Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas

Infobox Settlement
official_name = City of Houston
settlement_type = City
nickname = Space City

imagesize =
image_caption =

#ifeq:Houston, Texas|Houston, Texas|Seal of Houston, Texas.png|

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location in the state of Texas

mapsize1 = 250px
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = Counties
subdivision_name = United States of America
subdivision_name1 = Texas
subdivision_name2 = Harris
Fort Bend
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Bill White
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_sq_mi = 601.7
area_total_km2 = 1558
area_land_sq_mi = 579.4
area_land_km2 = 1501
area_water_sq_mi = 22.3
area_water_km2 = 57.7
population_as_of July 1, 2007 (http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2007-01.xls)
population_as_of = 2007
population_footnotes = [cite web | url=http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/SAFFPopulation?_event=ChangeGeoContext&geo_id=16000US4835000&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US48%7C16000US4835000&_street=&_county=Houston%2C+Tx&_cityTown=Houston2C+Tx&_state=&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=geoSelect&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=010&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=link| title=US Census Bureau Population Finder: Houston city, TX | publisher=factfinder.census.gov | accessdate=2006-02-22] [cite web | url=http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2007/cb07-91table1.pdf | title= Population Estimates for the 25 Largest U.S. Cities based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates | publisher=www.census.gov | accessdate=2007-06-28|format=PDF] |population_total = 2,208,180 (4th)
population_urban = 3,822,509
population_metro = 5,628,101 (6th Largest)
population_density_sq_mi = 3,828
population_density_km2 = 1,471
population_blank1_title = Demonym
population_blank1 = Houstonian
timezone = CST
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
postal_code_type =
postal_code =
area_code = 713, 281, 832
latd = 29 |latm = 45 |lats = 46 |latNS = N
longd = 95 |longm = 22 |longs = 59 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 13
elevation_ft = 43
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = June 5, 1837
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 48-35000GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1380948GR|3
website = [http://www.houstontx.gov/ houstontx.gov]
footnotes =

Houston (pron-en|ˈhjuːstən) is the fourth-largest city in the United States of America and the largest city within the state of Texas. As of the 2006 U.S. Census estimate, the city has a population of 2.2 million within an area of 600 square miles (1,600 km²). Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of the nowrap|Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area—the nowrap|sixth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of around 5.6 million.

Houston was founded on August 30, 1836 by brothers Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allencite web|accessdate=2008-06-01
url= http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/hdh3.html
title="Houston, Texas"
date=January 19, 2008
author=McComb, David G.
work=Handbook of Texas Online
] on land near the banks of nowrap|Buffalo Bayou. The city was incorporated on June 5, 1837 and named after then-President of the Republic of Texas—former General Sam Houston—who had commanded at the Battle of San Jacinto, which took place 25 miles (40 km) east of where the city was established. The burgeoning port and railroad industry, combined with oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city's population. In the mid-twentieth century, Houston became the home of the Texas Medical Center—the world's largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions—and NASA's Johnson Space Center, where the Mission Control Center is located.

Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. Commercially, Houston is ranked as a gamma world city, and the area is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. The Port of Houston ranks first in the United States in international waterborne tonnage handled and second in total cargo tonnage handled. [http://www.aapa-ports.org/files/Statistics/2004%5FUS%5FPORT%5FCARGO%5FTONNAGE%5FRANKINGS.xls U.S. Port Ranking by Cargo Volume 2004] . Port Industry Information, "American Association of Port Authorities". 2004. Retrieved on 2007-01-15.] The city has a multicultural population with a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of few U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts."PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/20AW005.pdf Museums and Cultural Arts] |31.8 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.]


In August 1836, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen, two real estate entrepreneurs from New York City, purchased 6,642 acres (27 km²) of land along Buffalo Bayou with the intent of founding a city.cite news|title=Brief history of Houston|last=Coutinho|first=Juliana|url=http://www.stp.uh.edu/vol66/13/news/news-index.html|work=The Daily Cougar|date=2000-09-13|accessdate=2007-02-06] The Allen brothers decided to name the city after Sam Houston, the popular general at the Battle of San Jacinto, who was elected President of Texas in September 1836.

Houston was granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, with James S. Holman becoming its first mayor. [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/HH/hdh3.html Houston, Texas] . "Handbook of Texas Online". Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] In the same year, Houston became the county seat of Harrisburg County (now Harris County) and the temporary capital of the Republic of Texas.cite journal
last = Looscan
first = Adele B.
title = Harris County, 1822–1845
journal = Southwestern Historical Quarterly
volume = 19
pages = 37–64
year= 1916
url = http://dev.tsha.utexas.edu/publications/journals/shq/online/v019/n1/article_4.html
accessdate = 2007-02-07
] In 1840, the community established a chamber of commerce in part to promote shipping and waterborne business at the newly created port on Buffalo Bayou. [ [http://www.houstontx.gov/hr/savvypages/sum06/sum06_heritage.htm Born on the Bayou: city's murky start] . John Perry, City Savvy Online Edition. Published Summer 2006. Retrieved on 2007-02-06] By 1860, Houston had emerged as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. Railroad spurs from the Texas inland converged in Houston, where they met rail lines to the ports of Galveston and Beaumont. During the American Civil War, Houston served as a headquarters for General John Bankhead Magruder, who used the city as an organization point for the Battle of Galveston.cite book|last=Cotham|first=Edward T.|title=Sabine Pass: The Confederacy's Thermopylae|year=2004|publisher=University of Texas Press|location=Austin, Texas|id=ISBN 0-292-70594-8] After the Civil War, Houston businessmen initiated efforts to widen the city's extensive system of bayous so the city could accept more commerce between downtown and the nearby port of Galveston. By 1890 Houston was the railroad center of Texas.

In 1900, after Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane, efforts to make Houston into a viable deepwater port were accelerated. [ [http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/governors/rising/sayers-galv.html J.H.W. Stele to Sayers, September 11-12, 1900] . "Texas State Library & Archives Commission", Retrieved on August 31, 2007] The following year, oil discovered at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont prompted the development of the Texas petroleum industry. [cite book|title=Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1895–1945|last=Olien|first=Diana Davids|coauthors=Olien, Roger M.|year=2002|publisher=University of Texas Press|location=Austin, Texas|id=ISBN 0-292-76056-6] In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt approved a $1 million improvement project for the Houston Ship Channel. By 1910 the city's population had reached 78,800, almost doubling from a decade before. An integral part of the city were African Americans, who numbered 23,929 or nearly one-third of the residents. [cite web|url=http://www.houstonhistory.com/decades/history5h.htm|title=Marvin Hurley, 1910-1920, Houston History|accessdate=2008-04-06] They were developing a strong professional class based then in the Fourth Ward.

President Woodrow Wilson opened the deepwater Port of Houston in 1914, seven years after digging began. By 1930, Houston had become Texas's most populous city and Harris the most populous county. [cite journal
last = Gibson
first = Campbell
title = Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990
journal = Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau
publisher = U.S. Census Bureau
month= June | year= 1998
url = http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0027.html
accessdate = 2007-02-06
] When World War II started, tonnage levels at the port decreased and shipping activities were suspended; however, the war did provide economic benefits for the city. Petrochemical refineries and manufacturing plants were constructed along the ship channel because of the demand for petroleum and synthetic rubber products during the war. [cite web
title = Houston Ship Channel
work = TSHA Handbook of Texas
url = http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/HH/rhh11.html
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] Ellington Field, initially built during World War I, was revitalized as an advanced training center for bombardiers and navigators. [cite web
last = Carlson
first = Erik
title = Ellington Field: A Short History, 1917–1963
work = National Aeronautics and Space Administration
month= February | year= 1999
url = http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/history/ellington/Ellington.pdf
accessdate = 2007-02-18|format=PDF
] The M. D. Anderson Foundation formed the Texas Medical Center in 1945. After the war, Houston's economy reverted to being primarily port-driven. In 1948, several unincorporated areas were annexed into the city limits, which more than doubled the city's size, and Houston proper began to spread across the region. [cite web
last = Streetman
first = Ashley
title = Houston Timeline
work = Houston Institute for Culture
url = http://www.houstonculture.org/resources/houstontime.html
accessdate = 2007-02-06

In 1950, the availability of air conditioning provided impetus for many companies to relocate to Houston resulting in an economic boom and producing a key shift in the city's economy toward the energy sector. [ [http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/725.shtml How Air Conditioning Changed America] . "The Old House Web", Retrieved on April 4, 2007] [ [http://www.hgs.org/en/articles/printview.asp?26 A Short History] . "Houston Geological Auxiliary", Retrieved on April 4, 2007]

The increased production of the local shipbuilding industry during World War II spurred Houston's growth, [cite web
title = Shipbuilding
work = TSHA Handbook of Texas
url = http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/SS/ets3.html
accessdate = 2007-02-18
] as did the establishment in 1961 of NASA's "Manned Spacecraft Center" (renamed the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1973), which created the city's aerospace industry. The Astrodome, nicknamed the "Eighth Wonder of the World," [cite news
last = Barks
first = Joseph V.
title = Powering the (New and Improved) "Eighth Wonder of the World"
work = Electrical Apparatus
date= November 2001
url = http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3726/is_200111/ai_n9011574
accessdate = 2007-01-16
] opened in 1965 as the world's first indoor domed sports stadium.

