The George R. Brown Convention Center opened on the east side of downtown Houston on September 26, 1987. The building was named for internationally recognized entrepreneur, engineer, civic leader, philanthropist and Houstonian George Rufus Brown (1898-1983), who donated six of the 11 blocks necessary to build the GRB.
The first convention held was the American Society of Travel Agents beginning in October of that year. In July 2001, ground was broken on a joint effort to expand the convention center and build an adjacent 1,200-room convention headquarters hotel. After 27 months of construction, the GRB grew from 1.15 million square feet to 1.8 million square feet.
Three exhibit halls and more meeting rooms were added. The expansion was completed on December 3, 2003. Ground was broken yet again in June 2014 to fulfill the goals outlined in the GRB 2025 Master Plan. By adding more connectivity within the GRB and to the surrounding neighborhoods, a captivating experience for visitors and Houstonians alike is created.