Preservation Houston begins its summer twilight tour schedule by visiting two of Houston's most notable modern spaces: The University of St. Thomas campus and the buildings of the Menil Collection. The University of St. Thomas broke with tradition when it hired Philip Johnson to design its new campus in 1956. Although Johnson took inspiration for his buildings from the modern architecture of Mies van der Rohe, his campus plan was influenced by something much older: Thomas Jefferson's 1818 design for the University of Virginia.
The tour focuses on the development of the university's campus and the buildings of the adjacent Menil campus, which include Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry's Rothko Chapel and Renzo Piano's Menil Collection and Twombly Gallery. The tour will also visit Johnson's Chapel of St. Basil at the University of St. Thomas, one of the most unique worship spaces in Houston.
Free parking is available in the lot on the north side of the Link-Lee Mansion and on Yoakum Boulevard. Tour participants who walk, bike or use public transportation will receive a $2 discount. There are no public restrooms along the tour route.