Architecture Walks

Next tour: University of St. Thomas/Menil, July 14

Please note: Our June, July, August and September tours will be held in the evenings to avoid the summer afternoon heat. Tickets will go on sale at 5:30 p.m. and the last tour groups will leave shortly after 6 p.m.

Academic Mall and Chapel of St. Basil (1997, Philip Johnson) at the University of St. Thomas /  photo by Jim Parsons

Academic Mall and Chapel of St. Basil (1997, Philip Johnson) at the University of St. Thomas / photo by Jim Parsons

The University of St. Thomas broke with tradition when it hired the modernist architect Philip Johnson to design its new campus in 1956. And though Johnson took inspiration for his buildings at UST from the contemporary designs of Mies van der Rohe, his campus plan was influenced by something much older: Thomas Jefferson's 1818 design for the University of Virginia.

Our 90-minute, docent-guided walking tour focuses on the development of the university's campus and the buildings of the adjacent Menil campus, which include Eugene Aubry's Rothko Chapel and Renzo Piano's Menil Collection and Twombly Gallery. We'll also visit Hughes House, the boyhood home of Howard Hughes Jr., and Johnson's Chapel of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas, one of the most unique worship spaces in Houston.

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, July 14, 2019, near the Link-Lee Mansion at the University of St. Thomas, 3800 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.


Tourgoers may park in University of St. Thomas Lot L on the north side of the Link-Lee Mansion (enter from West Alabama just west of Montrose Boulevard). Tour participants who walk, bike or use public transportation will receive a $2 discount off the tour price.


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.