Downtown Houston Tunnel Maps

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The Rice Lofts

Downtown Houston Tunnels


In Houston downtown tunnels provide and excellent method to avoid inclement weather. The origin of Houston tunnels was not a part of a master-planned effort to navigate throughout Downtown Houston, but as the combined efforts of downtown property owners. To this day each section of Houston tunnels are owned, maintained and patroled by employees of the building in which they belong to. When the first network of tunnels connected it provided relief from Houston weather, dirty streets, and other unpleasent elements. The downtown tunnel system is often (unfairly) blammed for the decay of Downtown Houston's retail and commerce. As people increasingly utilized the Houston downtown tunnels, merchants followed suite and relocated to tunnel retail space. The unfortunate result was that street life decreased and many undesireable elements became much more visible. The private ownership of the tunnels also facilitated in the removal of many unwanted elements.

Today with the revitalization of Downtown Houston, and the subsequent renewall in street-level retail the tunnels in Houston are facing increased competition. The tunnel system also has to contend with a business day that typically ends at 6:00pm, whereas the street level merchant can offer longer hours. One recent entry to the Main Street Retail market is the Downtown Houston CVS Drugstore. CVS offers both street-level access as well as a tunnel entry. Regardless of weather or time CVS positioned themselves to be accessible by all customers. Furthermore, since they also serve as a downtown tunnel entry point, they have the added benefit of flow through traffic.

Looking for a guide to Houston's Downtown areas? Check out our main page at Downtown Houston Guide for a guide to the Downtown Houston area. A map of Downtown Houston is also available at Downtown Houston Map

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