Architecture Walks

Next tour: Old Sixth Ward, September 15

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.

Gottlieb Eisele House (c. 1872) /  photo courtesy of Kyle Humphries/Murphy Mears Architects

Gottlieb Eisele House (c. 1872) / photo courtesy of Kyle Humphries/Murphy Mears Architects

The Old Sixth Ward, one of Houston's most beloved historic neighborhoods, was settled in the mid-19th century on what was then the edge of the city. The principal developer was W.R. Baker, Houston mayor and president of the Houston & Texas Central Railway, and many of the neighborhood’s early residents were railroad workers who decorated their cottages with hand-cut gingerbread ornamentation.

Our 90-minute, docent-guided tour traces the neighborhood’s development and changes, from its roots as a working-class area to the city’s first protected historic district. As we walk, we’ll explore the architecture that makes the Sixth Ward so special. Stops will include the former homes of cosmetics queen Mary Kay Ash and Peck Kelley, a boogie-woogie pianist legendary nationwide in his time — even though he never left Houston. We’ll also visit St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, a neighborhood landmark that was rebuilt after the great hurricane of 1900.

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, September 15, 2019, in Old Sixth Ward Community Park, 1600 Lubbock Street. 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 6 p.m. Advance reservations are not required for this tour.


Free street parking is available in the neighborhood; 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.


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.