Downtown Houston is Houston's largest business district. A central business district ( CBD) is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city In terms of office square footage, it is the seventh largest in the United States. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
Downtown Houston contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. There is an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district. The Houston tunnel system is a system of tunnels 6 m (about 20 ft below Houston 's downtown street system The tunnel system is home to many fast food restaurants, shops and services.
Most of the residential units in downtown are conversions of older buildings into modern loft spaces. The lofts are located around the performance halls of the theatre district and near Main Street in the Historic District. Downtown will be adding another 346 apartment units in the next couple of years with the development of Marvey Finger's One Park Place. 
Developers have invested than 4 billion USD in the last decade to transform downtown into an active city center with residential housing, a nightlife scene and new transportation. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been  The Cotswold Project, a $62 million project started in 1998, has helped to rebuild the streets and transform 90 downtown blocks into a pedestrian-friendly environment by adding greenery, trees and public art.  The resurgence of downtown is the result of careful urban planning and local foresight. The baseball, basketball, and hockey teams have moved into downtown facilities. January 1, 2004 marked the opening of the "new" Main Street, a plaza with many eateries, bars and nightclubs, which brings many visitors to a newly renovated locale. "MMIV" redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see " Baron von Bullshit Rides Again "  To complete the scene, Main Street Square offers dancing fountains throughout the day. Along the Main Street corridor is the original Foley's department store which was transformed into Macy's in 2007. Foley’s was a chain of Department stores owned by May Department Stores and headquartered in Houston Texas. Macy's is a chain of mid-range American Department stores Its Flagship store in Herald Square, New York City has been billed Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
Downtown Houston was the original founding point of the city of Houston. After the Texas Revolution, two New York real estate promoters, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen purchased 6,642 acres (27 km²) of land T. F. L. Parrot (John Austin's widow) for $9,428. John Austin may refer to John Austin (legal philosopher (1790–1859 legal and political theorist who wrote 'An Essay on Sovereignty' John The Allen brothers first landed in the area where the White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou meet, a spot now known as Allen's Landing. Gail Borden, Jr., a city planner, laid out wide streets for the town — an excellent foresight that has prevented gridlock that plague many other urban downtown areas. Gail Borden Jr ( November 9 1801 – January 11 1874) was a 19th century U
The city was granted incorporation by the state legislature on June 5, 1837. Houston was made as the temporary capital of Texas. In 1840, the town was divided into four wards, each with different functions in the community. The wards are no longer political divisions, but their names are still used. Downtown was originally designated the first ward of Houston
Downtown's growth can be attributed to two major factors. The first arose after the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, when investors began seeking a location close to the ports of Southwest Texas, but apparently free of the dangerous hurricanes that frequently struck Galveston and other port cities. Houston became a wise choice, as only the most powerful storms were able to reach the city. The second came a year later with the 1901 discovery of oil at spindletop, just south of Beaumont. Shipping and oil industries began flocking to east Texas, many settling in Houston.
The arrival of major industry also saw the advent of skyscrapers in Houston. The building boom of the '70s and '80s saw the erection of major buildings, many of them ranking as the tallest in the state and the nation.
In the 1960s, downtown comprised a modest collection of mid-rise office structures, but has since grown into one of the largest skylines in the United States. One Shell Plaza is a 50 floor skyscraper at 910 Louisiana Street Houston Texas 77002 USA A skyline is best described as the overall or partial view of a Silhouette of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many Skyscrapers In 1960, the central business district had 10 million square feet (930,000 m²) of office space, increasing to about 16 million square feet (1,500,000 m²) in 1970. A central business district ( CBD) is the commercial and often geographic heart of a city The square foot is an Imperial unit / US customary unit (non- SI non- metric) of Area, used mainly in the United States M^2 redirects here For other uses see M². CM2 redirects here Downtown Houston was on the threshold of a boom in 1970 with 8. 7 million square feet (800,000 m²) of office space planned or under construction and huge projects being launched by real estate developers. The largest proposed development was the 32-block Houston Center. Only a small part of the original proposal was ultimately constructed. Other large projects included the Cullen Center, Allen Center, and towers for Shell Oil Company. Shell Oil Company is the United States -based affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell, a multinational oil company (" Oil major " of Anglo The surge of skyscrapers mirrored the skyscraper booms in other cities, such as Los Angeles and Dallas. Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West Houston experienced another downtown construction spurt in the 1970s with the energy industry boom.