During the late 1970s, Houston experienced a population boom as people from Rust Belt states moved to Texas in large numbers. [cite web | url=http://www.texasalmanac.com/culture/groups/polish.html | title=Polish-Texans | work=Texas Almanac 2004-2005 | accessdate=2007-02-06] The new residents came for the numerous employment opportunities in the petroleum industry, created as a result of the Arab Oil Embargo.

The population boom ended abruptly in the mid-1980s, as oil prices fell precipitously. The space industry also suffered in 1986 after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch. The late 1980s saw a recession adversely affect the city's economy.

Since the 1990s, as a result of the recession, Houston has made efforts to diversify its economy by focusing on aerospace and health care/biotechnology and by reducing its dependence on the petroleum industry. In 1997, Houstonians elected Lee P. Brown as the city's first African American mayor. [cite web | url=http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/biography.asp?bioindex=937&category=politicalMakers | title=Lee P. Brown - Biography | work=TheHistoryMakers.com | accessdate=2007-01-22]

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison dumped up to convert|37|in|mm of rain on parts of Houston, causing the worst flooding in the city's history; the storm cost billions of dollars in damage and killed 20 people in Texas. [cite news|title=Allison's Death Toll Hits 43|last=Ward|first=Christina|url=http://www.redcross.org/news/ds/floods/010618houston.html|work=RedCross.org|date=2001-06-18|accessdate=2007-01-01] Many neighborhoods and communities have changed since the storm. By December of that same year, Houston-based energy company Enron collapsed into the second-largest ever U.S. bankruptcy during an investigation surrounding fabricated partnerships that were allegedly used to hide debt and inflate profits.

In August 2005, Houston became a shelter to more than 150,000 people from New Orleans who evacuated from Hurricane Katrina. [cite news
title = Katrina's Human Legacy
work = Houston Chronicle
date= 2006-08-27
url = http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2006_4178618
accessdate = 2007-08-29
] One month later, approximately 2.5 million Houston area residents evacuated when Hurricane Rita approached the Gulf Coast, leaving little damage to the Houston area. This event marked the largest urban evacuation in the history of the United States. [cite news
last = Flakus
first = Greg
title = Recovery Beginning in Areas Affected by Hurricane Rita
work = Voice of America News
date= 2005-09-25
url = http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-09/2005-09-25-voa33.cfm
accessdate = 2007-01-10
] [ [http://www.house.gov/brady/2007_appropriations.shtml 8th Congressional District of Texas 2007 Appropriations Project Requests] . Congressman Kevin Brady, 8th District of Texas. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 601.7 square miles (1,558.4 km²); this comprises 579.4 square miles (1,500.7 km²) of land and 22.3 square miles (57.7 km²) of water.Most of Houston is located on the gulf coastal plain, and its vegetation is classified as temperate grassland and forest. Much of the city was built on forested land, marshes, swamp, or prairie, which are all still visible in surrounding areas. Flatness of the local terrain, when combined with urban sprawl, has made flooding a recurring problem for the city. [ [http://www.crwr.utexas.edu/gis/gishyd98/class/trmproj/ahrens/prepro.htm Flood Forecasting for the Buffalo Bayou Using CRWR-PrePro and HEC-HMS] . "Center for Research in Water Resources, The University of Texas at Austin" Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] Downtown stands about 50 feet (15 m) above sea level, [ [http://www.topoquest.com/map.asp?lat=29.75737&lon=-95.36387&size=m&u=4&datum=nad27&layer=DRG&s=100 Downtown Houston, Texas] . "TopoQuest.com" Retrieved on 2008-07-05.] and the highest point in far northwest Houston is about 125 feet (38 m) in elevation. [ [http://www.topoquest.com/map.asp?lat=29.96645&lon=-95.56326&size=l&datum=nad83&layer=DRG&s=100 USGS Satsuma (TX) Topo Map] . "TopoQuest.com". 2008. Retrieved on 2008-07-05. "Note:" "The boundaries of the City of Houston are shown as "HOUSTON CORP BDY" along the dotted line."] [ [http://www.houstontx.gov/planning/suprnbhds/landuse/sn1lu.html Super Neighborhood# 1-Willowbrook] . "City of Houston". Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] The city once relied on groundwater for its needs, but land subsidence forced the city to turn to ground-level water sources such as Lake Houston and Lake Conroe.PDFlink| [http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1182/pdf/07Houston.pdf HOUSTON-GALVESTON, TEXAS Managing Coastal Subsidence] |5.89 MB. "United States Geological Survey". Retrieved on 2007-01-11.]

Houston has four major bayous passing through the city. Buffalo Bayou runs through downtown and the Houston Ship Channel, and has three tributaries: White Oak Bayou, which runs through the Heights neighborhood and towards downtown; Braes Bayou, which runs along the Texas Medical Center; and Sims Bayou, which runs through the south of Houston and downtown Houston. The ship channel continues past Galveston and then into the Gulf of Mexico.


Underpinning Houston's land surface are unconsolidated clays, clay shales, and poorly-cemented sands up to several miles deep. The region's geology developed from river deposits formed from the erosion of the Rocky Mountains. These sediments consist of a series of sands and clays deposited on decaying organic matter that, over time, transformed into oil and natural gas. Beneath the layers of sediment is a water-deposited layer of halite, a rock salt. The porous layers were compressed over time and forced upward. As it pushed upward, the salt dragged surrounding sediments into salt dome formations, often trapping oil and gas that seeped from the surrounding porous sands. The thick, rich, sometimes black, surface soil is suitable for rice farming in suburban outskirts where the city continues to grow. [ [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/HH/hch7.html Harris County] . "Handbook of Texas Online." Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] [ [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/RR/afr1.html RICE CULTURE] . "Handbook of Texas Online." Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]

The Houston area has over 150 active faults (estimated to be 300 active faults) [Richard Engelkeimer, Shuhab Khan, Carl Norman. "PDFlink| [http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2006/06086gcags_sec_abs/images/abstract.engelkemeir.et.al.pdf Mapping Active Faults in the Houston area Using LIDAR] |775 KB", "University of Houston". Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] with an aggregate length of up to 310 miles (500 km), [Earl R. Verbeek, Karl W. Ratzlaff, Uel S. Clanton. " [http://pubs.usgs.gov/mf-maps/mf1136/mf1136/ Faults in Parts of North-Central and Western Houston Metropolitan Area, Texas] ", "United States Geological Survey", 2005-09-16. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] [ [http://www.geotecheng.com/gd_geological_faults_enlarged_map.html Principal Active Faults. Houston Area, Texas] , "U.S. Department of Agriculture", May 1984. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] including the Long Point-Eureka Heights Fault System which runs through the center of the city. There have been no significant historically recorded earthquakes in Houston, but researchers do not discount the possibility of such quakes occurring in the deeper past, nor in the future. Land in some communities southeast of Houston is sinking because water has been pumped out from the ground for many years. It may be associated with slip along faults; however, the slippage is slow and not considered an earthquake, where stationary faults must slip suddenly enough to create seismic waves. [ [http://www.ig.utexas.edu/research/projects/eq/faq/tx.htm Texas Earthquakes] , "University of Texas Institute for Geophysics", July 2001. Retrieved on 2007-08-29.] These faults also tend to move at a smooth rate in what is termed "fault creep," which further reduces the risk of an earthquake.


