Downtown Houston Tunnel System, Tunnel Map, Tunnel Hours, Tunnel Shops & Restau...

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Welcome to the Downtown Houston Tunnel System
I INVITE YOU to explore seventy-seven buildings, old and new, in the heart of downtown Houston,
and to experience the quantity and variety of restaurants, shops, and services located twenty feet beneath the streets of the nation's fourth largest city.

What IS the Downtown Houston Tunnel System? Although the Tunnel is one of Houston's best-kept secrets, most of downtown's 150,000-person workforce - and thousands of visitors - use it every day, particularly when it's raining or close to 100 degrees above ground. This system of air-conditioned skywalks and subterranean passages has been given many different names - mall, concourse, connection, underground, promenade - but Houstonians continue to call it simply "the Tunnel."
Tunnel systems first appeared in the United States in the 1920s as part of subway construction on the East Coast. They soon proliferated into every major city across the nation. Tunnels were built under rivers and railroads for automobile access, and under streets for pedestrian access. An especially influential multilevel project was Rockefeller Center, designed and built in the late 1920s and early 1930s. It has an underground concourse linking the buildings to each other and to the subway below. Rockefeller Center inspired Houston's first tunnel, located beneath Fannin Street between Texas and Capitol. This short tunnel connected former Texas Governor Ross Sterling's 1926 Post-Dispatch Building (now The Magnolia Hotel) with another one of his buildings, the 1931 Sterling Building. It is interesting to note that the architect for each building was Wyatt C. Hedrick, Ross Sterling's son-in-law. Like Ross Sterling and Wyatt C. Hedrick, Houston entertainment entrepreneur Will Horwitz was impressed by Rockefeller Center. In the early 1930s, Horwitz was planning to air-condition his three vaudeville/movie theaters located in downtown Houston. The Iris and the Texan were on Capitol Street, where JPMorgan Chase Tower now rises, and the Uptown Theater was across Capitol Street where the Houston Club Building is located. Realizing that his air-conditioning project would require excavating the basements under the three theaters, Horwitz decided to connect the them with a tunnel. The tunnel became part of Horwitz's Uptown Center project, which included shops and restaurants upstairs and a penny arcade and a German wine tavern downstairs. Horwitz died on Christmas Day in 1941. One by one, his theaters also died. The Texan was razed in 1953 and, by 1968, Horwitz's tunnel was filled with debris. While Ross Sterling, owner and publisher of what became the Houston Post, was connecting his two buildings on Fannin at Texas with a tunnel, Jesse Jones, later publisher of what became the Houston Chronicle, completed the Gulf Building, known today as the JPMorgan Chase Building. Jones ran two tunnels through his building's basement - low, narrow tunnels constructed in 1929, one month before the stock market crashed. Today, we can walk in the footsteps of Horwitz and Jones as we stroll through the modern, air-conditioned tunnels connecting JPMorgan Chase Center, the JPMorgan Chase Building, the Houston Club, JPMorgan Chase Tower, and the Houston Chronicle Building. But let's not forget Ross Sterling. When he bought the Houston Post in 1924, he also bought Houston's first licensed radio station, KPRC. KPRC had evolved from another small radio station which the Post had bought in 1924 from - Will Horwitz. Over the years, other downtown buildings were connected by tunnels. In 1971, there were 13 buildings connected to the Tunnel. Houston's construction boom during the 1970s and 1980s inspired private developers to expand the Tunnel to most of its present form.

Where Is the Tunnel?


you must enter the Tunnel from street-level stairs. the Downtown Tunnel Loop is red. specialty shops.. and the Lamar Tunnel is Light Blue. corporate and government offices. copy and printing flower shops.. check out www. sandwich shops. quality restaurants. and the Theater District. the North Louisiana Tunnel is purple. or elevators located inside a building connected to the Tunnel. Tunnel Map. you will find their large. Page 2 of 3 Set about twenty feet below Houston's downtown street system. http://www. the East McKinney Tunnel & Skywalk is green. links to the Tunnel are an enormous advantage when leasing office Tunnel Hours. When Is the Tunnel Open? Although the Tunnel is open during business hours on Monday through Friday. otherwise. beauty salons. What's In the Tunnel? Just about every service . The Shops at Houston Center are open Saturdays from 10:00 a. call 713/228-0003. Wells Fargo Plaza. gift shops.m.with the exception of a major supermarket . Wells Fargo Plaza prohibits filming and photography inside or from the building. the North Travis Tunnel is orange. clinics. Discover Houston Tours offers guided TunnelWalk & Rail Tours for individuals and groups on weekdays. shoe repair shops. For more information about the Theater District Parking available via the Tunnel.discoverhoustontours. offers direct access from the street to the Tunnel. the South Louisiana Tunnel & Skywalk is gold. escalators. express mail services. the West Walker Tunnel is Dark Blue. Costing up to $15. eyeglass centers. dentists. In fact. In most buildings. drug stores. Only one building. as well as to downtown's only shopping mall. and art. so you can usually tell when you are leaving one building for another just by noticing the change in Tunnel decor. Check the Calendar for scheduled tours or call 713/222-9255 to book a private tour for your group of 10 or more. Most of the Tunnel is not owned by the City of Houston but by building property owners who lease space in their buildings' lower levels to retailers. clothing boutiques. link office towers to hotels. Shops at Houston Center. optometrists.m. Building owners ask that you not film or take photographs in their buildings. you will find dry cleaners. the West Dallas Tunnel is turquoise. and barber shops.-3:00 p. doctors. today's seven-mile Tunnel is a series of underground passageways which. restaurants.. with above-ground skywalks. banks. According to HDMC's system. banks.Downtown Houston Tunnel System. post offices. retail stores. In addition to several major food courts. For a current Tunnel map and more information about the shops and services in the Tunnel and downtown Houston. Tunnel Shops & Restau. display windows.000 per linear foot to build. colorful maps and directional signage on walls and overhead intersections. 9/22/2010 .. The city's portion of the Tunnel linking the Theater District Parking Garage to Bayou Place and performance halls remains open 24/7. snack bars. How Safe Is the Tunnel? Building property owners maintain security by placing guards at strategic locations throughout the Tunnel and by installing cameras to monitor pedestrian traffic. The Tunnel is also connected to the Theater District's performance halls and Bayou Place. Finding Your Way through the Tunnel The Houston Downtown Management Corporation (HDMC or Downtown District) maintains a colorcoded signage system throughout the Tunnel. many property owners decorate their sections of the Tunnel with unique recessed lighting.

Downtown Houston Tunnel System. now. are just visiting for a day.. Underground. or reacquainting yourself with Houston's heart.. Tunnel welcome to Houston. Sandra Lord The Tunnel Lady http://www.. Tunnel Hours.. 9/22/2010 . Downtown. Page 3 of 3 So.discoverhoustontours. moving downtown. Tunnel Shops & Restau. whether you work downtown. starting a new job downtown.

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