University of Houston Architecture and Public Art Walking Tour

GHPA will turn your eews into aahs with unknown facts about the Cougar campus

“When a lot of people hear the words ‘University of Houston campus,’ their first reaction is, ‘Eeewww,’” says Jim Parsons. “That shouldn’t be the case, though, because the campus really has a lot going for it.” And Parsons should know, as he’ll be one of the tour guides for today’s University of Houston Architecture and Public Art Walking Tour, brought to you by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. Parsons points out that despite “some regrettable stuff from the ‘60s and ‘70s,” the campus is filled with plenty of original art deco buildings as well as “some Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired architecture and Philip Johnson’s iconic Architecture -Building.”

Parsons says UH also has an underappreciated history, which includes the contributions of Houstonian Hugh Roy Cullen, who, even though he didn’t have a high school education, donated millions of dollars to UH. The tour will also cover UH’s crucial role in World World II. “UH was the home of several training institutes during World War II…About 33,000 people were trained at UH in war-related programs.” Anything else? “Yeah,” he says. “For example, did you know that UH may be the only university where the athletic teams were named after the school newspaper?” No, tell us more. “Well, come on the tour and you’ll hear the story.” See ya there, Parsons. Tickets go on sale at 5:30 p.m.; tour starts at 6 p.m. Fine Arts Park, 4800 Calhoun. For information, call 713-216-5000 or visit www.ghpa.org/tours. $7 to $10.
Sun., Sept. 14, 5:30 p.m., 2008

 
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