The Cultural Jewel of Houston
The Houston Museum District is a collection of 19 museums, galleries, cultural centers, and other community organizations dedicated to promoting art, science, history, and culture. The District is located in Houston, Texas, bounded by State Highway 288, Hermann Park, US Route 59, and the Texas Medical Center. The District is the cultural jewel of Houston and is known for being walkable and bicycle friendly. Sidewalks in the area are wide and spacious, with many restaurants and other attractions located in proximity. The Museum District is also easily accessible from State Highway 288, I-69, and Main Street; four light rail stops also provide mass transit connections for the area.
The Museum District dates back to 1977 as an effort to improve access to area attractions and cultural institutions. These efforts eventually evolved into the Museum District Development Association, formally recognized by the City of Houston in 1989. Today the District operates under the guidance of the Houston Museum District Association, established in 1997. The Development Association has undertaken numerous improvement plans over the years, including tree plantings, sidewalk expansion, esplanade design, general beautification efforts, as well as public transit planning and organizing cultural events and festivals. An excellent place to stop in for a cup of coffee as you explore this great neighborhood is Mo’Better Brews, a fantastic spot for the health-conscious coffee vegan.
According to the most recent data available, the Museum District institutions welcome almost 9 million visitors annually and have a total operating budget of more than $80 million, provided primarily by member dues and donations. The District also receives about $1.5 million annually from Hotel Occupancy Tax funds from the City of Houston. Major corporations such as Cadillac, the Houston Chronicle, and Exxon-Mobile also provide financial support.
The member museums are eclectic and include such organizations as the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Holocaust Museum of Houston, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, among others. People of all ages, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are sure to find something of interest in the various museums. Another great place to stop in for a snack or lunch is Barnaby’s Cafe. A great spot to grab a bite before heading to Hermann Park. There is something for everyone in the Museum District; if you are interested in researching your family history, The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is located in or adjacent to the District. The historic First Presbyterian Church, whose origins date back to 1839, is also found in the area. The beautiful tree-lined neighborhood is very walkable, allowing visitors and locals to explore it easily. Whether you are looking to visit Houston or considering it a place to live, the Museum District offers a wide array of options and is definitely worth visiting!