The first major skyscraper to be constructed in Houston was the 50-floor, 218 m (714 ft) One Shell Plaza in 1971. The 75-story 1002-foot (3054 m tall JPMorgan Chase Tower of Houston, Texas, formerly the Texas Commerce Tower, is the A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable Building. There is no official definition or a precise cutoff height above which a building may clearly be classified as a skyscraper One Shell Plaza is a 50 floor skyscraper at 910 Louisiana Street Houston Texas 77002 USA A succession of skyscrapers were built throughout the 1970s, culminating with Houston's tallest skyscraper, the 75-floor, 305 m (1,002 ft) JPMorgan Chase Tower (formerly the Texas Commerce Tower), which was completed in 1982. The 75-story 1002-foot (3054 m tall JPMorgan Chase Tower of Houston, Texas, formerly the Texas Commerce Tower, is the In 2002, it was the tallest structure in Texas, ninth-tallest building in the United States and the 23rd tallest skyscraper in the world. "The world " is a proper noun for the planet Earth envisioned from an Anthropocentric or Human Worldview, as a place In 1983, the 71-floor, 296 m (970 ft) Wells Fargo Bank Plaza was completed, which became the second-tallest building in Houston and Texas, and 11th-tallest in the country. Skyscraper construction in downtown Houston came to an end in the mid-1980s with the collapse of Houston's energy industry and the resulting economic recession. When the 53-floor, 232 m Texaco Heritage Plaza was completed in 1987, it appeared that no more skyscrapers would be constructed for a while. Texaco is the name of an American oil retail brand Its flagship product is its fuel "Texaco with Techron" Heritage Plaza is a Skyscraper located in the Skyline District of downtown Houston, Texas.
Twelve years later, the Houston-based Enron Corporation began construction of a 40-floor skyscraper in 1999 (which was completed in 2002) with the company collapsing in one of the most dramatic corporate failures in the history of the United States only two years later. Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation (formerly Enron Corporation, former NYSE ticker symbol ENE was an American Energy company based in Chevron bought this building to set up a regional upstream energy headquarters and in late 2006 announced further consolidation of employees downtown from satellite suburban buildings and even Ca. and La. offices by leasing the original Enron building across the street. Both buildings are connected by a second-floor unique walk-across, air-conditioned circular skybridge with 3 points of connection to both office buildings and a large parking deck. Other smaller office structures were built in the 2000–2003 period. As of September 2007, downtown Houston had over 40 million square feet (3,787,147 m²) of office space, including over 29 million square feet (1,861,704 m²) of class A office space. 
Notable buildings that form Houston's downtown skyline:
Downtown Houston has two major league sports venues. Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field), which opened in 2000, is home to the MLB Astros and the Toyota Center home to the NBA Rockets, WNBA Comets (who have since moved to Reliant Arena in nearby Reliant Park), and AHL Aeros opened in 2003. Minute Maid Park (formerly The Ballpark at Union Station, Enron Field, and Astros Field) is a ballpark in Houston, Texas Toyota Center is the name of several arenas in the United States Toyota Center (Houston in Houston Texas is home to the Houston Rockets Toyota The Reliant Arena, formerly the " Astroarena " is a 350000 square feet (33000 m² sports center in Reliant Park, in Houston, Texas Reliant Park (formerly the Astrodomain) is a complex in Houston Texas named after the energy company Reliant Energy. If negotiations with the city are successful, the new Houston Dynamo stadium should open in time for the MLS 2009 Season. Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer team based in Houston, Texas, United States.
