The selection of exhibits at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts covers both modern and ancient art and represents the talent of artists from Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. You will find Frederic Remington's fine Western art mingling with medieval pieces and the work of early European masters. Paintings are abundant, but the lovely sculpture garden here is also worth viewing. Both the Glassell School of Art and the Hirsch Library for Art History call this museum home. Film buffs love the museum for its weekly showings of classic and foreign films. A gift shop and restaurant are both on hand to satisfy your hunger after a day of exploring.
The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers a wide variety of exhibits that are worthy of a full day's outing. The three-level live butterfly exhibit will fascinate visitors of any age, as will the dinosaur exhibit in the Morian Hall of Paleontology. The Wiess Energy Hall and the Hall of Gems and Minerals are also worth a visit. If you need a break, enjoy an IMAX film or sit in on one of Burke Baker Planetarium shows.
In his midnight millennium speech, Pope John Paul said the most defining elements of the 20th century were the rise and fall of two oppressive ideologies that victimized millions of people, Communism and Nazism. This museum is a tribute to the victims of the Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Through changing exhibits, films and lectures, it seeks to inform future generations of the racism of the holocaust and the horrifying results of hatred. In addition to exhibits, there is a library, theater and document archives.
The Children's Museum of Houston opened in 1984 and is devoted to teaching through interactive play. Galleries here cover subjects like history, culture, fine and performing arts, technology, science and geography. Adults are welcome to take a break in the Teacher and Family Resource Center where extra teaching materials are available to boost those creative juices. Lots of fun, educational toys are available in the gift shop and snacks are available to satisfy your hunger.
Spread over 1,620 acres (655 hectares) in Houston, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center is one of the main centers for spaceflight in the United States. Home to NASA's Astronaut Corps, it functioned as Mission Control during the Gemini and Apollo space shuttle programs. It was also the primary flight control center for all following manned space missions, including Apollo 11 which put the first man on the moon. The Lunar Receiving Center at JSC is where they store most of the samples from moon missions and astronaut training takes place at JSC as well. At the forefront of technological and space discovery, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center continues to push the boundaries of scientific achievement, as it has for over half a century.
Ever since the Apollo flights, Houston has been synonymous with space travel. Space Center Houston, of NASA's Johnson Space Center, allows visitors to study and understand the making of space history. Enter the five-story plaza which features a full-size shuttle mock-up, complete with a flight deck. By far, the most popular highlight for adults is the tram tour that takes you to various buildings throughout the Space Center. You will be able to have a seat in the viewing room of the original Mission Control room and stroll past full-size mock-ups of the original Apollo rockets. When you need a break from all the activity, the Zero-G diner is on hand to fix you right up.
One of the most iconic landmarks in the city, Bank of America Center stands tall in Houston concrete skyline. The brainchild of award-winning architect Philip Johnson and his partner, the building features Dutch Gothic designs and is a prime example of postmodern architecture. The 56 storey structure is one of the tallest buildings in the state, and is most noted for its unorthodox style. Widely used for commercial purposes, the building houses several private firms and services.
A prominent landmark in the city of Houston, Fulbright Tower glistens among the other structures of the cityscape. Towering at 725 feet (221 meters), this modern marvel is most noted for its uncanny design and awe-inspiring glass and concrete frame. Largely used for commercial purposes, the building offers several office spaces, service centers observation floors and more.
A part of the Houston Public Library, the Julia Ideson Library or Julia Ideson Building is a historic landmark in the downtown area. Named in honor of the city's first head librarian, this genteel Spanish Renaissance style structure showcase the grandeur of the 1920s when it was erected. The eight murals by Works Progress Administration (WPA) are worth a look inside. Besides being the base of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, it features an exhibit hall, a reading room and a lovely outdoor garden.
One of the oldest structures in the city, Willow Street Pump Station is etched into Houston's rich history. The red brick building was once a water and sewage treatment plant, and was once in sole control of the city's waste and recycling projects. Remodeled, restructured and modernized, the building is now been updated for contemporary use, although it still maintains much of is original features.
Firmly rooted in characteristic Southern culture, yet driven by a dizzying ambition that fits the imagery of what is Texas' largest city, Houston is a thrilling mix of old and new. Founded by entrepreneurs Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen, the city became a major hub of cotton export in the late 19th Century. After a major hurricane devastated the port city of Galveston, Houston began its efforts to construct a deep water bay to facilitate its own shipping industry, receiving one million dollars from Teddy Roosevelt to speed the process along. The city was also responsible for the proliferation of the Texas oil industry after a well struck in the nearby Spindletop oil field. Riddled with a barrage of historic accounts such as these since its inception, Houston now sweeps up visitors with its multicultural charm and keen artistic disciplines. With a stronghold on scientific development, the city has earned the moniker of 'Space City' with NASA's presence through the Johnson Space Center. Known for a booming entertainment scene, Houston balances its quintessential Southern spirit with the world's largest annual livestock and rodeo show. With spectacular global culinary establishments dotted in its famed districts like Chinatown, the city maintains its cultural diversity and high octane urban energy.
Established in 1896, Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is one of the oldest places of worship and also one with a unique history in the city. Known as the Sacred Heart Church in 1911, it was dedicated as a Co-Cathedral to help with the fast growing congregation of the diocese, especially in Houston. Though the original building no longer remains, the new cathedral building, completed in 2008 has won all-round accolades for its architectural beauty. Whether you're an architecture enthusiast or religiously inclined, church's interest-specific tours are an intriguing affair. Check website for more.