Houston's climate is classified as humid subtropical ("Cfa" in ). Spring supercell thunderstorms sometimes bring tornadoes to the area. Prevailing winds are from the south and southeast during most of the year, bringing heat across the continent from the deserts of Mexico and moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. [Cite web
title = Weather Stats
work = Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
accessdate = 2008-10-11
url = http://www.visithoustontexas.com/media/statistics/Houston_Stats_Weather

During the summer months, it is common for the temperature to reach over 90 °F (32 °C), with an average of 99 days per year above 90 °F (32 °C). [" [http://www.weather.com/activities/other/other/weather/climo-monthly-graph.html?locid=USTX0617 Monthly Averages for Houston, Texas] ", "The Weather Channel". Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] [" [http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/max90temp.html National Climatic Data Center] ", "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, United States Department of Commerce", 2004-06-23. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] However, the humidity results in a heat index higher than the actual temperature. Summer mornings average over 90 percent relative humidity and approximately 60 percent in the afternoon. [" [http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/rh.html Average Relative Humidity] ", "Department of Meteorology at the University of Utah". Retrieved on 2006-12-14.] Winds are often light in the summer and offer little relief, except near the immediate coast. [ [http://www.met.utah.edu/jhorel/html/wx/climate/windavg.html WIND - AVERAGE SPEED (mph)] . "Department of Meteorology, University of Utah." 1993. Retrieved on 2007-01-10] To cope with the heat, people use air conditioning in nearly every vehicle and building in the city; in fact, in 1980 Houston was described as the "most air-conditioned place on earth". [ [http://www.nbm.org/blueprints/90s/summer92/contents/contents.htm A MOMENT IN BUILDING] . "BLUEPRINTS", Volume X, Number 3, Summer 1992. National Building Museum. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] Scattered afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Houston was 109 °F (43 °C) on September 4, 2000. [" [http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KIAH/2000/9/4/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA History for Houston Intercontinental, Texas on Monday, September 4, 2000] ", "Weather Underground", 2000-09-04. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.]

Winters in Houston are fairly temperate. The average high in January, the coldest month, is 63 °F (17 °C), while the average low is 45 °F (7 °C). Snowfall is generally rare. The last snowstorm to hit Houston was on December 24, 2004. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Houston was 5 °F (−15 °C) on January 23, 1940. [ [http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/climate/iah/normals/iah_summary.htm Houston Extremes Data and Annual Summaries] . "National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration". Published 2007-01-05. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] Houston receives a high amount of rainfall annually, averaging about 48 inches a year. These rains tend to cause floods over portions of the city.

Houston has excessive ozone levels and is ranked among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States. [" [http://lungaction.org/reports/sota05_analysis4.html State of the Air 2005, National and Regional Analysis ] ", "American Lung Association", 2005-03-25. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.] Ground-level ozone, or smog, is Houston’s predominant air pollution problem, with the American Lung Association rating the metropolitan area's ozone level as the 6th worst in the United States in 2006. [" [http://lungaction.org/reports/sota06_cities.html#table2b State of the Air 2006, 25 Most Ozone-Polluted Cities ] ", "American Lung Association". Retrieved on 2006-04-02.] The industries located along the ship channel are a major cause of the city's air pollution. [" [http://www.cleanhouston.org/air/index.htm Summary of the Issues] ", "Citizens League for Environmental Action Now ", 2004-08-01. Retrieved on 2006-02-17.] Infobox Weather
single_line= Yes
location = Houston
Jan_Hi_°F = 62.3 |Jan_REC_Hi_°F = 84
Feb_Hi_°F = 66.5 |Feb_REC_Hi_°F = 91
Mar_Hi_°F = 73.3 |Mar_REC_Hi_°F = 96
Apr_Hi_°F = 79.1 |Apr_REC_Hi_°F = 95
May_Hi_°F = 85.5 |May_REC_Hi_°F = 99
Jun_Hi_°F = 90.7 |Jun_REC_Hi_°F = 103
Jul_Hi_°F = 93.6 |Jul_REC_Hi_°F = 105
Aug_Hi_°F = 93.5 |Aug_REC_Hi_°F = 107
Sep_Hi_°F = 88.9 |Sep_REC_Hi_°F = 109
Oct_Hi_°F = 82.0 |Oct_REC_Hi_°F = 97
Nov_Hi_°F = 72.0 |Nov_REC_Hi_°F = 90
Dec_Hi_°F = 64.6 |Dec_REC_Hi_°F = 85
Year_Hi_°F = 79.4 |Year_REC_Hi_°F = 109
Jan_Lo_°F = 41.2 |Jan_REC_Lo_°F = 5
Feb_Lo_°F = 44.3 |Feb_REC_Lo_°F = 14
Mar_Lo_°F = 51.3 |Mar_REC_Lo_°F = 22
Apr_Lo_°F = 57.9 |Apr_REC_Lo_°F = 31
May_Lo_°F = 66.1 |May_REC_Lo_°F = 44
Jun_Lo_°F = 71.8 |Jun_REC_Lo_°F = 52
Jul_Lo_°F = 73.5 |Jul_REC_Lo_°F = 62
Aug_Lo_°F = 73.0 |Aug_REC_Lo_°F = 60
Sep_Lo_°F = 68.4 |Sep_REC_Lo_°F = 46
Oct_Lo_°F = 58.8 |Oct_REC_Lo_°F = 29
Nov_Lo_°F = 49.8 |Nov_REC_Lo_°F = 19
Dec_Lo_°F = 42.8 |Dec_REC_Lo_°F = 7
Year_Lo_°F = 58.2 |Year_REC_Lo_°F = 5
Jan_Precip_inch = 3.68
Feb_Precip_inch = 2.98
Mar_Precip_inch = 3.36
Apr_Precip_inch = 3.60
May_Precip_inch = 5.15
Jun_Precip_inch = 5.35
Jul_Precip_inch = 3.18
Aug_Precip_inch = 3.83
Sep_Precip_inch = 4.33
Oct_Precip_inch = 4.50
Nov_Precip_inch = 4.19
Dec_Precip_inch = 3.69
Year_Precip_inch = 47.84
source =National Weather Servicecite web
url =http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx/climate/iah.htm | title = National Weather Service Forecast Office Houston/Galveston, Texas: Houston (Intercontinental Airport) Climate Data "(see: "Normals, Means and Extremes")"| accessmonthday =June 30 | accessyear =2008
publisher = | language =
accessdate = June 2008


Houston was incorporated in 1837 under the ward system of representation. The ward designation is the progenitor of the nine current-day Houston City Council districts. Locations in Houston are generally classified as either being inside or outside the Interstate 610 Loop. The inside encompasses the central business district and many residential neighborhoods that predate World War II. More recently, high-density residential areas have been developed within the loop. The city's outlying areas, suburbs and enclaves are located outside of the loop. Beltway 8 encircles the city another 5 miles (8 km) farther out.

Though Houston is the largest city in the United States without formal zoning regulations, it has developed similarly to other Sun Belt cities because the city's land use regulations and legal covenants have played a similar role. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DEFDB103FF934A2575BC0A960948260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print FOCUS: Houston; A Fresh Approach To Zoning - New York Times ] ] Cite web
title = Zoning Without Zoning
work = planetizen.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.planetizen.com/node/109
] Regulations include mandatory lot size for single-family houses and requirements that parking be available to tenants and customers. Such restrictions have had mixed results. Though some have blamed the city's low density, urban sprawl, and lack of pedestrian-friendliness on these policies, the city's land use has also been credited with a bounty of affordable housing, sparing Houston the worst effects of the 2008 real estate crisis. [Cite web|title = Lack of zoning has paid off for Houston|work=chron.com|accessdate=2008-07-25|url=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/steffy/5804649.html]

Voters rejected efforts to have separate residential and commercial land-use districts in 1948, 1962, and 1993. Consequently, rather than a single central business district as the center of the city's employment, multiple districts have grown throughout the city in addition to downtown which include Uptown, Texas Medical Center, Midtown, Greenway Plaza, Energy Corridor, Westchase, and Greenspoint.

Government and politics

The city of Houston has a strong mayoral form of municipal government. [http://www.houstontx.gov/controller/cafr/cafr2.html Summary of Significant Accounting Policies] . Office of the Controller, City of Houston. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] Houston is a home rule city and all municipal elections in the state of Texas are nonpartisan. [ [http://texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu/html/part/0602.html 6.2 Run for Party Nomination to Public Office] . Texas Politics, Liberal Arts Technology Instruction Services, "University of Texas". 2005. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] The City's elected officials are the mayor, city controller and 14 members of the city council. [http://www.houstontx.gov/council/index.html City Council] . "City of Houston." 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. ] As of 2007, the mayor of Houston is William "Bill" White, a Democrat elected on a nonpartisan ballot who is serving his third and final term (due to term limits). Houston's mayor serves as the city's chief administrator, executive officer, and official representative. He is responsible for the general management of the city and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. [http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/index.html Mayor's Office] . 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. ] As the result of a 1991 referendum in Houston, a mayor is elected for a two-year term, and can be elected to as many as three consecutive terms.