The Downtown Houston Theatre District is ranked second, only behind New York City, for the number of theater seats. The Houston Theater District, a 17-block area in the heart of Downtown Houston, USA is home to Houston 's nine Performing arts organizations the 130000 Houston is one of only five cities in the United States with permanent professional resident companies in all of the major performing art disciplines of opera, ballet, music, and theater. Venues in the theater district include the Wortham Center (opera and ballet), the Alley Theatre (theater), the Hobby Center (resident and traveling musical theater, concerts, events), the Verizon Wireless Theater (concerts and events) and Jones Hall (symphony). The Wortham Theater Center is a Performing arts center in Houston, Texas, United States. The Alley Theatre is an indoor theatre in the city of Houston, Texas, and hosts two stages Cellco Partnership, Doing business as Verizon Wireless, owns and operates the second largest Wireless Telecommunications network in the The Jesse H Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, commonly known as Jones Hall, is a performance venue in Houston Texas, and the permanent home of the Houston
The George R. Brown Convention Center, with its 1,200,000 square feet (111,000 m²) of flexible exhibit, meeting, and registration space and adjacent hotel, is frequently used for conventions, trade shows, and community meetings. The George R Brown Convention Center opened on September 26, 1987 on the east side of Downtown
In comparison to other major cities, Houston has relatively few hotel rooms downtown, partly because downtown Houston is not a large leisure travel market. There are approximately 5,000 hotel rooms in downtown Houston. Major hotels in downtown Houston are:
The following are boutique hotels that are located mostly in the northeast section of downtown:
Downtown Houston is home to the flagship Macy's (former Foley's) Department Store (founded in 1900), which moved to its current location in 1947. UH Hilton Hoteljpg|thumbnail|right|The Hilton University of Houston in Houston Texas, located on the campus of the University of Houston, contains the Hilton College of Four Seasons Hotels Inc is a five-star Canadian -based international luxury Hotel chain Doubletree is an international chain of full-service hotels and resorts trademarked by the Hilton Hotels Corporation. Hyatt is an international brand of hotels within the Global Hyatt Corporation that operates numerous properties A revolving restaurant is a Restaurant on a revolving Floorplate. Crowne Plaza is a chain of full service upscale Hotels catering to business travelers and to the meetings and conventions market Club Quarters is a private full service Hotel chain for member organizations designed for the business traveler subsidized for family and friends' use on weekends and holiday Courtyard by Marriott is a brand of hotels owned by Marriott International. Macy's is a chain of mid-range American Department stores Its Flagship store in Herald Square, New York City has been billed Foley’s was a chain of Department stores owned by May Department Stores and headquartered in Houston Texas. It has 10 levels and it occupies an entire Houston square city block. In 2006 this store, along with all other Foley's stores, was renamed Macy's. Macy's is a chain of mid-range American Department stores Its Flagship store in Herald Square, New York City has been billed This is the only freestanding middle-market department store in a central business district in the Southern United States. The Southern United States &mdashcommonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South &mdashconstitutes a large distinctive
The Shops in Houston Center is an enclosed shopping mall. A shopping mall or shopping centre is a building or set of buildings that contain Retail units with interconnecting Walkways enabling visitors It houses ninety stores and the building itself straddles two city blocks.
Part of the shops and restaurants that make Houston's central Chinatown extends into the CBD. Houston, Texas, United States has two Chinatowns Old Chinatown is located in Downtown Houston near the George R
The Houston Pavilions is a major project currently under construction Downtown. Houston Pavilions is a commercial development in Downtown Houston, Texas. This project comes from the same developers of the Denver Pavilions in Denver; spanning three square blocks, however, Houston Pavilions is said to be larger. The City and County of Denver (pronounced /ˈdɛnvɚ/ is the Capital and the most populous city of Colorado, in the United States 
The Houston Downtown Tunnel System is also home to many shops and restaurants. The Houston tunnel system is a system of tunnels 6 m (about 20 ft below Houston 's downtown street system
Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) operates Houston's public transportation. METRORail is the Light rail line located in Houston Texas ( U Preston is a station on the METRO Red Line in Houston, Texas ( USA) The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County Texas (METRO operates Bus, Light rail, future Commuter rail, and METROLift (paratransit service in Downtown Houston is served by five light rail stations on METRORail's Red Line. For specific light rail systems many of which use the words "light rail" as part of their name see List of light-rail transit systems. METRORail is the Light rail line located in Houston Texas ( U They are the Downtown Transit Center, Bell Station, Main Street Square Station, Preston Station, and University of Houston-Downtown Station. Downtown Transit Center is a station on the METRO Red Line in Houston, Texas ( USA) Main Street Square Station is a station on the METRO Houston Red Line in Houston, Texas ( USA) Preston is a station on the METRO Red Line in Houston, Texas ( USA) METRO operates several bus lines.
