Riveroaks Garden Club

the forum


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.

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.


Open to the public on Mondays
from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm,
and by appointment
on Wednesdays and Thursdays
from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm.

2503 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77098


    Forum Rental

    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.

    Live music and dancing allowed only outside in the patio areas not inside the Forum building.

    The Forum is available for
    Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions, Rehearsal Dinners, Corporate, Birthday or Holiday Parties, Showers and Photography Sessions.

    Please call 713.523.2483
    or send an email for information

get in touch

river oaks garden club

2503 Westheimer • Houston, TX 77098
Phone 713.523.2483 • Fax 713.523.4306
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