the National Trust.