President of the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects board and board member of its West Virginia Foundation for Architecture, Harris said the foundation has been looking for ways to make people more aware of architecture.
"We were looking for a Lego competition a few months ago but that fell through. This was a logical progression. There's a fair amount of interesting buildings in Charleston, both historic buildings and more contemporary."
The group approached the FestivALL steering committee, which already had a similar idea.
"We wanted to do some public art tours," said Susie Salisbury, a vice president with the Charleston Area Alliance, which last year won a $50,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to inventory and promote the city's public art.
A public art walking guide, part of that effort, will be unveiled during FestivALL, she said.
"So we had this planned, and the AIA had this idea for architectural tours. Naomi [Bays, FestivALL public art coordinator] had the idea for combining the two. Architecture and art are closely attached."
In addition to the walking tour, two trolley tours are scheduled a week later, on June 23. A downtown public art tour starts at 10 a.m., and an East End and Capitol Complex art and architecture tour starts at noon, Bays said. Both tours begin at the Lee Street triangle.
Details of the trolley tours are still being worked out, but the downtown art tour is likely to range farther than the walking tour Saturday.
There is plenty of sculpture to see on the Capitol grounds, Bays said. "In the East End, we'll get some of the murals, and probably some of the historic homes."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.