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For Preservation NewsCetter of the Greater Mouston preservation A((iance

I VOWME9,NUMBER3

~,I993

Historic preservation, Houston style Despite City Council's June vote to extend the moratorium on demoli s hing hi storic buildings. as thi s issue of For Presamtion was going to press. local preservationists were stunned when the city of Houston razed the II O-year-old Bums Building in the Main Street/Market Square Nationa l Register Historic District on August 25 with a swift dispatch rarely observed in our munici pal bureaucracy. One of numerous Houston examples of demolition-by-neglect, the three-story building had suffered a partial collapse of one wall the previous day, spilling loose bricks on several cars in an adjacent parking lot. City emergency personnel and a dangerous buildings team moved in, barricaded traffic from all directions. and officially classified it a dangerou s building, thu s removing it from the protection of the demolition moratorium ordinance. A request earlier thi s year by preservationists to the City to add penalty provisions to the moratorium extension ordinance for illegal demolitions and for cases of demolition"byneglect such as this one had been rejected. According to a June 3 report in the Houston Chronicle, " Mayor Bob Lanier said he is no t convinced the city needs to increase such efforts ... [and] was tepid at weseI.Yalio uis ts' suggestion the city could be more aggressive."

Looking East: Houston's heritage corridor project by Guy Hagstette On June 18 Mayor Bob Lanier unveiled Houston's Heri{age Corri-

dor, {he Buffalo Bayou East Sector Redel'elopmenr Plan, the result of two years of extensive work by the East End Chamber of Commerce and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The plan presents a vision for fulfilling the potential of East End areas through neighborhood revitalization, economic development. historic preservation, environmental planning. public art and communitybased design. The two end points of the project are Allen's Landing, Houston's original port, and the turning basin six miles east down the

bayou. Included within these boundaries are Houston's East End, parts of the Fifth Ward, Second Ward and downtown. In contrast to many previous plans for Houston's development, the Heritage Corridor Project begins with history. The events recounted in this current plan are more than the history of a few of the city's older neighborhoods, they are the defining historical events of Houston itself. Based upon extensive research by Janet Wagner of J. K. Wagner and Company. Inc., the Heritage Corridor Project report is required reading for so many of us who know too

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Gable Street Power Plant, site of a proposed museum highlighting energy, technology and industrial history of Houston.

little about Houston's rich past. This knowledge of our heritage imbues the plan and the area with a richness of spirit and the area with a sense of place so often lacking in similar planning documents. