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Welcome to the memorial page for

Peter Hoyt Brown

October 16, 1936 ~ December 12, 2017 (age 81)

Former Houston City Council Member and mayoral candidate Peter Hoyt Brown passed away peacefully at home on December 12, 2017 at the age of 81 after a courageous fight against cancer.

Peter was born in Houston, Texas on October 16, 1936 to Charlotte Robertson Brown and Herbert Hamilton Brown and grew up in Riverside Terrace. Peter attended St. John’s School and graduated in 1954 with the moniker “Crusader” under his senior picture.  He studied at Yale University and La Sorbonne in Paris. Peter completed his studies at the University of Houston, where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in French. He earned a master’s degree in French at the University of California at Berkeley. Peter enlisted in the U.S. Army and remained in reserve while earning master’s degrees in architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, 1966. Peter continued at Penn as an adjunct professor while working at the architecture firm of David Crane. In 1982, Peter joined the architecture firm of Lloyd Jones and Brewer in Houston and later went on to start his own architecture firm, which ultimately became Civic Design Associates. In 2003, Peter was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). 

During his career of more than 30 years, Peter worked in more than 22 American cities, but it was in Houston that Peter left his biggest legacy, with projects including the Sabine Street bridge, TIRZ 1 - Lamar Terrace, Hermann Park reflection pool redesign, and design guidelines for the historic Old Sixth Ward. Peter was instrumental in bringing light rail to Houston’s Main Street. He served on many boards, community organizations, and non-profits dedicated to developing better neighborhoods, transit, and communities. 

In 2005, Peter was successfully elected to Houston City Council. During his four years on City Council, Peter was a champion for stronger neighborhoods and making the city more pedestrian-friendly, earning him the nickname “Pedestrian Pete.” In 2009, Peter ran for Houston Mayor on a campaign to create a blueprint for the city and “Build a Better Houston.” After his political career, Peter continued to be very active in city politics and was a constant advocate for thoughtful planning and urban design. Peter wrote, “Good places make us infinitely more human. The best ones inform us, in subtle ways, of what it means to be human.”

Peter cultivated a great love for painting, art, opera, travel, wine, tennis, French cooking, and literature. To share his love of the arts, Peter donated generously and was involved in many organizations, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Menil Collection, Project Row Houses, Houston Grand Opera, AIA, University of Houston, Texas Southern University, and Rice University. Adopting MacGregor Elementary School gave him great joy in his later years. He ardently and selflessly passed on his knowledge and experience to others, mentoring many aspiring community activists, architects, planners, developers, and politicians. Peter taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University, and he wrote regularly for Free Press Houston about Houston development and politics. 

Peter is survived by his ex-wife Anne Schlumberger; son Hoyt and daughter-in-law Teresa; son Marlin and daughter-in-law Joey; son Christopher and daughter-in-law Divya; daughter Hilary and son-in-law Warren; daughter Catherine and son-in-law Charles; grandchildren Calvin and wife Tiffany, Ryan and wife Jessica; grandchildren Sofia, Louis, Alexandra, Adelina, Milana, Paloma, Elizabeth, Georgia, and Charlotte; great-grandchildren Capri, Sofia, Andres, and Arlo; brother Christopher James Brown; and cousins Charles Robertson, Anne Sellin, Stephen Robertson, Sharon Bacon, and Sam Farr. 

A memorial service will be held on December 21, 2017 at 11 am at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, Peter requested that donations be made to MacGregor Elementary School, which was close to his heart: Please send your memories of Peter to  

 Service Information

Memorial Service
December 21, 2017

Eleven o'clock in the morning
St. John the Divine
2450 River Oaks Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77019

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