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Houston Maritime Museum
Harris County
Preservation Houston
News Release
Thursday, February 08, 2018

Civic Center and Theater District Architecture Walk
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Tickets go on sale at 1:30 p.m. on the northwest corner of
Smith and McKinney


When landscape architects Hare & Hare drew up plans for Houston's civic center in the late 1920s, they envisioned a group of stylistically similar Spanish-influenced buildings arranged around a public square. But those plans were derailed by the Depression, and the city's governmental and cultural center ended up developing over the next 50 years in a variety of styles with few efforts at overall planning. Today, structures in the Civic Center and the adjacent Theater District reflect not only the evolution of Houston's municipal and cultural institutions, but also changing architectural tastes.

This 90-minute, docent-guided tour will visit architectural highlights of the neighborhood, including Ralph Adams Cram's Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library; Joseph Finger's Houston City Hall; Tranquillity Park, built to commemorate the 1969 moon landing; and Ulrich Franzen's 1968 Alley Theatre. Along the way, the tour will discuss the changing styles and shifting civic priorities that helped shape this section of downtown 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 are $10 for the general public ($7 for 
Preservation Houston members and students). Children 11 years old and under are admitted free. Tickets may be charged to Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. Tickets go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 11, on the northwest corner of Smith Street and McKinney Avenue. The last tour group will leave just after 2 p.m. Reservations are not required.

Street parking is free downtown on Sundays. Paid parking is available in nearby lots and garages. The tour start point is a short walk from the Main Street Square Station on
MetroRail's Red Line. Tour participants who walk, bike or use public transportation will receive a $2 discount off the tour price.

Join Preservation Houston and get a free tour
Join Preservation Houston before Sunday and this weekend's tour is on us. Just bring confirmation of your new membership — you'll get a free tour and discounts for future tours, and you'll support historic preservation in Houston.

Photo: Wortham Theater Center (1987, Morris*Aubry Architects) / by Jim Parsons

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