The current city council line-up of nine district based and five at large positions was based on a U.S. Justice Department mandate which took effect in 1979. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,948775,00.html Strong Currents of Change] . "Time Magazine." Published 1979-11-19. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] At-large council members represent the entire city. Under the current city charter, if the population in the city limits goes past 2.1 million residents, the current nine-member city council districts will be expanded with the addition of two city council districts. [Cite web
title = City Council may grow by two seats, Houston Chronicle
author = Matt Stiles
work = chron.com
date = 2006-08-10
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2006_4168311

The city of Houston has been criticized for running the worst recycling program among the United States' 30 largest cities. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/29recycle.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=houston%20recycling&st=cse&oref=slogin Houston Resists Recycling, and Independent Streak Is Cited,] by Adam B. Ellick, "New York Times", July 29, 2008.] In October 2008, the city will initiate a program where it will recycle heavy organic yard waste which is expected to salvage convert|90000|ST|metric ton annually, enough to fill the Chase Tower, the city's tallest structure. [Cite web
title = Houston Resists Recycling, and Independent Streak Is Cited
work = nytimes.com
author = Adam B. Ellick
date = 2008-07-29
accessdate = 2008-07-29
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/us/29recycle.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&sq=houston%20recycling&st=cse&scp=1


Criminal law is enforced by the Houston Police Department. Houston's murder rate ranked 46th of U.S. cities with a population over 250,000 in 2005 (per capita rate of 16.3 murders per 100,000 population). ["PDFlink| [http://www.morganquitno.com/cit05r.pdf Murder Rate in 2005] |30.4 KB," "Morgan Quitno". Retrieved on November 29, 2006.] The city's murder rate, however, ranked 3rd among U.S. cities with a population of 1,000,000 or more. Even those statistics were thrown into dispute after local TV news investigator Mark Greenblatt found the Houston Police Department under-counted 2005 homicides. Officially counting just two more of the city's murders would have bumped up the city's murder rate to second place. [http://www.khou.com/news/defenders/investigate/stories/khou071119_tj_murdercount.1d78917e.html]

While nonviolent crime in the city dropped by 2 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, the number of homicides rose by 23.5 percent. Since 2005, Houston has been experiencing a spike in crime, which is due in part to an influx of people from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.cite news
last = Leahy
first = Jennifer
title = Homicide rate on track to be worst in a decade - Evacuees play large role in the rise, police say
work = Houston Chronicle
date = 2006-10-21
url = http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hurricane/4277375.html
accessdate = 2007-02-06
] After Katrina, Houston's murder rate increased 70 percent in November and December 2005 compared to levels in 2004. The city recorded 336 murders in 2005,Villafranca, Armando. " [http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2006_4235150 Houston violent crime to be studied] ", "Houston Chronicle", November 23, 2006, p. 3. Retrieved 2006-12-17.] compared to 272 in 2004. ["PDFlink| [http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_information/2004CIT.pdf Crime in Texas: 2004] |193 KB", Texas Department of Public Safety, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-17.]

Houston's homicide rate per 100,000 residents increased from 16.33 in 2005 to 17.24 in 2006. [ O'Hare, Peggy. "waybackdate|site=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/metro/4437025.html|title=City sees 13.5% rise in slayings for 2006|date=20070115014451", "Houston Chronicle", 2007-01-01. Retrieved on January 1, 2007 ] The number of murders in the city increased to 379 in 2006. In 1996, there were about 380 gangs with 8,000 members; of which 2,500 were juveniles. [Cite web
title = Houston's gang-related crimes show decrease, according to survey
work = chron.com, Houston Chronicle
author = Lisa Teachey
date = 1996-06-21
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1996_1349102


Houston is recognized worldwide for its energy industry — particularly for oil and natural gas — as well as for biomedical research and aeronautics. The ship channel is also a large part of Houston's economic base. Because of these strengths, Houston is designated as a gamma world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network. [" [http://www.lboro.ac.uk/gawc/citylist.html Inventory of World Cities] ", "Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.]

Five of the six supermajor energy companies maintain a large base of operations in Houston (international headquarters of ConocoPhillips; US operational headquarters of Exxon-Mobil; US headquarters for international companies Shell Oil (US subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell located in The Hague, Netherlands), and British Petroleum whose international headquarters are in London, England). Specifically, the headquarters of Shell Oil Company, the US affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell, is located at One Shell Plaza. While ExxonMobil maintains its small, global headquarters in Irving, Texas, its upstream and chemical divisions as well as most operational divisions, are located in Houston. Chevron has offices in Houston, having acquired a 40 story building intended to be the headquarters of Enron. [Cite web
title = Chevron Picks Former Enron Building for Consolidation Site
work = allbusiness.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities-commercial-real-estate/4408803-1.html
] The company's Chevron Pipe Line Company subsidiary is headquartered in Houston, and more divisions are being consolidated and moved to Houston each year. [Cite web
title = Chevron Pipe Line Company
work = chevron-pipeline.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.chevron-pipeline.com/
] Houston is headquarters for the Marathon Oil Corporation, Apache Corporation, and Citgo.

Greater Houston is a leading center for building oilfield equipment. ["PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/16BW015.pdf Energy: Largest Houston Area Oilfield Equipment and Service Companies] |24.8 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2007-10-14.] Much of Houston's success as a petrochemical complex is due to its busy man-made ship channel, the Port of Houston. ["PDFlink| [http://www.portofhouston.com/pdf/pubaffairs/POHA-firsts.pdf Port of Houston Firsts] |18.2 KB", "The Port of Houston Authority", 2007-05-15. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.] The port ranks first in the United States in international commerce, and is the tenth-largest port in the world. [" [http://www.portofhouston.com/geninfo/overview1.html General Information] ", "The Port of Houston Authority", 2007-05-15. Retrieved on 2007-05-27.] Unlike most places, where high oil and gasoline prices are seen as harmful to the economy, they are generally seen as beneficial for Houston as many are employed in the energy industry. [cite news
last = Bustillo
first = Miguel
title = Houston is Feeling Energized
work = Los Angeles Times
date = 2006-12-28
url = http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/columnone/la-na-houston28dec28,1,6780480.story?page=1&coll=la-headlines-columnone
accessdate = 2007-02-06

The Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown MSA's Gross Area Product (GAP) in 2006 was $325.5 billion,"PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/02CW001.pdf Houston Area Profile] |55.5 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2007-05-27.] slightly larger than Austria’s, Poland’s or Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). When comparing Houston's economy to a national economy, only 21 countries other than the United States have a gross domestic product exceeding Houston's regional gross area product. Mining, which in Houston is almost entirely exploration and production of oil and gas, accounts for 11% of Houston's GAP; this is down from 21% in 1985. The reduced role of oil and gas in Houston's GAP reflects the rapid growth of other sectors, such as engineering services, health services, and manufacturing. ["PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/15AW001.pdf Gross Area Product by Industry] |28.3 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2006-12-15.]

Houston ranks second in employment growth rate and fourth in nominal employment growth among the 10 most populous metro areas in the U.S. ["PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/10AW001.pdf Employment by Industry] |33.1 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2006-12-15.] The unemployment rate in the city was 3.8% in April 2008, the lowest level in eight years while the job growth rate was 2.8%. [Cite web
title = Are You in the Best City for Your Job?, BusinessWeek
work = businessweek.com
author = Prashant Gopal
date = 2008-06-12
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/jun2008/bw20080612_882775.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories

In 2006, the Houston metropolitan area ranked first in Texas and third in the U.S. within the Category of "Best Places for Business and Careers" by "Forbes" magazine. [Badenhausen, Kurt. " [http://www.forbes.com/2006/05/03/06bestplaces_best-places-for-business_land.html 2006 Best Places for Business and Careers] ", "Forbes", 2006-05-04. Retrieved on 2006-12-15.] Forty foreign governments maintain trade and commercial offices here and the city has 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade associations. ["PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/18AW001.pdf International Representation in Houston] |30.2 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2006-12-15.] Twenty foreign banks representing 10 nations operate in Houston, providing financial assistance to the international community.

