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George Brown Convention Center - Introductory Guide to George Brown Convention Center

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Named for engineer-philanthropist George Rufus Brown, the George Brown Convention Center is a hundred foot tall building decorated in the colors of the American flag. The massive structure sits just west of the Eastex Freeway in downtown Houston, Texas.

George Rufus Brown himself was a civil engineer, shipbuilder, marine, philanthropist, and presidential advisor. He was born in 1898 and died on the 23rd of January, 1983. His name is still attached to other entities than the George Brown Convention Center, including the Brown Foundation, a charity organization that has distributed $400 million since its founding in 1951.

The building was first opened in September 1987 amid parades, music, and fireworks. Most of the site was donated by Brown’s own Texas Eastern Corporation after thirty months and a $104.9 million investment.

Chief designer Mario Bolullo meant for the building to “reflect the city’s futuristic attitude,” but today the building seems as out of place as old science fiction. Oversized red vents hang over the top of the building, while its top stores are interrupted by blue scaffolding that looks like a radio tower turned on its side.

On July 28, 2001, a massive expansion project began that lasted until December 2003. The expansion cost $165 million and increased its size by more than one third its original size.

From a practical perspective, the building still performs its function well. With 1,200,000 square feet of meeting areas and 1,800,000 square feet overall, the George Brown Convention Center provides more than enough space for its many events. Its largest exhibit hall caters to up to 7,500 guests, and 100 meeting rooms provide small, out-of-the-way areas for convention activities and business gatherings.

Events at the “GRB” vary from business conventions like the Mary Kay 2011 Leadership Conference to competitive events like the Cheersport cheerleading championships. The GRB hosted the 1992 Republican National Convention, the 1999 World Energy Conference, the 2002 World Space Congress, and many other high profile events.

The George Brown Convention Center is supported by a variety of partner services from such companies as FREEMAN audio-visual, Fed Ex Office, and Aramark Food and Beverage. Companies can reserve space for meetings as well through <a href = " http://www.visithoustontexas.com/meetings/rfp">Visit Houston Texas’s online service.

Out-of-town visitors can reach the GRB by taking the Houston Metro from the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. One-way fare is only $1 to $1.50. Houston also provides cabs, car rental, and shuttle services to ferry visitors from the airport.

The George Brown Convention Center homepage is user-friendly and smart phone compatible. A virtual tour acquaints would-be visitors with the building layout, while an up-to-date events calendar tracks the center’s activities. Check out its homepage for more information on the Center and the various events it hosts:

George Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida De Las Americas
Houston, Texas77010-6099
(713) 853-8000
<a href = “http://www.houstonconventionctr.com/”>Homepage
<a href = “http://georgerbrown.com”>Alternative Homepage (not smart phone compatible)

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