Architecture Walks

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January 11: The Town of Houston

"On the 20th of January, a small log cabin & 12 persons were all that distinguished [Houston] from the adjacent forests, and now there are upwards of 100 houses finished, and going up rapidly ... and 1,500 people, all actively engaged in their respective pursuits." — Sam Houston, April 1837

Houston in the late 1830s was a boomtown. The capital of the Republic of Texas was also the young country's newest city and a magnet for immigrants from the United States and abroad. All of the earliest homes and public buildings built by those first Houstonians have been lost to age, development, fires and natural disasters, but there are still reminders of the early city if you know where to look — and on January 11, Preservation Houston's docent-led walking tour will point them out.

Among the stops are the sites of the Texas Capitol, the president's house and the city market, as well as Houston’s first theater and the Round Tent, one of its most popular saloons. Along the way, you will hear first-hand accounts of pioneer life in Houston and stories about some of the colorful characters who helped keep things interesting (and rowdy) in the young city.

Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, January 11, 2015, under the canopy of the Rice Lofts on the northwest corner of Main Street and Texas Avenue. Admission is $10 for the general public ($7 for Preservation Houston members and students with valid ID). Childern 11 years old and under are admitted free. Tickets may be charged to Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. The last tour group will leave just after 2 p.m. Advance reservations are not required for this tour.

Street parking is free downown Sundays and is available for a fee in nearby lots and garages. The tour start point is a short walk from MetroRail's Preston Station. Please note that this is an exterior architecture tour only; the tour will not go inside any buildings.

If inclement weather threatens on the day of the tour, watch this page for up-to-the-minute updates of any tour changes. You can also follow Preservation Houston on Twitter to receive tour updates.

Photo: former Capitol of the Republic of Texas, from Preservation Houston file

About Architecture Walks

Explore Houston's architecturally and historically significant neighborhoods, buildings and institutions with Preservation Houston's monthly docent-guided walking tours. The tours are generally offered on the second Sunday of the month from January to November; tickets go on sale at 1:30 p.m. (6 p.m. June through September). Tours are open to the public. The cost is $10 per person ($7 for Preservation Houston members and students), with a $2 discount if you walk, bike or ride public transportation to the tour. Reservations aren't required unless specifically noted.

We also offer quarterly walking tours of Glenwood Cemetery (reservations are required; see our schedule of upcoming tours) as well as private tours for groups of nearly any size.

The Architecture Walks Program is supported in part by the Susan Vaughan Foundation and by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance.

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