Historic Tour of Downtown Houston

HOUSTON’S original town center! With its 1800’s-era architecture, tree-lined streets, eclectic mix of sidewalk cafes, pubs and nighttime hotspots, the Historic District fuses culture and commerce. This area of downtown boasts many points of interest with considerable historic significance blending the old with the new.
Now a 1.43-acre micro-oasis with red-brick paths, a crescent-shaped dog run, a Niko Niko’s Greek restaurant, and art installations, this humble patch was Houston’s original city center back in the mid-1800’s, the eventual home to four city hall buildings and then a parking lot. Since undergoing a major face-lift in 2010, it’s become a gathering spot for downtown dwellers, commuters, and visitors, and now hosts movie nights, concerts, festivals, and monthly Blanket Bingo.

HOTEL ICON Originally built in 1911 as the Union
National Bank Building, the beautifully renovated
Hotel Icon thoughtfully balances
irreplaceable period detail, grand neoclassical
architecture and dynamic, contemporary
rooms. Sumptuous surroundings
and modern efficiency lure the well-heeled
traveler as well as the local movers and


Settled in between skyscrapers, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church provides a significant service to Houstonians in need. One can admire the acclaimed Gothic structure and its original 1866 handmade pews. It was built in 1875 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

A 1913 historic ballroom located in the
heart of the Post Rice Lofts (former historic
Rice Hotel). Resplendent with crystal chandeliers,
heroic murals, 35-foot ceilings and
a full wraparound terrace, this space is ideal
for weddings, receptions and special events.


Formerly Texas Commerce Tower, is a 305.41 m (1,002.0 ft), 75-story skyscraper. It is currently the tallest building in the city, the tallest building in Texas, the tallest five-sided building in the world, the 13th tallest building in the United States, and the 79th tallest building in the world.[1]

Sam Houston Park is an urban park located in downtown Houston, Texas, USA, dedicated to the buildings and culture of Houston’s past. The park, which was the first to be established in the city, is where several historic homes are located. There is a pre-Texas revolution cabin to an 1891 church built by German and Swiss immigrants, including the Kellum-Noble House, Houston’s oldest brick dwelling.

Other historic buildings now located in Sam Houston Park include:[1]

The Old Place – a rustic cabin built of rough-sawn cedar planks about 1823.
Fourth Ward Cottage – moved from Freedman’s Town to the Park in 2002, it may predate 1858.
Pillot House – built in 1868, and owned by the same family until 1964, it is believed to be the first house in Houston built with an attached kitchen. The family was related to the Henke and Pillot supermarket chain.
Yates House – built in Freedman’s Town in 1870 by affluent former slave Jack Yates
St. John Church – built in 1891 by an Evangelical Lutheran congregation that conducted services in German until well into the twentieth century.
Staiti House – built in 1905 and featured electrical wiring.
The Old Place is a log cabin probably built by John R. Williams, an Austin colonist, about 1823, and thought to be the oldest remaining structure in Harris County.[3] It was moved from its original location on the west bank of Clear Creek in 1973 and remained at the west edge of the Park, on the shore of the pond, until September 2003, when it was relocated to higher ground on the east side of the Park.[4] Rising waters from Buffalo Bayou had flooded the building numerous times over the years, and during Tropical Storm Allison in June 2001, floodwaters reached the roof.[5]

*will stop and allow you to walk through these homes