1987: The year that changed Houston

There are a lot of special years in Houston's history, but 1987 might be one of the most memorable. Emerging from a recession spurred by a dramatic drop in the price of oil, the city exhibited its can-do spirit with a series of projects and special events that forged its future. The dramatic Wortham Theater Center, financed almost entirely from private funds, opened in May 1987 along Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston about the same time that Dominique de Menil debuted her spectacular Menil Collection designed by then-little-known architect Renzo Piano in a Montrose neighborhood. The mammoth George R. Brown Convention Center set the stage for the renaissance of the east side of downtown Houston when it opened in September of that year with a futuristic Love Boat design. Also new in '87: A quirky happening that has become one of the city's signature events, the Art Car Parade. 

In this CultureMap special editorial series, we look at how these projects came about, what they meant for Houston's future and how they continue to transform the city. 

News_Houston B-Day_George R. Brown_Convention Center

The George R. Brown at 25: Convention center transformed downtown Houston

By Clifford Pugh - September 25th, 2012

In 1987, the east side of downtown Houston was desolate. Then the George R. Brown Convention Center was built — and everything changed.

The Menil, 25th birthday, September 2012, City Dance Company

Jazz, dancing & scavenger-hunting on the lawn: The Menil celebrates its 25th birthday with a block party

By Whitney Radley - September 24th, 2012

Twenty-five is a big year, a quarter century, a milestone worth marking with a big, blow-out party.  The Menil Collection did just that, inviting friends, neighbors and patrons to join in celebrating the Houston treasure's 25th birthday on Saturday.  Sweltering afternoon ...