There are a number of Taxi cabs that can be hailed from the street, 21 Taxi stands, or at the various hotels. Trips within downtown has flat rate of $6 by Cab. 
Downtown Houston is in Texas's 18th congressional district . Texas District 18 of the United States House of Representatives is a Congressional district that serves much of inner city Houston and the surrounding As of 2008 its representative is Sheila Jackson Lee. Sheila Jackson-Lee (born January 12, 1950) is an American politician
Sam Houston Park, on the western edge of downtown between McKinney and Dallas/Allen Parkway, is home to the Houston Heritage Society and a collection of historic buildings and homes from around Houston. Sam Houston Park is a Park located in Downtown Houston, Texas, and is dedicated to the buildings and culture of Houston 's historic past
Tranquility Park, bound by Rusk, Smith, Walker, and Bagby, uses open green spaces and a series of interconnected fountains to commemorate NASA's landing on the moon's Sea of Tranquility. Tranquility Park is a park in downtown Houston Texas, between Walker and Rusk Streets and east of Smith Street with the United States
Market Square, between Travis, Milam, Preston, and Congress, preserves the block formerly covered by Houston's open air market which fronted the old City Hall. Market Square in Houston Texas is bounded by Travis Milam Congress and Preston streets
Allen's Landing, on Buffalo Bayou at Smith and Preston, commemorates the landing site of the Allen Brothers, founders of the City of Houston. Allen's Landing is the birthplace of Houston Texas. In August 1836 just months after the Republic of Texas won its independence from Mexico, two brothers
Sesquicentennial Park, across Buffalo Bayou from Allen's Landing, contains a statue of George H. Sesquicentennial Park is an urban park in downtown Houston Texas. W. Bush, Houstonian and 41st President of United States.
Main Street Square, a pedestrian mall with a reflection pool and fountains on the MetroRail line between Lamar and Dallas.
Root Memorial Square, a one-block park across La Branch St from the Toyota Center.
Sisters of Charity Park, a quiet area in St. Joseph's Medical Center in the southeast corner of downtown.
Discovery Green, west of the George R. Discovery Green is a public park in downtown Houston Texas. Opened in 2008 Discovery Green’s site is located on Avenida de las Americas across from the George R Brown Convention Center, officially opened on April 13, 2008 with a Family Day event. Events 1111 - Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor. 1204 - The Fourth Crusade sacks Constantinople  The park has underground parking, an amphitheater, two restaurants, a dog run, a jogging trail around the park, a great Lawn, an interactive fountain and more. 
Houston Fire Department Station 8 Downtown in Downtown is under construction. City of Houston Fire Department ( HFD) is the agency that provides fire protection and Emergency medical services for the city of Houston, Texas
The neighborhood is within the Houston Police Department's Central Patrol Division . The Houston Police Department ( HPD) is the primary law enforcement agency serving the City of Houston, Texas, United States.
The closest United States Postal Service office is the Houston Post Office at 401 Franklin, Houston, Texas, 77201-9998.
The Majority of the County court systems are located in Downtown within a five block area bounded by Franklin, San Jacinto, Caroline, and Congress Streets including the following:
All are located around a central surface parking lot, that will eventually be turned into a Plaza and has been nicknamed "Justice Square". Plaza ( / latin america) is a Spanish word related to "field" which describes an open urban Public space, such as a City square.