In 2008, Houston received top ranking on Kiplinger's Personal Finance "Best Cities of 2008" list which ranks cities on their local economy, employment opportunities, reasonable living costs and quality of life. [Cite web
title = 2008 Best Cities, Houston, Texas
author = Jane Bennett Clark
date = 2008-07-01
work = Kiplinger.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/2008/05/2008-best-city-houston.html
] The city ranked fourth for highest increase in the local technological innovation over the preceding 15 years, according to "Forbes" magazine. [Cite web
title = Top 10 Up-And-Coming Tech Cities
work = forbes.com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.forbes.com/2008/03/10/columbus-milwaukee-houston-ent-tech-cx_wp_0310smallbizoutlooktechcity.html
] In the same year, the city ranked second on the annual Fortune 500 list of company headquarters.Cite web
title = Fortune 500 2008: Cities
accessdate = 2008-04-22
url = http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2008/cities/
] and ranked first for "Forbes" "Best Cities for College Graduates". [Cite web
title = Best Cities For Recent College Grads
work = Forbes.com
date = 2008-06-28
author = Andrew Egan
accessdate = 2008-06-29
url = http://www.forbes.com/2008/06/26/cities-grads-best-forbeslife-cx_ae_0626realestate.html


Houston is a diverse and international city, in part because of its many academic institutions and strong industries. Over 90 languages are spoken in the city. [" [http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/houstonfacts.html Houston Facts and Figures] ", "City of Houston". Retrieved on 2006-12-15.] Houston has among the youngest populations in the nation, [PDFlink| [http://www.ewgateway.org/pdffiles/library/wws/wws06.pdf The Strategic Assessment of the St. Louis Region, 5th edition] |4.35 MB. "East-West Gateway Council of Governments." 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-11. "Page 25 in PDF File, labeled as page 21."] [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ACSSAFFFacts?_event=&geo_id=16000US4835000&_geoContext=01000US%7C04000US48%7C16000US4835000&_county=Houston&_cityTown=Houston&_state=04000US48 Houston city, Texas] . 2005 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights, "United States Census Bureau". 2005. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.] [ [http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GRTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=04000US48&-_box_head_nbr=R0101&-ds_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=US-30&-mt_name=ACS_2005_EST_G00_R0101_US30&-_sse=on United States and States R0101. Median Age of the Total Population: 2005] . 2005 American Community Survey, "United States Census Bureau". 2005. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.] partly due to an influx of immigrants into Texas. [ [http://www.dallasfed.org/research/pubs/fotexas/fotexas_petersen.html The Face of Texas Jobs, People, Business, Change] . D'Ann Petersen and Laila Assanie, "Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas." October 2005. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] The city has the third-largest Hispanic and third-largest Mexican population in the United States. [cite web| title = Census 2000 Paints Statistical Portrait of the Nation's Hispanic Population | work = U.S. Census | publisher = U.S. Census Bureau | date = 2001-05-10 | url = http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/cb01-81.html | accessdate = 2007-02-06] An estimated 400,000 illegal immigrants reside in Houston. [cite news | last = Hegstrom | first = Edward | title = Shadows Cloaking Immigrants Prevent Accurate Count | work = Houston Chronicle | date = 2006-02-21 | url = http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3500074.html | accessdate = 2007-02-06] Houston has one of the largest South Asian (i.e., Indian and Pakistani) communities in the United States. [Cite web
title = Media - Reaching a flourishing Asian-American market
work = chron.com, Houston Chronicle
author = Purva Patel
date = 2007-09-28
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/biz/5174213.html

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 1,953,631 people and the population density was 3,371.7 people per square mile (1,301.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.27 percent White, 25.31 percent Black, 5.31 percent Asian, 0.44 percent American Indian, 0.06 percent Pacific Islander, 16.46 percent from some other race, and 3.15 percent from two or more races. Persons of Hispanic origin—who may be of any race—accounted for 37 percent of the population while non-Hispanic whites made up 30.8 percent.

Houston has a large population of immigrants from Asia, including the largest Vietnamese-American population in Texas and third-largest in the United States, with 85,000 people in 2006. [cite news
title=Flocking from SoCal to Houston
author=My-Thuan Tran
publisher=Los Angeles Times
] Some parts of the city with high populations of Vietnamese and Chinese residents have Chinese and Vietnamese street signs, in addition to English ones. Houston has two Chinatowns: the original located in Downtown, and the more recent one north of Bellaire Boulevard in the southwest area of the city. [cite news| last = Chen | first = Edward C.M. | coauthors = Von Der Mehden, Fred R. | title = History of Houston's Chinatown | work = Chinatownconnection.com | year= 2005 | url = http://www.chinatownconnection.com/houston_chinatown_history.htm | accessdate = 2007-02-06] [cite news | title = Houston Chinatown Area Map | work = Chinatownconnection.com | year= 2005 | url = http://www.chinatownconnection.com/houston-chinatown-map.htm | accessdate = 2007-02-06] The city has a Little Saigon in Midtown and Vietnamese businesses located in the southwest Houston Chinatown. [cite news | title = City Adopts "Little Saigon" | work = Houston Business Journal | date = 2004-05-07 | url = http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2004/05/10/tidbits1.html | accessdate = 2007-02-06] A "Little India" community referred to as the "Harwin District" exists along Hillcroft. [" [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/5546748.html South Asian businesses venture into Houston's suburbs] ," "Houston Chronicle", February 16, 2008]

Houston has a large gay community concentrated primarily in Montrose, Neartown and Houston Heights. It is estimated that the Houston metropolitan area has the twelfth-largest number of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in the United States. [Gary J. Gates PDFlink| [http://www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/SameSexCouplesandGLBpopACS.pdf Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey] |2.07 MB. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law October, 2006. Retrieved April 20, 2007. ]


Houston is a multicultural city with a large and growing international community. [cite web | title = International Community | work = houston.org | url = http://www.houston.org/whyHouston/international.asp | accessdate = 2007-02-18] The metropolitan area is home to an estimated 1.1 million (21.4 percent) residents who were born outside the United States, with nearly two-thirds of the area's foreign-born population from south of the United States–Mexico border.cite web | title = Foreign Born Population | work = houston.org | url = http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/09GW025.pdf | accessdate = 2007-09-19|format=PDF] Additionally, more than one in five foreign-born residents are from Asia. The city is home to the nation’s third largest concentration of consular offices, representing 86 countries. [cite web | title = International Representation in Houston | work = houston.org | url = http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/18AW001.pdf | accessdate = 2007-02-11|format=PDF]

Houston received the official nickname of "Space City" in 1967 because it is the location of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Other nicknames often used by locals include nowrap|"Bayou City," "Magnolia City," "Clutch City," and "H-Town."

Arts and theater

Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene. The Theater District is located downtown and is home to nine major performing arts organizations and six performance halls. It is the second-largest concentration of theater seats in a downtown area in the United States. [Ramsey, Cody. " [http://www.texasmonthly.com/mag/issues/2002-09-01/tidbits.php In a state of big, Houston is at the top] ", "Texas Monthly", September 2002. Retrieved December 10, 2002.] [cite web | title = Houston Arts and Museums | publisher = City of Houston eGovernment Center | url = http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/artsandmuseums.html | accessdate = 2007-02-07] [" [http://www.houstontheaterdistrict.org/en/cms/?68 About Houston Theater District] ", "Houston Theater District". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] Houston is one of few United States cities with permanent, professional, resident companies in all major performing arts disciplines: opera (Houston Grand Opera), ballet (Houston Ballet), music (Houston Symphony Orchestra), and theater (The Alley Theatre). [" [http://www.houstontheaterdistrict.org/en/cms/?12 Performing Arts Venues] ", "Houston Theater District". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] Houston is also home to many local folk artists, art groups and various smaller progressive arts organizations. [" [http://www.artcarmuseum.com/History/history.htm A Brief History of the Art Car Museum] ", "ArtCar Museum of Houston". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] Houston attracts many touring Broadway acts, concerts, shows, and exhibitions for a variety of interests. [ [http://www.quilts.com/home/news/index.php 2006 fall edition of International Quilt Festival attracts 53,546 to Houston] . "Quilts., Inc." Press release published 2006-11-30. Retrieved on 2007-01-12.]

Houston holds the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered to be one of the top five art festivals in the United States. cite web|accessdate=2007-04-26
title=The 2004 Top 25 Fairs & Festivals
work=AmericanStyle Magazine
] cite web|accessdate=2007-04-26
title=AmericanStyle Magazine Readers Name 2005 Top 10 Art Fairs and Festivals
date=October 25, 2005|work=AmericanStyle Magazine|format=PDF

The Museum District has many popular cultural institutions and exhibits, which attract more than 7 million visitors a year. [ [http://www.visithoustontexas.com/visitors/listing.details.php?id=23096 Houston Museum District] . Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-02-18.] [cite news|accessdate=2007-05-22|url=http://www.austin360.com/arts/content/arts/stories/2006/04/1austin.html|title=Central Austin has the makings of a museum district|publisher=Austin360.com|author=Jeanne Claire van Ryzin|date=April 1, 2006] Notable facilities located in the district include The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston, and the Houston Zoo. [ [http://www.texasmonthly.com/promotions/cadillac/breakthroughs2/museums/ Houston Museum District Day] . Texas Monthly. 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] [ [http://www.camh.org/visitor_mus_dist.html Museum District] . Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] [ [http://www.visithoustontexas.com/visitors/parks_and_outdoors/listing.details.php?id=23096 Houston Museum District] . Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] Located in the nearby Montrose area are The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel.

