Architecture Walks

Next tour: Main Street & Montrose Boulevard, April 9

After Rice Institute and Hermann Park opened in the early 1910s, Houston's South End became an increasingly desirable neighborhood in which to live and work — and the area gained cachet in the 1920s when it became the location of the new Museum of Fine Arts.

Our 90-minute, docent-guided walking tour will explore the beautiful area between Main Street and Montrose Boulevard just north of the park, including the museum complex, the charming neighborhood of Colby Court and the imposing churches of Main Street. Along the way we will discuss how the area developed and how it has changed through the years. We will see buildings designed by William Ward Watkin, Joseph Finger, MacKie & Kamrath and Carlos Jiménez — including Finger's own home on Portland Place — and will get a glimpse of the Museum of Fine Arts' massive $450 million expansion, construction of which is now under way.

Please note this is an exterior architecture tour only. The tour will not go inside any buildings. There are no public restrooms along the tour route.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1924, 1926, William Ward Watkin) / photo by Jim Parsons

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1924, 1926, William Ward Watkin) / photo by Jim Parsons


Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9, in front of the Jung Center, 5200 Montrose Boulevard. 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 available for free in the neighborhood; remember to observe posted parking regulations. The tour's starting point is a short walk from the Museum District Station on MetroRail's Red Line.

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.

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 Houston Arts Alliance.