Photo by Norm Lanier

Have you seen Buffalo Bayou lately? I mean, really taken a good hard look at all the improvements to the otherwise pug-ugly river that ambles through downtown Houston on its way to the mighty Ship Channel? The City of Houston along with the Buffalo Bayou Partnership has given a facelift to a face only a mother could love; the bayou is looking downright fancy lately what with all the new lights and clean sidewalks.

Check it out yourself this weekend, during the AIA Houston walking tour of Buffalo Bayou. Not only does the tour cover the history of Buffalo Bayou—from Allen's Landing, where the Allen Brothers first concocted the grand lie that would sell Houston to clueless European immigrants, to how the destruction of Harrisburg during the Civil War allowed Houston to use the bayou to become the dominant shipping power in the area—the tour also covers modern-day improvements and what Houstonians can expect from Buffalo Bayou in the future.

And what would an AIA tour be without some architecture notes along the way? Your handy AIA tour guide likely knows everything about every building ever built in Houston—not just those along Buffalo Bayou. Try and stump them. Do it.

The tour starts at 10 a.m. and reservations are recommended. Reserve your spot and purchase a ticket online; tickets are $10 (or $5 for AIA Houston members). Although street parking is available, there is a two-hour limit during the day, and the walking tour will last roughly three hours. Since the tour meets at Market Square Park (301 Milam), your best bet is parking in the Market Square parking garage (300 Milam); it costs $5 for the day.

 

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