Tax Credit Program Highlight: Petroleum Building (Greater Southwest Building)

Houston, Harris County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Use

Offices and retail

Current Use

Hotel, bar, event venue

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

March 5, 2020


Also certified for federal historic tax credits

Project Contact

Todd Interests; Merriman Anderson Architects, Inc; Andres Construction Service


This eclectic office tower, also known locally as the Greater Southwest Building, was designed in the Spanish Colonial style, with distinct decorative elements influenced by Mayan temples visited by the architect, Alfred C. Bossom, on his travels in Central America. These include terra cotta ornament on the building’s exterior and, notably, the design of the building’s main lobby, with carved heads and brass designs inset into the elevator doors. The building was designed specifically to house tenants in the oil and gas industries, but unfortunately, the upper floors in the building have been largely gutted as building tenants and owners have changed over time.

Rehabilitation Project

The recently certified project converted the office tower into a hotel. A new stair was inserted into the main lobby, designed in such a way as to not draw attention from the ornate historic lobby elements, but to draw customers to the new lobby and hotel bar on the building’s second floor. Historic elements in the lobby were fully restored, including the original call lights on the elevators. The lobby and hotel floors are designed to follow the character of the overall building while clearly appearing new, and create welcoming spaces. The 21st floor, originally known as the Tejas Club, serves as a large meeting room and venue space. The building has new systems throughout, including a new emergency egress stair. Non-historic windows and storefronts on the exterior were retained, which is allowed under the tax credit programs, as long as they are not further modified.

Photo Gallery

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  • The exterior of the building was minimally changed. Non-historic windows were retained.