Harris County, Texas's jails are in Downtown are located in the northern section of Downtown. Harris County is a County located in the US state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area Along with Harris County's facilities, there are several Constable courts and support facilities nearby.
The South Texas Intermediate Sanction Facility Unit, a facility for males operated by Global Expertise in Outsourcing, is in Downtown Houston .
The University of Houston–Downtown ("UHD") is an open-enrollment university located at One Main Street and is the second-largest institution within the University of Houston System. The University of Houston–Downtown (simply " UH–Downtown " or " UHD " is a four-year College in Downtown Houston Gregory-Lincoln Education Center is a combined primary and secondary school located at 1101 Taft in the Fourth Ward area of Houston, Texas, United John H Reagan High School Principal The University of Houston–Downtown (simply " UH–Downtown " or " UHD " is a four-year College in Downtown Houston The University of Houston System (often referred to as " UH System " or " UHS " is a state system of higher education which oversees and funds four The school currently has an enrollment of 12,000 traditional and non-traditional students from around the Houston Area.
Additionally, Downtown Houston is home to South Texas College of Law. South Texas College of Law is a private American Bar Association (ABA accredited Law school and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools
The grade-school children of Downtown are served by the Houston Independent School District. The Houston Independent School District (HISD is the largest Public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States.
Four elementary schools have zoning boundaries that extend to areas of Downtown with residential areas; they are:
E.O. Smith Education Center  (in the Fifth Ward) takes most of Downtown's students at the middle school level. Gregory-Lincoln Education Center is a combined primary and secondary school located at 1101 Taft in the Fourth Ward area of Houston, Texas, United 4th Ward may refer to Fourth Ward Houston Texas 4th Ward of New Orleans Midtown is a District southwest of Downtown Houston, bordered by Neartown and U Holiday Inn is a Brand name applied to Hotels within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG Edward O Smith Education Center is a combined primary and secondary school located at 1701 Bringhurst in Houston, Texas, United States. When the city of Houston was founded in 1836 and incorporated in 1837 its founders&mdash John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen &mdashdivided it into political Marshall Middle School  (in Northside Village) takes students at the middle school level from a small section of northern Downtown.
Davis High School  (in Northside Village) takes students from almost all of Downtown at the high school level. Jefferson Davis High School is a Secondary school located at 1101 Quitman in the Near Northside neighborhood of Houston Texas with a ZIP code Reagan High School  (in the Houston Heights) take students in the high school level from a small section of northwest Downtown. John H Reagan High School Principal Houston Heights, often referred to simply as " The Heights," is a large community located in northwest-central Houston,
Booker T. Washington High School's first location, 303 West Dallas, served as the school's location from 1893 to 1959, when it moved to the north . History The school was established in 1893 in Houston's Fourth Ward as Colored High School. Lockett Junior High School was established in the former Washington campus and closed in 1968 
Foley's Academy  was formerly located inside the Foley's (now Macy's) in Downtown Houston. Foley’s was a chain of Department stores owned by May Department Stores and headquartered in Houston Texas. Macy's is a chain of mid-range American Department stores Its Flagship store in Herald Square, New York City has been billed
Incarnate Word Academy, a Catholic all-girls' school founded in 1873, is the only high school actually located Downtown. Incarnate Word Academy is a Roman Catholic secondary girls' school located in Downtown Houston, Texas, United States. The academy is operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston (Latin Archidioecesis Galvestoniensis Houstoniensis) encompasses 8880 square miles of ten counties A nearby 4-8 school called the Holy Name School is north of Downtown .
Houston Public Library has the Central Library in Houston. Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Houston, Texas, United States. Houston Public Library is the Public library system serving Houston, Texas, United States. It consists of two buildings, including the Jesse H. Jones Building, which contains the bulk of the library facilities, and the Julia Ideson Building, which contains archives, manuscripts, and the Texas and Local History Department. Julia Ideson Building is a Houston Public Library facility in Houston, Texas, United States.