The historic Forum of Civics building and gardens are available
for special functions and wedding receptions. Please call
713.523.2483 or send an email
for information. Open to the public Monday, Wednesday, and
Thursday, 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
Location: 2503 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77098
The Forum is not to be used for commercial, political,
fundraising purposes or teen parties. The maximum capacity
is 175. Renter agrees to hire HPD security and all functions
must be over and the building cleaned and vacated by
12:00 midnight. Outside catering is required and all
rental equipment shall be picked up after the event
unless otherwise arranged with the building manager.
The Forum is
available for Wedding Receptions
Please call 713.523.2483
or send an email for
|About The Forum
Built in 1910 and owned by the River Oaks Garden Club since
1942, the Forum of Civics building is of recognized historical
significance and is listed in the National Register of Historic
Places. Its gardens provide valuable green space in the heart
of the city and are open to the public free of charge.
Initially built for use as a county school, the building
was remodeled in 1927 by John F Staub as headquarters for
the Forum of Civics founded by Will Hogg. Hogg, who chaired
the Houston Planning Commission, organized the Forum of Civics
to develop a comprehensive plan for Houston's public spaces
and, in his words, "to stimulate civic pride and to combine
forces for the betterment and beautification of Houston."
One of the Forum's projects was the citywide planting of crepe
myrtles, roses, and shade trees, all of which were donated
by Will Hogg.
The Hogg estate bequeathed the building to the University
of Texas in 1939 with the stipulation that it continue to
be used for educational purposes. When the River Oaks Garden
Club purchased the Forum of Civics building, the UT Board
of Regents stipulated that the Club "carry on the educational
work directed primarily to stimulating knowledge and love
of gardening, aiding in the protection of native plants and
birds, and encouraging civic planting and planning."
In the ensuing years, the River Oaks Garden Club has carried
out this charge. The Forum building has been home to horticultural
workshops, flower shows, and in conjunction with the annual
Azalea Trail, educational exhibits. The Club has also established
model gardens on the Forum grounds for demonstration purposes.
The first such garden, a Victory Garden, was planted during
World War II to encourage Houstonians to grow their own vegetables.
In 1955, three formal gardens designed by J. Allen Myers,
Jr. and Herbert Skogland were installed. The club later installed
two additional, more informal gardens: one of native Texas
plants, and another of seasonal plantings.