Architecture Walks

Next tour: Downtown East, March 12

The section of downtown east of Main Street is a study in change. Early in Houston’s history, it was home to Quality Hill, the city’s most fashionable residential neighborhood. The area turned commercial after the turn of the 20th century thanks to an expanding business district and the construction of Union Station (now part of Minute Maid Park) in 1911. Large-scale redevelopment projects including Houston Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center drastically altered the area in the late 1900s, and today, east downtown is an intriguing mix of small commercial buildings, early skyscrapers and gleaming modern office towers and hotels.

Our 90-minute, docent-guided walking tour traces the neighborhood's history through architecture old and new, ranging from historic structures such as Union Station and the 1915 Texas Company Building to new development like Discovery Green, which has been a catalyst for nearly $2 billion in new construction.

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.

Union Station (1911, 1912, Warren & Wetmore) / postcard from Preservation Houston file

Union Station (1911, 1912, Warren & Wetmore) / postcard from Preservation Houston file

Tickets

Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 12, in front of Union Station, 501 Crawford Street at 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.
 

Parking

Street parking is free downtown Sundays; remember to observe posted parking regulations. The tour's starting point is a short walk from the Convention District Station on MetroRail's Green and Purple lines.

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.