Houston Texas: The city of Houston covers a land area of 1397.6 sq
km (539.6 sq mi). Is the fourth largest city in America and Texas largest city in
population and is the largest in the country without zoning laws, so businesses are
allowed to operate within residential neighborhoods. The City of Houston actually
spreads over three counties: Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery. The city is in southeastern
Texas and the seat of Harris County. Located at the head of the Houston Ship Channel,
which links the city to the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston is also home to the largest health care center in
the world. More than 4.5 million patients are treated annually at the 42 nonprofit
institutions that comprise the world famous Texas Medical Center.
Houston's population climbed from 1,630,553 in 1990 to 1,953,631 in 2000. The Houston
Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area grew from 3,731,000 in 1990 to 4,670,000 in
largest medical center with 42 institutions.
2 Second largest port in the US in total tonnage.
3 Second largest theater district with four permanent resident
ballet, opera, symphony and theater companies.
4 Third largest consular corps in the US with 79 consulates 90
languages are spoken in Houston.
5 Fourth largest Museum District in the US with 6 million annual
6 Fourth largest airport system in the US
7 Fifth largest shopping center in the world.
8 Only city to have two retractable roof sports stadiums.
9 Home of Johnson Space Center
10 Restaurants number 5000 not including fast food.
City of Houston
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1562 Houston, Texas 77251
City Switchboard: 713-247-1000
Physical Address: 900 Bagby Houston, Texas 77002
Department: To request non-emergency police service for locations
within the city limits of Houston, dial 713 222-3131.
Fire Department: The Houston Fire Department was established in 1838 with
one station, Protection Company No. 1. It grew to a volunteer fire department status
with three stations by 1859. After having provided volunteer firefighting services for 57
years, the City of Houston Fire Department began paying its firefighters in 1895. HFD is
the third largest fire department in the United States and is responsible for
preserving life and property to a population of 1.8 million in an area totaling 617
square miles. phone Central Command 713 247-1837 EMS Division
713 865-4210 Fire Museum 2403 Milam Street 713 524-2526
Recruiting Office 1100 Elder Street 713 238-9661
Houston Public Libary Call (713) 236-1313 to ask a librarian the quick
answer to a question. The Telephone Reference service will help you during Central
Library day hours seven days a week. Answers to some frequently asked
questions are made available on recordings. For a list of recordings, dial (713)
247-3592. see map to
Houston Chronicle daily newspaper.
Monday - Tuesday - Wed - Thursday - Friday - Saturday - Sunday -
to subscribe call 713 220-7211 or 1-888-220-7211 during regular business hours.
Lawndale Art & Performance Center
Rice University Art Galleries
244 W. 19th St. (Heights)
Large eclectic gallery featuring hundreds of artists from around the country.
Art gallery & home accessories.
2426 Times Blvd. (in the Village)
Project Row Houses
Sally Sprout Gallery
The Alley Theater
Houston's first real theater venue.
Renowned for its creative and diverse programming of jazz and chamber music.
Houston Grand Opera
Theater Under the Stars
The largest non-profit producer of musical theater in America.
Wortham Theater Center
281 479 2431
The Art Car Museum
Located in the Houston Heights, a must see.
Newly restored home and gardens of famous Houston socialite Ima Hogg.
Children's Museum of Houston
A place to take the kids
Contempory Arts Museum
The Menil Collection
Museum of Fine Arts
1001 Bissonnet (at Main), Houston, Texas 77005
hours: Tuesday, Wednsady and Saturday 10 am to 7 pm
Thursday and Friday 10 am to 9 pm
Sunday 12:15 pm to 7 pm
713-526-1361 map to
Museum of fine Arts
Museum of Natural Science
San Jacinto Monument & Museum
The San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Park is 20 miles east of
downtown Houston. From Loop 610, take Texas Highway 225 East for eight miles. Exit on
Battleground Road and turn left. Street Address: One Monument Circle, La Porte, Texas
(281) 479-2421 map
to San Jacinto Monument
Places to go - things to see.
The worlds first domed stadium, known as "the eighth wonder of the world"
30 years ago, is now home to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo and other
special events. Daily tours. 8400 Kirby at Loop 610, 713-799-9500.
Downtown Houstons new entertainment complex is the largest of its kind in Texas,
with the Ariel Theater, the Angelika Film Center, and several restaurants, including
the Hard Rock Café, under one roof. 502 Texas Avenue, 713-230-1600.
The drive out to Brazos Bend State Park is worth the effort just to check out the heavens
on the gigantic 36-inch research telescope, but be sure to call for reservations.
