Architecture Walks

Next tour: Midtown, February 10

Houston Community College Heinen Theatre (originally Temple Beth Israel, 1925, Joseph Finger) /  photo by Jim Parsons

Houston Community College Heinen Theatre (originally Temple Beth Israel, 1925, Joseph Finger) / photo by Jim Parsons

The area now known as Midtown originally developed as farmland on the outskirts of Houston, then was transformed into the upscale South End residential district as the city expanded to the south around the turn of the 20th century. Over the years that followed, South End residents moved to newer suburban neighborhoods, and their grand homes were demolished to make way for office and retail buildings, apartments and parking lots.

A few remnants of the old South End survive today, including a handful of homes and neighborhood institutions such as Trinity Episcopal Church, the former South End Junior High (later San Jacinto High School and now Houston Community College’s Central Campus) and Congregation Beth Israel’s 1925 temple (now HCC’s Heinen Theatre). Among them are office and apartment buildings built in the first half of the 20th century; remnants of Main Street’s pre-World War II retail strip; and prominent new projects such as MATCH, the Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston.

Our 90-minute, docent-guided walking tour will explore the neighborhood’s history, visiting some sites that are reminders of South End glamour and others that show how Midtown is transforming itself into a modern urban residential and cultural center.

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 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 10, 2019, in front of Houston Community College’s San Jacinto Memorial Building, 1300 Holman 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.


Street parking is free in Midtown on Sundays; please remember to observe posted parking regulations. Tour participants who walk, bike or use public transportation will receive a $2 discount off the tour price. The tour start point is a short walk from the Ensemble/HCC 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.