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Our History

There are few hotels in Houston that speak eloquently to the rich history of our celebrated city as Hotel ICON does. Its very name evokes ICON’s legendary presence in a bold urban landscape built by men whose imaginations were inspired within our very corridors.

Originally constructed to house one of the state’s most prominent financial institutions at the time, the Union National Bank, the building was erected in 1911 by renowned architectural firm Mauran, Russell & Crowell. At 12 stories, it was one of the nation’s first concrete and steel skyscrapers. The firm’s neoclassical concept for the structure was a marvelous nod to Grecian design: classic Corinthian columns span the exterior and decorative keystones feature the god Mercury, the Roman god of commerce (and trickery). Thirty-foot Doric columns line the interior. From the very beginning, the magnificent building was a stunning homage to the entrepreneurial spirit of Houston.

The building soon became a magnet for an impressive list of illustrious tenants, including Jesse H. Jones, architect John Staub, international construction firm Brown and Root, and law firm Fulbright & Jaworksi. For 35 years, it was also home to the first investment banking firm in Texas, Neuhaus & Co.

In 2004, this historic landmark was restored and transformed into Hotel ICON. The building retained its distinguished Bedford limestone and brick facade while sporting a lustrous new interior created by the  San Francisco-based design firm, Candra Scott and Anderson. In 2012, the interior was refreshed and revitalized to capture the contemporary energy of Houston’s invigorating modern urban atmosphere, and provide an even more genuine Texas experience.