Walking Tour of Downtown Architecture

By Teresa Biggar, Event Leader

A simple one-mile route through downtown reveals historic and modern buildings residing side by side. Along the way are many points of interest to admire from the glittery reflections to painted or carved public art.

I toured this beautiful district with fellow Member, photographer Annette on a relatively slow Friday morning.


We parked at the Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park and walked into downtown to our first stop, Heritage Plaza. We used the gpsmycity.com map for the Houston Architecture Walk. Each of the nine sites has a description of the history, architecture, and current use — even reported hauntings!

Many of them are just as interesting on the inside but are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We chatted with a security guard outside of the Julia Ideson Building, which is designed in a Spanish Revival style, on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and now a part of the Public Library System. He invited us back to tour the inside when they open back up.

Walking Tour of Downtown Architecture2
Walking Tour of Downtown Architecture3
Walking Tour of Downtown Architecture4

We walked approximately five and a half miles roundtrip at a leisurely pace. This is more of a walking tour since you will want to stop often and tour the inside when you can. There are many restaurants along the way to get a refreshing drink and snack to go.
Check out this intriguing section of Houston during a weekend morning when the crowds are few. We will be sure to tour the interior public areas once they open again!

Houston Architecture Walk map and descriptions:

Photos: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AgZNileQhY5NgaRv5yUXCR4hfqZidg?e=ykRIt6

• There is a mix of sun and shade so wear a hat and sunscreen.
• Bring at least 1 liter of water.
• Keep your eyes peeled on all the buildings for delightful surprises along the way.
• Bring your phone or camera for some great selfies or artful photography!
• Bring some money in case you want to get a meal, cold beer or margarita at a restaurant or bar.
• There are more homeless dwellers near and at Christ Church Cathedral. Stay aware and moving if you approach area. We chose to skip it.

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