Smaller telescopes are also available anytime. 21901 FM 762, Needville,
Galveston has more than beaches to offer our visitors. This renowned attraction offers the
new Aquarium Pyramid, the Rainforest Pyramid, a stunning IMAX Theater and the Palm
Beach Water Park. One Hope Blvd., 800-582-4673
NASAS Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston
For far-out fun, see actual spacecraft, like Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules; watch
astronauts train for upcoming shuttle missions; touch a moon rock; or walk in space
through state-of-the-art simulators. Space Center Houston is located at 1601
Nasa Rd, Houston, TX 77058, approximately 25 miles south of downtown Houston in the
NASA/Clear Lake area.
281-244-2100 map to Houston Space Center
also see: NASA - www.nasa.gov
Port of Houston
Make a reservation well in advance to board the Sam Houston for a free 90-minute
cruise around the Port and Ship Channel. Tour information: Gate 8, Wharf 7, 7600
Clinton Drive, 713-670-2576.
The Tunnel System
An interesting jaunt for a bad-weather day, Houstons sub-terranean tunnel
system connects 55 office buildings with a plethora of shops and services. Discover
Houston conducts private walking tours of this mind-boggling maze. 713-222-9255.
This renovated development on the Kemah channel to Galveston Bay is loaded with
family fun, though peak times are over-crowded. Known for its long row of seafood
eateries, it has now added a nostalgic amusement park, complete with a classic
Ferris wheel and carousel. #1 Kemah Waterfront, 281-334-2513.
Six Flags Astro World Water World
Family fun is also the order of the day at this 75-acre amusement park just
across Loop 610 from the Astrodome. Thrill rides include Tazs Texas Tornado
and the terrifying Dungeon Drop. The cool water park, conveniently situated next
door to Astro World, includes a 30,000-square-foot wave pool, a 900-foot lazy river
and water slides galore. 9001 Kirby, 713-799-1234.
Catch a wave north of town with 45 acres of fun, including 35 rides with wave pools, water
slides and kiddy sensations. 21300 North Interstate 45, 281-355-3300.
Perhaps Houston's most prestigious neighborhood, native Houstonians especially
will take notice of an R.O. address. Characterized by wide, oak lined streets and
beautiful mature landscape, River Oaks Boulevard and Kirby Drive are the main
thoroughfares and are graced with beautiful large estates. Home of the Azalea Trail
and the River Oaks Country Club, River Oaks is nestled between the Galleria and
Downtown. Memorial Park is just to the North. The upper Kirby Business District and
and West Gray areas provide many of Houston's trendiest restaurants and boutiques. For
mall shopping the mother of all malls - the Galleria is very nearby. Homes were
built here back to the 20's but there are new homes available also. Prices
range from $800,000 to multi-millions.
Houston history - events in time.
- 1836--On Apr. 21, General Sam
Houston's Texas army wins independence from Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto.
- 1836--Houston founded on Aug. 30 by
brothers Augustus C. and John K. Allen, who pay just over $1.40 per acre for 6,642
acres of land near the headwaters of Buffalo Bayou.
- 1836--Allen Brothers call on Gail Borden
(publisher, surveyor, and originator of condensed milk) and Thomas H. Borden to
survey and map the site. Gail Borden laid out the town's streets 80' wide, with the
principal east-west thoroughfare (Texas Avenue) 100' wide.
- 1837--General Sam Houston, first president
of the Republic of Texas, signs an act authorizing Houston to incorporate. Houston
was capital of the Republic from 1837 to 1840.
- 1837--The Laura is the first
steamship to visit Houston.
- 1840--On Apr. 4, seven Houston businessmen
form the Houston Chamber of Commerce.
- 1842--Texas' oldest newspaper, The
Galveston Daily News, starts publication.
- 1846--Texas becomes 28th state.
- 1850--First census after Texas joins the
Union counts 2,397 Houstonians. Galveston is the state's largest city.
- 1853--Houston's first railroad--the Buffalo
Bayou, Brazos & Colorado Railroad--begins operations.
- 1853--Texas Legislature appropriates $4,000
for Buffalo Bayou improvements.
- 1858--City pays $2,500 for land and
"good buildings" for a municipal hospital.
- 1861--Houston and Harris County vote to
secede from the Union. During the war, the closest fighting was at Galveston.
- 1866--First National Bank founded.
- 1868--First trolley cars (mule-drawn)
appear; first gaslights installed.
