HISTORY AND INNOVATION
Named after the state’s victorious General, the city of Houston serves as both heritage icon and “innovation station” for Texas. This historic-rich community provides ample opportunities to discover the past and the keystone events that continue to drive our future. The nineteen-acre Heritage Society museum complex is a good place to begin, exploring the General Sam Houston story as well as learning about early Texas colonists and industrialists. South of downtown, discover the Freedman’s Town Historic District, comprised of a forty-block residential area first platted for freed slave in 1867 and the city’s most prominent early African American enclave. Adjacent to the city center, Houston’s Museum District hosts world-class art collections, historical artifacts, and discoveries in science. The Project Row Houses, a community-building project of twenty-two renovated shotgun-style houses in another historic African American neighborhood, provides studio and exhibition space for local and visiting artists. Elsewhere, the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum highlights the military experience of the all-African American regiments who defended the frontier after the Civil War. Nearby Buffalo Bayou leads to the Mediterranean-style mansion of Miss Ima Hogg, daughter of the first Texas-born governor James S. Hogg. Ima’s affluent lineage and philanthropic bent resulted in the Bayou Bend Collection, a stunning group of art, antiques, and architecture gifted to the people of the state of Texas. But perhaps Houston’s greatest gift to Texans is the Johnson Space Center, a member of NASA’s network of sites propelling the nation into the future.
Houston boasts five state cultural districts designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Explore the Washington Avenue Arts District, Theatre District, Museum District, Midtown, and the Greater East End on your next visit!