The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is an amazing place. When I found out that Robert A. M. Stern would be designing this building I knew that Houston was in for something special. This $100 million + addition to the Theater District. The two theaters at the Hobby Center that draw the most praise are Sarofim Hall and Zilkha Hall. The beauty must be seen to appreciated. In addition to the arts there is an adjacent restaurant owned by Michael Cordua. (Artista)
Houston's downtown is one of the best in North America in terms of imaginative architecture, cleanliness and safety. At night on weekends it is full of world-class discos, while during the day it is home to business.
The photo is of a fountain in front of the Allen Center which houses the World Trade Center.
Firts once you get to the texan way of life find yourself shoping like crazy in the Galeria mall having an iceskating and eating at the betst pizza bufet in the mall then go rest a while eat at the best steak house Outbak ordening a delicious Australian beer or just feel happy with red lobsters or Taco bell because around the Galeria Mall there is where the Party is starting in one of the many nightclubs where you can easyly get in touch with some nice Texan Cow girls Enjoy!!!
Downtown Houston has lots of amazing buildings and sky-scrapers to please the fan of american architecture. For the pleasure of the eye on sleek and modern lines, it is worth taking a stroll in the area. Especially if you went to the Sam Houston Park, you can easily walk to one of the most pleasant area of downtown (where the picture on the left was taken). It comprises this beautiful modern fountain (Tranquility Park), some of the most beautiful buildings (personal opinion) of the city and the Theater District (home to Houston Performing Art Society, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony and Houston Ballet). Also in this area is the Houston official Visitor Center located in the City Hall (opened daily from 9 am to 4 pm) where you can find numerous free brochures on Houston and Texas, and buy souvenirs.
Besides the architectural interest, I cannot say that downton Houston is warm and inviting. There are no shops, no restaurants really visible, no atmosphere; the streets are lined with ugly parking garage entrances. It seems the people working here go to the "Houston's tunnels", a maze of shops, restaurants and corridors below street level (click here for a map of the tunnels). There is actually a recent attempt to give a soul to the Theater District with Bayou Place which is a big complex of restaurants, stage and movie theaters (at 560 Texas Avenue). Plus the inauguration in January 2004 of the tramway line on Main street seems to have revitalized that street, especially when it is blocked to traffic on week-end evenings. I sincerely hope Houston will finally have a city feeling to it!!
Largest skyscraper outside of a Downtown area in the U.S.
At 64 stories and 901 feet, the Transco Tower is the world's tallest building that is not in a central business district. The skyscraper features the glass and steel severity of the International Style in an art deco-inspired design
Observation deck: Closed
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This is downtown Houston, a shot taken from a park outside of town. When approaching from Hobby Airport, the skyline rises from the ground like the city of Oz. Houston is spread out so that, wherever you are, you've always got something to do.
My favorite part of downtown is Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros baseball team. It's got a retractable roof so, no matter the weather, the game is on...and Houston's summer weather can be rather severe. There's also a bar across the street that used to be, I think, a firehouse. For major league baseball, I found the Astros very affordable..of course, I'm from New York :-)
It is funny to notice these huge buildings start to become a touristic destination, people know their name and quite often what they are...
If you are in the area at a time when the office should be closed, I'd recommend a small drive to downtown... I've done it during Thanksgiving, it was surrealistic to see the deserted buildings and the empty streets and imagine how busy they can be on a weekday...
Sam Houston park is the oldest park in Houston, having opened in 1899. It is located downtown (NW part of it) right next to the skyscrapers. Beside being a pleasant park to stroll though, have lunch and relax, it is the location of a wonderful outdoor museum. The Heritage Society of Houston had several old Texan buildings from the region brought here for preservation, restauration and display. There are about 8 houses (and still more being brought in!) ranging from 1823 (a wood cabin of the pioneers) to 1905 ("Staiti House"). Little signs by each house detail the different styles of houses built in the pioneer days of Texas.
The picture shows you the little St John's church, built by german immigrants in 1891, dwarfed by the downtown skyscrapers.
Visit is free, and the houses and the associated museum are opened Mon-Sat 10 am-4 pm. Sun 1pm-5 pm. Hourly guided tours are available for a fee by the Heritage Society of Houston.
Park in the Heritage Society's lot between Clay street and Allen Parkway (best entrance is heading East on Allen parkway, turn right right after going under I45). On week-ends, yu can also park for free in the streets of downtown.
Texas Medical Center (TMC) has grown to become one of the world's finest medical centers of patient care, research and education
5.1 Million Patient visits in 2001
15,352 International patients
61,030 Total positions within Texas Medical Center institutions
6,176 Licensed beds plus 345 bassinets
19,332 Students attending regular classes
2,366 Short courses, seminars, and workshops offered
70,568 Participants enrolled in educational and professional courses
189,000 Visitors to the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science
Includes 91,000 students attending its educational programs
12,227 Volunteers assisting with a wide variety of tasks benefiting the Texas Medical Center
$5.4 Billion Combined operating budgets for member institutions
$13.5 Billion Indirect impact to the Houston's economy
$7 Billion Member institutions capital investments
$714 Million Research activities of Texas Medical Center member institutions
$2.5 Billion+ Received by 19 member institutions as grants for research during the past 5 years
Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are leaders in the research category
$1 Billion Additions to the facilities of member institutions of Texas Medical Center from 2000-2002
740+ Acres with more than 100 permanent buildings
22 Million Gross square feet in physical plant space
20 Miles of private and public streets and roadways in Texas Medical Center
42,436+ Parking spaces used by patients, visitors, students, employees, and others
Includes 26,623 parking spaces in 16 garages and 28 surface lots owned and operated by Texas Medical Center; 15,813 spaces owned by member institutions; or operated by outside companies. An additional 3,050 spaces will be available by the end of 2003, but are not included at this time in the total number shown in the left margin.
You can see 5 different artists. It is really hot and humid outside, so you need to come prepared with a blanket, fan, light clothing. I don't think they let you bring in your own drinks because they sell it out there. Earth Day is hosted by the KRBE radio station. In the picture here, you can see Jewel onstage. In 2003 the concert was held end of May. It was $13 per person or only $10 if you have a "KRBE 104 card".
Map of Downtown:
Heritage Park & Historical Homes:
At the beginning of December each year(last year Dec. 12-15) they have the Candlelight Tour of Homes at Heritage Park. It is just wonderful with all of the decorations and the historic homes. They have community choirs singing throughout the park and you can buy refreshments.
The JP Morgan Chase Tower is the tallest building in the United States outside of New York and Chicago. There is an observation area open weekdays. Construction on the 75 floor, 305.4 meter concrete and steel building began in 1978 and was completed in 1982.
Day or night, downtown is the place to be, and Bayou Place is at the heart of it all with hot restaurants, theaters and concerts all under one roof. This popular entertainment complex is also in the Theater District, making it a natural stop for theater patrons as well as visitors, office workers and families.
Bayou Place is located at Smith and Texas Avenue.
Houston has an impressive 17-block Theater District, with a total of 12,000 seats. Only New York has more seats concentrated in one geographic area. It is also one of the few US cities with permanent ballet, opera, symphony orchestra and theater companies.