Architecture Walks

Next tour: Beth Israel Cemetery, Jan. 8, 2017

When Beth Israel Cemetery was established in 1844, Houston was still a frontier village — in fact, the cemetery was located well out of town on the San Felipe Road (now West Dallas Avenue). Over the years, Houston has grown up around Beth Israel, and today, the cemetery is not only one of the city's most historic, but also the oldest Jewish institution in Texas.

Many of the Bayou City's most prominent Jewish leaders have been laid to rest at Beth Israel, including merchant families the Levys, Meyers and Sakowitzes; philanthropist Ben Taub; and Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, who led Congregation Beth Israel for 32 years. Our 90-minute, docent-guided walking tour tells the stories of their lives and deaths and includes a visit to the Temple of Rest, the 1935 Art Deco mausoleum designed by Joseph Finger (who is entombed inside).

Beth Israel Cemetery / photo by Jim Parsons

Beth Israel Cemetery / photo by Jim Parsons


Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, January 8, 2017, inside the gates of Beth Israel Cemetery, 1207 West Dallas 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.


There is no parking inside Beth Israel Cemetery. Street parking is available on streets along the perimeter of the cemetery, including Valentine and Saulnier; please remember to observe posted parking regulations.

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.