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Houston, Texas

Museum District

Houston’s Museum District is one of the city’s treasures. It encompasses more than 50 museums, art galleries, and other cultural institutions, as well as residential neighborhoods, commercial and office properties, parks, and the Houston Zoo.

In November 1988, in a move toward recognition and appreciation of its cultural assets, the city officially designated a large portion of the inner city as the Museum District. The district stretches roughly from Hermann Park north to Allen Parkway. Montrose, Brazos, and Almeda form the eastern boundary of the district, which extends as far west as Shepherd.

Some of the cultural amenities in the district include:

  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Contemporary Arts Museum
  • Cullen Sculpture Garden
  • Glassell School of Art
  • Museum of Natural Science
  • Menil Collection
  • The Rothko Chapel
  • The Children’s Museum
  • Clayton Library
  • Museum of Health and Medical Science
  • Burke Baker Planetarium
  • Miller Outdoor Theatre
  • Wortham IMAX Theatre
  • Holocaust Museum

Also adjacent to the Museum District is the world-renowned Texas Medical Center complex.

Some of the residential neighborhoods that make up the Museum District include Boulevard Oaks, Broadacres, Shadyside, Shadow Lawn, Edgemont, Windemere, Wessex, and Southgate. They offer a variety of architectural styles ranging from new construction to original homes that are being restored to preserve their architectural integrity. Prices range from $150,000 to $4 million.

A drive through the canopy of live oaks on streets such as Sunset Boulevard gives the feeling that one has returned to a better place and time.

These exclusive neighborhoods began to be developed shortly after the turn of the century, first with Courtlandt Place in 1906 and Shadyside in 1916. Intended as exclusive, restricted enclaves, they served as a magnet for further residential development. By the early 1920s the area, although flat and physically unprepossessing, had emerged as the center of residential development in Houston. Proximity to Rice Institute (opened in 1912), Hermann Park (donated in 1914), and the site of the Art League’s proposed museum (acquired in 1916) was a catalyst for home buyers.

Today the tradition of enrichment and fine living remains as artists, founding families and newcomers to the city all thrive together in this culturally-rich community.