. [Cite web
title = Bayou Bend Collections and Gardens, Houston, Texas
accessdate = 2008-03-23
url = http://www.museumsusa.org/museums/info/1167540

Many venues scattered across Houston regularly host local and touring rock, blues, country, hip hop and Tejano musical acts. Unfortunately, there has never been a widely renowned music scene in Houston. Artists seem to relocate to other parts of the United States once attaining some level of success. [cite news | last = Lomax, John Nova. "Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive - The Houston Rock Scene and the Cultural Cringe", Houston Press, Feb 1, 2007 | first = John Nova | title = "Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive - The Houston Rock Scene and the Cultural Cringe | work = The Houston Press | date = 2007-02-01 | accessdate = 2007-02-12] A notable exception to the rule is Houston hip-hop, which celebrates the unique southern flavor and attitude of its roots. This has given rise to a strong, independent hip-hop music scene, influencing and influenced by the larger Southern hip hop and gangsta rap communities. [cite news | last = Frere-Jones | first = Sasha | title = A Place In the Sun - Houston Hip-Hop Takes Over | work = The New Yorker | date = 2005-11-14 | url = http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/11/14/051114crmu_music | accessdate = 2007-02-06] Many Houstonian hip-hop artists have attained commercial success.


Many annual events celebrate the diverse cultures of Houston. The largest and longest running is the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, held over 20 days from late February to early March. Another large celebration is the annual night-time Houston Pride Parade, held at the end of June. [cite web | title = Pride Houston | work = pridehouston.org | url = http://www.pridehouston.org/home/ | accessdate = 2007-02-07] Other annual events include the Houston Greek Festival, [ [http://www.greekfestival.org/ The Original Greek Festival, Houston, Texas] . 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-10. "Warning:" "Automatic sound file."] Art Car Parade, the Houston Auto Show and the Houston International Festival. [ [http://www.ifest.org/ The Houston International Festival] . 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]

Tourism and recreation

Space Center Houston is the official visitors’ center of NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Here one will find many interactive exhibits including moon rocks, a shuttle simulator, and presentations about the history of NASA's manned space flight program.

The Theater District is a 17-block area in the center of downtown Houston that is home to the Bayou Place entertainment complex, restaurants, movies, plazas, and parks. Bayou Place is a large multilevel building containing full-service restaurants, bars, live music, billiards, and art house films. The Houston Verizon Wireless Theater stages live concerts, stage plays, and stand-up comedy; and the Angelika Film Center presents the latest in art and foreign and independent films. [ [http://www.angelikafilmcenter.com/houston/default.asp Angelika Houston] . "Angelika Film Center." Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]

Houston is home to 337 parks including Hermann Park, which houses the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Terry Hershey Park, Lake Houston Park, Memorial Park, Tranquility Park, Sesquicentennial Park, Discovery Green and Sam Houston Park (which contains restored and reconstructed homes which were originally built between 1823 and 1905). [ [http://www.heritagesociety.org/ths.html The Heritage Society: Walk into Houston's Past] . "The Heritage Society." Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] Of the 10 most populous U.S. cities, Houston has the most total area of parks and green space: convert|56405|acre|km2|0. [ Continental Magazine, March 2008. p.67. ] The city also has over 200 additional green spaces—totaling over convert|19600|acre|km2|0 that are managed by the city—including the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center. The Houston Civic Center was replaced by the George R. Brown Convention Center—one of the nation's largest—and the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, home of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Society for the Performing Arts. The Sam Houston Coliseum and Music Hall have been replaced by the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Other tourist attractions include the Galleria (Texas's largest shopping mall located in the Uptown District), Old Market Square, the Downtown Aquarium, SplashTown and Sam Houston Race Park. The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site where the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution was fought is located on the Houston Ship channel east of the city; the park is also the location of the museum battleship USS|Texas|BB-35.


Houston has teams for nearly every major professional sport. The Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Dynamo (MLS), Houston Comets (WNBA), Houston Aeros (AHL), Houston Wranglers (WTT), Houston Takers (ABA), and the Houston Energy (WPFL) all call Houston home.

Minute Maid Park (home of the Astros) and Toyota Center (home of the Rockets, and Aeros) are located in a revived area of downtown. The city has the Reliant Astrodome, the first domed stadium in the world; it also holds the NFL's first retractable-roof stadium, Reliant Stadium. Other sports facilities in Houston include Hofheinz Pavilion, Reliant Arena (home of the Comets), and Robertson Stadium (both used for University of Houston collegiate sports, the latter also for the Houston Dynamo), and Rice Stadium (home of the Rice University Owls football team). The infrequently used Reliant Astrodome hosted World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania X-Seven on April 1, 2001, where an attendance record of 67,925 was set. [" [http://corporate.wwe.com/news/2001/2001_04_02.1.jsp WrestleMania X-Seven Sets Revenue, Attendance Records] ", "World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.", 2001-04-02. Retrieved 2006-12-16.] The city will host WrestleMania XXV at Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009. [cite web|url= http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/WrestleMania24/2008/03/31/5148416.html|title=Mayweather, Orton survive Mania; Edge, Flair don't| publisher=Canadian Online Explorer|date=2008-03-31|author=Dale Plummer|accessdate=2008-03-31]

Houston has hosted major recent sporting events, including the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, [cite web | title = National Aeronautics and Space Administration | work = JSC Celebrates 40 Years of Human Space Flight | url = http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/about/history/jsc40/jsc40_pg4.html | accessdate = 2007-02-18] the 2000 IHL All-Star Game, the 2005 World Series, the 2005 Big 12 Conference football championship game, the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships from 2001–2006, and the Tennis Masters Cup in 2003 and 2004, as well as the annual Shell Houston Open golf tournament. The city hosts the annual NCAA College Baseball Minute Maid Classic every February and NCAA football's Texas Bowl in December. Houston has hosted the Super Bowl championship game twice. Super Bowl VIII was played at Rice Stadium in 1974 and Super Bowl XXXVIII was played at Reliant Stadium in 2004. In early 2006, the Champ Car auto racing series returned to Houston for a yearly race, held on the streets of the Reliant Park complex.


Houston is served by the "Houston Chronicle", its only major daily newspaper with wide distribution. The Hearst Corporation, which owns and operates the "Houston Chronicle", bought the assets of the "Houston Post"—its long-time rival and main competition—when "Houston Post" ceased operations in 1995. The "Houston Post" was owned by the family of former Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby of Houston. The only other major publication to serve the city is the "Houston Press"—a free alternative weekly with a weekly readership of more than 300,000.cite web|url=http://www.houstonpress.com/about/|title=Houston Press: About Us|publisher=Houston Press |accessdate=2007-01-26]

Houston Community Newspapers is a news source for smaller localized communities in and around the city. Houston Community Newspapers publishes 35 suburban newspapers—including two daily papers and 33 weekly papers. ["Local Top Stories," Houston Community Newspapers (Townnews.com, 1995–2007). [http://www.hcnonline.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1574&nav_sec=69981&nr=1&nostat=1] ]

Among leading media personalities in Houston were Ray Miller, host of "The Eyes of Texas", a cultural anthology series broadcast for nearly three decades over KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate. In the late 1960s, Miller hired Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Galveston native as the first woman newswoman in Texas. She later served in the Texas House of Representatives and the United States Senate.


Houston's skyline has been ranked fourth most impressive in the United States; [Gramsbergen, Egbert, Kazmierczak, Paul. " [http://homepages.ipact.nl/~egram/skylines.html The World's Best Skylines] ", 2006-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] it is the third-tallest skyline in the United States and one of the top 10 in the world. [" [http://ultrapolisproject.com/Tallest_25_Skylines_Cities.htm Calculated Average Height of the Ten Tallest (CAHTT)] ", "UltrapolisProject.com". Retrieved on 2007-07-01.] Houston has a seven-mile (11 km) system of tunnels and skywalks linking buildings in downtown which contain shops, restaurants, and convenience stores. This system enables pedestrians to avoid the intense summer heat and heavy rain showers while walking from one building to another.

