Architecture Walks

Next tour: Shadow Lawn and Waverly Court, Nov. 12

S.I. Morris House, Waverly Court (1952, S.I. Morris) / photo by Jim Parsons

S.I. Morris House, Waverly Court (1952, S.I. Morris) / photo by Jim Parsons

The area now known as the Museum District became one of the most fashionable parts of Houston in the 1920s thanks to the opening of Rice University, Hermann Park and the Museum of Fine Arts. As the area developed, swathes of prairie were divided into upscale neighborhoods that remain desirable nearly a century later.

This all-new docent-led walking tour will explore two of those neighborhoods: Shadow Lawn and Waverly Court. Both were built as upscale enclaves in the early 1920s, based on the “private place” neighborhoods of St. Louis. As well-to-do Houstonians moved to the new developments, they hired some of the city’s top architects to design their homes, including William Ward Watkin, John F. Staub and J.W. Northrop Jr. Later construction, including the mid-century homes of architects Anderson Todd and S.I. Morris, brought a contemporary touch to the area. These homes, and the stories of their builders and the design influences that shaped them, offer a fascinating look into Houston’s growth and developing 20th century architectural tastes.

Please note this is an exterior architecture tour only. The tour will not go inside any buildings. There are no public restrooms along the tour route.


Tickets will go on sale at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, November 12, in front of the home at 7 Shadow Lawn. Admission is $10 for the general public ($7 for Preservation Houston members and students with valid ID). Those who walk, ride a bike or use public transit to get to the tour will receive a $2 discount. Children 11 years old and under are admitted free. Tickets may be charged to Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover. The last tour group will leave just after 2 p.m. Advance reservations are not required for this tour.


Free street parking is available in the neighborhood; be sure to observe posted parking regulations and do not block access to driveways or front walks. Tour participants who walk, bike or use public transportation will receive a $2 discount off the tour price.


If inclement weather threatens on the day of the tour, watch this page for up-to-the-minute updates of any tour changes. You can also follow Preservation Houston on Twitter to receive tour updates.

About Architecture Walks

Explore Houston's architecturally and historically significant neighborhoods, buildings and institutions with Preservation Houston's monthly docent-guided walking tours. The tours are generally offered on the second Sunday of the month from January to November; tickets go on sale at 1:30 p.m. (6 p.m. June through September). Tours are open to the public. The cost is $10 per person ($7 for Preservation Houston members and students), with a $2 discount if you walk, bike or ride public transportation to the tour. Reservations aren't required unless specifically noted.

We also offer quarterly walking tours of Glenwood Cemetery (reservations are required; see our schedule of upcoming tours) as well as private tours for groups of nearly any size.

The Architecture Walks Program is supported in part by the Susan Vaughan Foundation and by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.