- 1870--Texas readmitted to the Union. 1870
census shows Houston's
population up to 9,332. Harris County's has reached 17,375, ranking it second in the
- 1870--Congress designates Houston a port;
first survey of Houston's proposed
ship channel conducted.
- 1872--Congress makes its first
appropriation--$10,000--for ship channel improvements.
- 1874--Houston Board of Trade and Cotton
- 1875--First grain elevator built on Houston
- 1877--Houston's first free public schools
- 1880--First telephone exchange
- 1880--Houston gets its first arc
- 1882--Houston Electric Light Co. organized.
Houston and New York were the first
cities to build electric power plants.
- 1897--Automobile first appears in Houston
as an advertising gimmick.
- 1899--First city park opens. (This
site--now Sam Houston Park--contains several of Houston's earliest buildings.)
- 1900--A devastating hurricane and tidal
wave strikes Galveston, costing some 8,000 lives and untold property damage.
- 1901--Houston Left Hand Fishing Club
purchases the city's first automobile.
- 1901--Oil discovered at Spindletop.
Spindletop, and later discoveries of oil at Humble in 1905 and Goose Creek in 1906, put
Houston in the center of new oil and oilfield equipment development.
- 1902--Congress appropriates $1 million for
work on the Houston Ship Channel.
- 1905--Houston has 80 automobiles.
- 1910--A group of Houston businessmen headed
by the Houston Chamber of Commerce proposes to Congress--and Congress accepts--a novel
plan to split ship channel development costs between Houston and the federal
- 1912--Rice Institute (now Rice University,
one of the nation's premier universities) begins classes.
- 1913--Houston Symphony established.
- 1914--25' deep Houston Ship Channel
completed and formally dedicated.
- 1915--First deep water vessel, the S.S.
Satilla, docks in Houston.
- 1920s-1930s--Oil refineries proliferate
along Ship Channel, taking advantage of inexpensive waterborne shipping.
- 1921--Houston adopts ordinance dedicating
tax monies to its library system.
- 1923--Second National Bank becomes
Houston's first air-conditioned building.
- 1924--The Museum of Fine Arts of Houston,
the first in Texas, opens.
- 1926--Natural gas first piped into
- 1927--Houston Junior College (now the
University of Houston) established.
- 1928--National Democratic Convention held
- 1929--City Planning Commission recommends
that Houston adopt a zoning ordinance, but finds scant support.
- 1930--Census ranks Harris County as state's
most populous at 292,352.
- 1932--First Houston Fat Stock Show &
Rodeo (now Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo) held.
- 1934--Intracoastal Canal links Houston to
Mississippi River navigation system.
- 1935--Braniff International inaugurates air
service to Houston.
- 1940s--Petrochemical complex develops,
taking feedstocks from nearby refineries.
- 1941--New master plan for Houston
thoroughfares emphasizes a loop system.
- 1943--Texas Medical Center founded.
- 1947--Legislature establishes Texas State
University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University).
- 1947--Alley Theatre established.
- 1947--Engineering begins on Gulf Freeway,
Texas' first freeway.
- 1948--Houston voters reject proposed zoning
- 1948--Dec. 31 annexation expands Houston's
area from 74.4 to 216 sq.mi.
- 1948--Port of Houston ranks second
nationally in total tonnage.
- 1949--KLEE-TV broadcasts first Houston
commercial TV program.
- 1953--KUHT-TV, the nation's first public
broadcast TV station, goes on the air.
- 1955--Houston Grand Opera Association
and Houston Ballet founded.
- 1955--Houston metro area population reaches
- 1962--NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center moves
- 1962--Houston voters reject proposed zoning
- 1965--First event held in Astrodome.
- 1969--Houston Intercontinental Airport
- 1969--"Houston" is the first word
spoken from the lunar surface.
- 1971--Shell Oil Co. relocates corporate
headquarters to Houston. More than 200 major firms moved headquarters, subsidiaries, and
divisions here in the 1970s.
- 1973--Arab oil embargo quadruples oil
prices in 90 days, fueling Houston's 1973-1981 economic boom.
- 1978--Voters approve and fund MTA.
- 1982--Employment peaks at 1,583,400 in Mar.
before onset of recession.
- 1983--155 office buildings completed.
- 1987--Trough of recession in Jan., with net
recession loss of 221,900 jobs.
- 1990--Houston recovery complete, with May
job count above Mar. 1982 level.
- 1990--Houston hosts 16th annual Economic
Summit of Industrialized Nations.
- 1991--Houston City Council mandates
development of first zoning regulations.
- 1992--Republican National Convention
held in Houston.
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