In the 1960s, Downtown Houston consisted of a modest collection of mid-rise office structures, but has since grown into one of the largest skylines in the United States. Downtown was on the threshold of a boom in 1970 with huge projects being launched by real estate developers with the energy industry boom. A succession of skyscrapers were built throughout the 1970s—many by real estate developer Gerald D. Hines—culminating with Houston's tallest skyscraper, the 75-floor, convert|1002|ft|m|0|sing=on-tall JPMorgan Chase Tower (formerly the Texas Commerce Tower), which was completed in 1982. It is the tallest structure in Texas, 10th-tallest building in the United States and the 30th-tallest skyscraper in the world based on height to roof. In 1983, the 71-floor, convert|992|ft|m|0|sing=on-tall Wells Fargo Bank Plaza was completed, which became the second-tallest building in Houston and Texas. Based on height to roof, it is the 13th-tallest in the United States and the 36th-tallest in the world. As of 2006, downtown Houston had about 43 million square feet (4,000,000 m²) of office space. [ [http://www.houstondowntown.com/Home/GeneralInfo/About/FastFacts1/ Fast Facts, Downtown Houston] . "Houstondowntown.com" 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]

Centered on Post Oak Boulevard and Westheimer Road, the Uptown District boomed during the 1970s and early 1980s when a collection of mid-rise office buildings, hotels, and retail developments appeared along Interstate 610 west. Uptown became one of the most impressive instances of an edge city. The highest achievement of Uptown was the construction of the 64-floor, convert|901|ft|m|0|sing=on-tall, Philip Johnson and John Burgee designed landmark Williams Tower (known as the Transco Tower until 1999). At the time, it was believed to the be the world's tallest skyscraper outside of a central business district. The Uptown District is also home to other buildings designed by noted architects such as I. M. Pei, César Pelli, and Philip Johnson. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was a mini-boom of mid-rise and high-rise residential tower construction, with several over 30 stories tall. [ [http://www.uptown-houston.com/economic/market/residential.html Residential Real Estate] . "Uptown-houston.com" Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] [cite news | last = Sarnoff | first = Nancy | title = Genesis Laying Down Plans for Newest Uptown Condo Highrise | work = Houston Business Journal | date = 2001-12-14 | url = http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2001/12/17/newscolumn3.html | accessdate = 2007-02-07] [cite news | last = Apte | first = Angela | title = Rising Land Costs Boost Houston's Mid-Rise Market | work = Houston Business Journal | date = 2001-10-26 | url = http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2001/10/29/focus1.html | accessdate = 2007-01-11] In 2002, Uptown had more than 23 million square feet (2,100,000 m²) of office space with 16 million square feet (1,500,000 m²) of Class A office space. [ [http://www.uptown-houston.com/economic/market/office.html Commercial Real Estate] . "Uptown-houston.com" Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]


Houston's freeway system is made up of convert|575.5|mi|km|1 of freeways and expressways in a ten-county metropolitan area. ["PDFlink| [http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/11BW001.pdf Highway System] |153 KB", "Greater Houston Partnership". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] Its highway system uses a hub-and-spoke freeway structure serviced by multiple loops. The innermost loop is Interstate 610, which encircles downtown, the medical center, and many core neighborhoods with around a convert|10|mi|km|0|sing=on diameter. Beltway 8 and its freeway core, the Sam Houston Tollway, form the middle loop at a diameter of roughly convert|25|mi|km|0. A proposed highway project, State Highway 99 (The Grand Parkway), would form a third loop outside of Houston. Currently, the completed portion of State Highway 99 runs from just north of Interstate 10, west of Houston, to U.S. Highway 59 in Sugar Land, southwest of Houston, and was completed in 1994.

Houston also lies along the route of the proposed Interstate 69 NAFTA superhighway that would link Canada, the U.S. industrial Midwest, Texas, and Mexico. Other spoke freeways either planned or under construction include the Fort Bend Parkway, Hardy Toll Road, Crosby Freeway, and the future Alvin Freeway.

Houston's freeway system is monitored by Houston TranStar, a partnership of four government agencies that are responsible for providing transportation and emergency management services to the region. Houston TranStar was the first center in the nation to combine transportation and emergency management centers, and the first to bring four agencies (Texas Department of Transportation, Harris County, Texas, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas and the City of Houston) together to share their resources. [ [http://www.houstontranstar.org/about_transtar/ About Houston TranStar] . "Houston TranStar." 2008. Retrieved on 2008-02-17.]

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas, or METRO, provides public transportation in the form of buses, light rail, and lift vans. METRO's various forms of public transportation still do not connect many of the suburbs to the greater city.

METRO began light rail service on January 1, 2004 with the inaugural track nowrap|("Red Line") running about 8 miles (13 km) from the nowrap|University of Houston–Downtown ("UHD"), which traverses through the nowrap|Texas Medical Center and terminates at nowrap|Reliant Park. METRO is currently in the design phase of a 10-year expansion plan that will add five more lines to the existing system. [ [http://www.metrosolutions.org/go/site/1068/ METRO Solutions] . "METRO." 2006. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.]

Amtrak, the national rail passenger system, provides service to Houston via the Amtrak lines|Sunset Limited nowrap|(Los Angeles–New Orleans), which stops at a train station on the north side of the downtown area. The station saw 10,855 boardings and alightings in fiscal year 2006. [PDFlink| [http://www.amtrak.com/pdf/factsheets/TEXAS06.pdf Amtrak Fact Sheet, Fiscal Year 2006] |39.6 KB. Amtrak. 2006. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.]

Houston is served by two commercial airports, serving 52 million passengers in 2007. [Cite web
title = 52 Million Travelers and Over 387,000 Metric Tons of Air Cargo Passed through Houston’s Airports in 2007
date = 2008-01-28
work = fly2houston.com, Houston Airport System
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.fly2houston.com/0/685923/0/1906D1940/
] The larger is George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the ninth-busiest in the United States for total passengers, and seventeenth-busiest worldwide. [ [http://www.airports.org/cda/aci/display/main/aci_content.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54_9_2__ Passenger Traffic 2005 FINAL] . "Airports Council International." Published 2006-07-17. Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] Bush Intercontinental currently ranks third in the United States for non-stop domestic and international service with 182 destinations. [ [http://www.fly2houston.com/iahAbout About George Bush Intercontinental Airport] . "Houston Airport System." Retrieved on 2007-01-11.] In 2006, the United States Department of Transportation named George Bush Intercontinental Airport the fastest-growing of the top ten airports in the United States. [cite press release|title=2005 Total Airline System Passenger Traffic Up 4.6% From 2004|publisher=Bureau of Transportation Statistics|date=2006-04-27|url=http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2006/bts020_06/html/bts020_06.html |accessdate=2006-12-16] Houston is the headquarters of Continental Airlines and Bush Intercontinental is Continental Airlines' largest hub. The airline offers more than 700 daily departures from Houston. [ [http://www.fly2houston.com/iahAbout Facts and Figures] . "Houston Airport System." 2007. Retrieved on 2007-02-28.] In early 2007, Bush Intercontinental Airport was named a model "port of entry" for international travelers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. [Cite web
title = Airport designated `model port of entry', Houston Chronicle
author = Bill Hensel, Jr.
date = 2007-04-05
work = chron. com
accessdate = 2008-06-21
url = http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=2007_4319002
] The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center stands on the George Bush Intercontinental Airport grounds.

The second-largest commercial airport in Houston is William P. Hobby Airport (named Houston International Airport until 1967). The airport operates primarily small to medium-haul flights and is the only airport in Houston served by Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Houston's aviation history is showcased in the 1940 Air Terminal Museum located in the old terminal building on the west side of Hobby Airport.

Another airport is Ellington Field (a former U.S. Air Force base) that is used by military, government, NASA, and general aviation sectors.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the state of Texas selected the "Houston Airport System as Airport of the Year" for 2005, [cite press release|title=FAA selects the HAS as 2005 Airport of the Year|publisher=Houston Airport System|date=2006-03-24|url=http://www.fly2houston.com/0/8343/0/1906D1940/|accessdate=2006-12-16] largely because of its multi-year, $3.1 billion airport improvement program for both major airports in Houston.

Greyhound Lines operates intercity services from five stations in Houston and several Houston suburbs. Other bus lines operate from Greyhound's stations and other stations.

