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Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, Houston

Categories: Art Museums, Historic Sites, Museums, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, located in the River Oaks community in Houston, Texas, United States, is a 14acre facility of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) that houses a collection of decorative art, paintings and furniture. Bayou Bend is the former home of Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg. Bayou Bend was marked with a Texas Historical Commission marker in 1973 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.Mansion and gardensThe mansion, designed by architect John F. Staub, was built between 1927 and 1928 for Ima Hogg and her brothers, William C. and Michael Hogg. Covered in towering trees and thick undergrowth, the home site was, in Miss Hogg's words, "nothing but a dense thicket". The home was one of the first to be located in the River Oaks neighborhood developed by the Hogg brothers. During construction, Ima Hogg insisted that as many trees as possible be kept. Only one tree was sacrificed to make room for the house, and the gardens were created around the existing trees. Ima Hogg gave the home its name, over the objection of her brother Will, who said the name was "too muddy and 'muskeetery' and malarial". Ima responded that "not everyone can have a bayou".
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  • Beautifully maintained gardens all year round -- especially early March. Delightful collection of decorative arts presented and explained perfectly. Lots of in-depth programs in addition to the genera...  read more »
  • Fall is not the best time to visit the gardens but we had the house tour to ourselves with two docents. Wonderful gift shop - spent too much! We plane to return in the spring to tour the gardens. 
  • PRO's: This jewel of a museum draws visitors from around the world but is not on many Houstonian's radar. This is the house museum of Houston philanthropist, Ima Hogg, who left her estate and collecti...  read more »
  • Absolutely love this place. The collections are wonderful and worth paying for, but they also have 'family days' a few times a year when you can go for free. We've been on July 4 when they had a fife and drum band and someone in costume reading the Declaration of Independence; on election weekend when they were running a colonial-style election; we've seen some of the 'hidden sides' of furniture, when they had drawers pulled out and certain items turned over to show labels and more, and we've been on special days like at Christmastime for the candlelight tours and on Mothers' Day, when it was free for mothers. Oh, and one excellent visit had every room done up for a different holiday - there was Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving, but also celebrations like christenings, weddings, Valentine's Day, and more. EVERY visit is different and every one is enjoyable. And in recent years with the new gift shop it just gives me an excuse to stay longer!
  • September is not a good time to go. Even though the garden is decent, there were no flowers anywhere except where you park (next to the green house). The place was under renovation, so there are places are blocked off, scaffolding, and giant dirt patch where the steps in the back use to be. I normally wouldn't be so disappointed, but my friend and I have been turned back several times in the past two years, because it was almost 4 o'clock or due to weather. After paying full price for admission we were told the bridge is under construction, and to drive around to the back. Still excited, we made our way to green bushes next to green grass, and dirt. Nothing really nice, like from the reviews or pictures seen online. I guess the only good time to go is in spring/or events.
  • Cool, relaxing, historical and great for an easy stroll in a beautifully designed Houston estate.
  • Great place to spend a couple of hours, the gardens are nice but the house and it's collections are the winners, it really gives you an insight to how folks lived in the past and the guides on hand know their stuff and are able to point out interesting facts not on the pamphlets, they also provide an audio tour.
  • Great outdoor views. Especially the Buffalo Bayou Bridge that you have to cross to get to the place. It is nice to take a stroll during spring. Other than that the house is typical Victorian style with a few interesting rooms.
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