Beautiful City - Empty City Walking Tour with Stephen Fox

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October 15, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Cullen Center/KBR Tower Garage
701 Jefferson
Houston, TX 77002

Brought to you by the ArCH Exhibitions and Programs

Beautiful CityEmpty City Walking Tour with Stephen Fox
Sunday, October 15, 2pm

Join us for a walking tour exploring the buildings featured in ArCH’s current exhibition Beautiful City-Empty City.

Led by Architectural historian Stephen Fox, the tour will explore Houston’s downtown skyscrapers with an emphasis on Houston’s oil boom and financial institutions that support them.

Buildings include the Humble Building (now 800 Bell) built in 1963 as the headquarters for Humble Oil & Refining Co., currently known as Exxon. When completed, this was the tallest building west of the Mississippi and was the home of The Petroleum Club of Houston on the 43rd floor from 1963 until 2014.

Pennzoil Place (1976) two sleek 36 story towers 10 feet apart joined by a 115-foot-high glass atrium became the harbinger of a new generation of American skyscrapers and catapulted Houston developer Gerald Hines to national recognition as a patron of adventurous and profitable architecture.  The distinctive design jump started architect Philip Johnson’s second rise to fame (Johnson/Burgee Architects).   

The tour will also include One Shell Plaza, Electric Tower, RepublicBank Center (now TC Energy Center), and Bank of America Tower and more.

About Stephen Fox
Stephen Fox is an architectural historian and a lecturer at the Rice School of Architecture. He is also a lecturer at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston and a Fellow of the Anchorage Foundation of Texas. Fox’s work is focused on architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially that of Houston and Texas. In his scholarship he examines the ways that architecture engages such social constructs as class identity, cultural distinction, and regional differentiation.

About Beautiful CityEmpty City
Beautiful City—Empty City showcases the architectural photography by Leonid Furmansky shot in downtown Houston during the pandemic. Selected from a portfolio titled Oil Towers, these images depict the city we know so well as a mostly empty and evocative canvas for exploration. On view through January 19, 2023.