Houston's architectural design is a lot like its weather. Don't like it? Wait ten minutes. Or ten years, as in the case of the appropriately titled Centennial Tour, Rice Design Alliance's 2013 Architecture Tour. Ten mostly Inner Loop stops — each designed by grads of Rice University's esteemed Rice School of Architecture over the past 100 years — represent eye-catching residences ranging from Old Money-Traditional to Space City-Progressive. Included are projects from the prolific minds of Anderson Todd, Taft Architects, Nonya Grenader and William Ward Watkin — the same hand responsible for the design of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s earliest structures. In 1926, Watkin, who also helped design Rice Institute, designed the tour's sprawling five-bedroom/six-bath/8,532-square-foot mansion, located at 1318 North Boulevard. ''That one is the earliest house on the tour,'' says tour coordinator Mary Beth Woiccak. ''It has beautiful landscaping with lots of wood. And a secret room.'' Guests are invited to speculate what Watkin's big secret may have been, though. [SPOILER ALERT] Woiccak anticlimactically reveals: ''It's really just a storage closet.''
1 to 6 p.m. For information, call 713-348-4876 or visit ricedesignalliance.org. $15 to $25 for RDA members, $45 for nonmembers.
April 6-7, 2013