The section of downtown east of Main Street is a study in change. Early in Houston’s history, it was home to Quality Hill, the city’s most fashionable residential neighborhood. The area turned commercial after the turn of the 20th century thanks to an expanding business district and the construction of Union Station in 1911. Large-scale redevelopment projects including Houston Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center drastically altered the area in the late 1900s, and today, east downtown is an intriguing mix of small commercial buildings, early skyscrapers and gleaming modern office towers and hotels.
Our all-new 90-minute docent-guided walking tour will trace the history of the area through architecture old and new, ranging from historic structures such as Union Station and the 1915 Texas Company Building to new developments like Discovery Green, which has been a catalyst for nearly $2 billion in new construction. Along the way, we’ll discuss some of the neighborhood’s hidden stories as well, helping to put this often-overlooked area in context in Houston’s history.
Please note that this is an exterior tour only. The tour will not go inside any buildings.
Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, January 10, 2016, in front of Union Station, 501 Crawford Street. Admission is $10 for the general public ($7 for Preservation Houston members and students with valid ID). Those who walk, ride a bike or use public transit to get to the tour will receive a $2 discount. Children 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 downtown on Sundays, but be sure to observe posted regulations. The tour start point is a short walk from MetroRail's Convention District station.
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.