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20th Century Main Street Architecture Walk

  • 929 Texas Avenue Houston, TX, 77002 United States (map)

A walk along Main Street in downtown Houston is a walk through the city's business development and its changing architectural tastes. Our 90-minute, docent-guided tour traces Main Street's role as the center of activity for much of Houston's history, visiting early businesses and skyscrapers, retail stores, banks and the sites of its movie palaces.

Tour highlights include the 1929 Gulf Building, the city's Art Deco masterpiece; the former First City National Bank Building, a modernist landmark since its completion in 1961; and Alfred C. Finn's 1951 building for Sakowitz department store, which has evolved from an elegant retail store to a marble-clad parking garage. As we discuss the history and architecture of these and other Main Street structures, we'll also learn about the street's changing role in an ever-expanding city.

Please note that this is an exterior architecture tour. The tour will not visit the interiors of any buildings. Public restrooms are not available on the tour route.


Tickets will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 16, 2019, 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). 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.