Houston City Hall - Houston, Texas
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member JimmyEv
N 29° 45.603 W 095° 22.151
15R E 270916 N 3294549
Quick Description: This 1939 creation of prolific Houston architect Joseph Finger is pure art-deco, sheathed in Texas Cordova Shell limestone, with windows set in vertical channels, and ornamented by intricate aluminum grilles and carved relief panels.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 9/26/2006 10:17:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMRF4
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 49

Long Description:
In 1925, Houston city leaders hatched a plan to build a ‘civic center’ on the western edge of downtown focused on Hermann Square. The civic center was to encompass a library, city hall, municipal auditorium, county courthouse and courts building. The Julia Ideson Library and municipal auditorium (Sam Houston Coliseum, now Bayou Place) were built, but construction of the remainder of the Civic Center became delayed by the Depression.

Fourteen years later, the US Public Works Administration, part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, funded a large portion of the construction of Houston’s City Hall. It was the last structure of the Civic Center that was to be realized. Joseph Finger, a prolific local architect, was hired to design the building. Finger based his design on the Racine County Courthouse in Racine, Wisconsin. The City Hall was built in true New Deal fashion – it is an art deco structure, sheathed in Texas Cordova Shell limestone, with windows set in vertical channels. Decorative ornamentation, from intricate aluminum grilles around the entries to carved relief panels, graces the building.

Remarkably (considering that this is still the home of Houston’s city government) the building, both the interior and exterior, have been little altered since 1939. The Houston Visitors Center is located on the first floor of the building. From the Visitors Center, you can access the beautifully decorated lobby. The floor and ceiling are ornamented with art-deco reliefs and framed by allegorical murals, a creation of Kansas City artist Daniel MacMorris.

Exterior relief

Inside the lobby, by Kansas City artist Daniel MacMorris
Street address:
901 Bagby
Houston, TX USA

County / Borough / Parish: Harris County

Year listed: 1990

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Government

Current function: City Hall

Privately owned?: no

Hours of operation: From: 7:00 AM To: 5:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

Secondary Website 2: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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