Healthcare and medicine

Houston is the seat of the internationally-renowned Texas Medical Center, which contains the world's largest concentration of research and healthcare institutions. [cite web
title = Introduction to the Texas Medical Center
work = Texas Medical Center
url = http://www.tmc.edu/tmc-introduction.html
accessdate = 2006-12-16
] All 45 member institutions of the Texas Medical Center are non-profit organizations. They provide patient and preventive care, research, education, and local, national, and international community well-being. These institutions include 13 renowned hospitals and two specialty institutions, two medical schools, four nursing schools, and schools of dentistry, public health, pharmacy, and virtually all health-related careers. It is where one of the first—and still the largest—air emergency service, Life Flight, was created, and a very successful inter-institutional transplant program was developed. More heart surgeries are performed at the Texas Medical Center than anywhere else in the world. [cite web
title = Texas Medical Center
work = www.visithoustontexas.com
url = http://www.visithoustontexas.com/media/statistics/Houston_Stats_Texas_Medical_Center
accessdate = 2007-02-06

Some of the academic and research health institutions in the center include Baylor College of Medicine, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has consistently ranked as one of the top two U.S. hospitals specializing in cancer care by "U.S. News & World Report" since 1990. [ cite web
title = Institutional Profile
work = www.mdanderson.org
url = http://www.mdanderson.org/About_MDA/Who_We_Are/display.cfm?id=29E3FCE1-2828-11D5-811100508B603A14&method=displayFull
accessdate = 2007-02-21

Houston is the home of the Menninger Clinic, a renowned psychiatric treatment center affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital.


There are more than 55 colleges and universities and dozens of institutions engaged in research and development in Houston.

The nowrap|University of Houston ("UH") is Texas's third-largest public research university with more than 40 research centers and institutes. UH, with more than 36,000 students from 130 countries, is one of the most diverse campuses in the country. ["PDFlink| [http://www.uh.edu/ir/fileadmin/reports/factsataglance/Fall_2005_Facts.pdf Fall 2005 Facts] |32.6 KB," "University of Houston", 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] The city is also the home to Rice University, one of the leading teaching and research universities of the United States and ranked the nation's 17th-best overall university by "U.S. News & World Report". [cite news | title = America's Best Colleges 2006 | work = U.S. News and World Report | url = http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/natudoc/tier1/t1natudoc_brief.php | archiveurl = http://web.archive.org/web/20070501050536/http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/natudoc/tier1/t1natudoc_brief.php | archivedate = 2007-05-01 | accessdate = 2006-12-16] Other public institutions of higher learning in the city include nowrap|University of Houston–Clear Lake ("UHCL"), nowrap|University of Houston–Downtown ("UHD"), and nowrap|Texas Southern University ("TSU"). Additionally, several private institutions include University of St. Thomas, who in 2008 was ranked one of "America's Best Colleges" by US News & World Report, and Houston Baptist University. The Houston Community College System serves most of Houston and is the fourth-largest community college system in the United States. [" [http://distance.hccs.cc.tx.us/de-counseling/ Houston Community College Distance Education Program] ," "Houston Community College". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.]

Houston is home to two of four public law schools in Texas: nowrap|University of Houston Law Center and nowrap|Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The nowrap|University of Houston Law Center ranked in at No. 60 of the "Top 100 Law Schools" in 2007 by "U.S. News & World Report". [" [http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/brief/lawrank_brief.php America's Best Graduate Schools 2008 - Top Law Schools] ", "U.S. News & World Report". Retrieved on 2007-09-30.] Additionally, South Texas College of Law—a private institution—is the city's oldest law school founded in 1923 and has one of the nation's top programs for trial advocacy. [" [http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/grad/directory/dir-law/brief/glanc_03149_brief.php America's Best Graduate Schools 2007 - South Texas College of Law] ", "U.S. News & World Report". Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] [" [http://www.stcl.edu/welcome/history_South_TX.htm A Chronological History of South Texas College of Law] ", "South Texas College of Law", 2005. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] There are 17 school districts serving the city. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest in the United States. [" [http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=6127 Houston ISD automates lunch] ", "eSchool News online", 2006-02-21. Retrieved on 2006-12-16.] HISD has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools—specializing in such disciplines as health professions, visual and performing arts, and the sciences. There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. In addition, some public school districts also have their own charter schools.

The Houston area is home to more than 300 private schools, [ [http://www.houston-texas-online.com/privateschools.html Private Schools] . "Houston-Texas-Online". 2004. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] [ [http://www.houstonareaweb.com/private_schools/ Houston Private Schools] . HoustonAreaWeb.com. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] [ [http://www.hlsr.com/ed/sa/sa_p.aspx School Art Participation] . "Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo". Retrieved on 2007-01-10.] many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) recognized agencies. The Houston Area Independent Schools, or HAIS, offer education from a variety of different religious as well as secular viewpoints. [ [http://houstonprivateschools.org/index.cfm?CFID=15996033&CFTOKEN=41756059&MenuItemID=96&MenuGroup=Home%20New About HAIS] . "Houston Area Independent Schools". 2007. Retrieved on 2007-03-27.] The Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Houston Public Library is the public library system serving the city. The library system was founded as the Houston Lyceum in 1854. After a large contribution from Andrew Carnegie, it was chartered as the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library in 1904. The building constructed as Houston's Central Library in 1926 was later named in her honor. The library system consists of 36 neighborhood libraries; including four regional libraries; the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, located in the Museum District; and the Central Library, located Downtown. Central Library consists of the Julia Ideson Building and the Jesse H. Jones Building. The Jones Building was designed by Seth Irvin Morris and opened in 1976. [Cite web
title = Houston Public Library, In Memory of Mr. Seth Irvin Morris
work = www.hpl.lib.tx.us
accessdate = 2008-08-27
url = http://www.hpl.lib.tx.us/about/news/20060802-morris.html

ister cities

Houston has sixteen sister cities designated through the city's membership in Sister Cities International (SCI). [cite web|title=Sister Cities International: Online Directory: Texas, USA|year=2007|publisher=Sister Cities International|url=http://www.sister-cities.org/icrc/directory/usa/TX| accessdate = 2007-12-15] The year each relationship was formed is shown in parentheses below.


Further reading

*Handbook of Texas|id=HH/hdh3|name=Houston, Texas
* [http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_3_houston.html Houston, New York Has a Problem, "City Journal," Summer 2008]
* [http://www.houstonhistory.com/ 172 Years of Historic Houston] "Houstonhistory.com". 2007. Retrieved on 2007-01-13.
* [http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-24649:1 "A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912"] , published 1912, hosted by the [http://texashistory.unt.edu/ Portal to Texas History] , republished 2007 by Copano Bay Press.
* [http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-24646:1 "True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young."] , published 1913, hosted by the [http://texashistory.unt.edu/ Portal to Texas History] , republished 2007 by Copano Bay Press.
*cite book | last = Allen | first = O. Fisher | title = City of Houston from Wilderness to Wonder | publisher = Self Published | year = 1936 | id = NA .
*cite book | last = Johnston | first = Marguerite | title = Houston, The Unknown City, 1836–1946 | publisher = Texas A&M University Press | year = 1991 | id = ISBN 0-89096-476-9
*cite book | last = Miller | first = Ray | title = Ray Miller's Houston | publisher = Gulf Publishing Company | year = 1984 | id = ISBN 0-88415-081-X
*cite book | last = Slotboom | first = Oscar F. "Erik" | title = Houston Freeways | publisher = Oscar F. Slotboom | year = 2003 | id = ISBN 0-9741605-3-9 [http://www.houstonfreeways.com/] .
*cite book | last = Wilson | first = Ann Quin | title = Native Houstonian - A Collective Portrait | publisher = The Donning Company - Houston Baptist University Press | year = 1982 | id = 80-27644 .

External links

* [http://www.houstontx.gov/ City of Houston official website]
* [http://www.houstonhistory.com/ 172 Years of Historic Houston]
* [http://www.visithoustontexas.com/ Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau]
* [http://www.houston.org/ Greater Houston Partnership]
* [http://www.houstontranstar.org/ Greater Houston Transportation and Emergency Management Center]
* [http://www.houstonlibrary.org/ Houston Public Library official website]
* [http://www.houstondowntown.com/ Houston Downtown District]
* [http://www.uptown-houston.com/ Uptown Houston District]
* [http://www.houstonmidtown.com/ Midtown Houston District]
* [http://www.fly2houston.com/home Houston Airport System]
* [http://www.ghpa.org/ Greater Houston Preservation Alliance]
* [http://www.houstonwilderness.org/ Houston Wilderness Organization]
* [http://www.aiesechouston.org/ Aiesec Houston Platform]

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