Rated as a beta world city, Houston's economy has a broad industrial base in the energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, transportation, and health care sectors and is a leading center for building oilfield equipment; only New York City is home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. It is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits—attracting more than 7 million visitors a year to the Houston Museum District. Houston has an active visual and performing arts scene in the Theater District and is one of few U.S. cities that offer year-round resident companies in all major performing arts.
The Shamrock was a hotel constructed between 1946 and 1949 by wildcatterGlenn McCarthy southwest of downtown Houston, Texas next to the Texas Medical Center. It was the largest hotel built in the United States during the 1940s. The grand opening of the Shamrock is still cited as one of the biggest social events ever held in Houston. Sold to Hilton Hotels in 1955 and operated for over three decades as the Shamrock Hilton, the facility endured financial struggles throughout its history. In 1985, Hilton Hotels donated the building to the Texas Medical Center and the structure was demolished on 1 June 1987. The hotel opened with fireworks displays on St. Patrick’s Day1949. Two thousand Houstonians paid $42 a person to have dinner at what was widely publicized as “Houston’s biggest party" which cost an estimated one million dollars. The party was attended by over 150 Hollywood celebrities including Ginger Rogers, Hedda Hopper, Robert Preston and Errol Flynn along with noted Los Angeles business executives and reporters, some of whom were flown in to Houston Municipal Airport on a customized Boeing 307 Stratoliner airplane which McCarthy had bought only days earlier from Howard Hughes
He became involved in politics soon after founding his own oil company, serving as a member of the House of Representatives, among other positions. He ran unsuccessfully for president of the United States in 1980, but was chosen by party nominee Ronald Reagan to be the vice presidential nominee; the two were subsequently elected. During his tenure, Bush headed administration task forces on deregulation and fighting drug abuse.
The Baytown Nature Center is located in Baytown, Texas, 20 miles east of Houston. It is located on a 450-acre peninsula along the Houston Ship Channel and surrounded on three sides by Burnet Bay, Crystal Bay, and Scott Bay. The Baytown Nature Center is both a recreation area and a wildlife sanctuary that is home to hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and aquatic species. The City of Baytown created this Nature Center 10 years ago. The SWA Group’s Houston office provided carried out land planning and landscape architectural services.
The Baytown Nature Center was, in the 1940s and 1950s, a highly desirable residential neighborhood known as Brownwood with nearly 400 substantial homes on a 500-acre peninsula. In 1961, Hurricane Carla devastated the Texas Gulf Coast, flooding Brownwood and ending any new development in the area. Afterwards, subsidence became a serious problem as oil and chemical facilities along the Houston Ship Channel pumped out groundwater faster than natural forces could replenish the water table. Thus, during the 1970s and 1980s, much of the Texan Gulf Coast (including Brownwood) sank a total of 10 to 15 feet. Brownwood, which had previously been high and dry, was repeatedly inundated by high tides and storms.