Tax Credit Program Highlight: Medical Towers

Houston, Harris County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Use

Offices and retail

Current Use

Hotel, event venue, and retail

Date Certified

May 1, 2020


Also certified for federal historic tax credits.

Project Contact

Pearl Hospitality, BRR Architecture, Baskervill, Texas HRE Construction, Bill Franks Development Consultant, MacRostie Historic Advisors


The Medical Towers building is significant as part of the post-World War II expansion of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, and one of the first two International Style skyscrapers built in the city. The building was designed by the noted architectural firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, and is considered to be a modified version of their renowned Lever House in New York City. The building’s form consists of a tall vertical tower placed asymmetrically on a large horizontal platform with expressed structural system. The base housed a parking garage and retail shops while the tower held leasable office space. At the time of its opening, before further development of the Medical Center, Medical Towers made a sleek, striking statement on the skyline.

Rehabilitation Project

Most of the building had been remodeled over time as tenants changed, though the exterior had only been minimally altered, on the lower levels. This rehabilitation restored those exterior alterations, including removing paint from metal panels on the parking garage, and adding mosaic tiles back to the ground floor pilotis columns. The ground floor elevator lobby was largely intact and was fully restored, including internal storefronts to the retail spaces. The tower, with no historic interiors remaining, was completely overhauled for use as an upscale hotel. A large addition on the top of the garage provides for a new conference center, but was carefully designed so as not to alter the overall form of the building.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • Metal panels on the parking garage had been painted and damaged over time. They were replaced to match the original appearance.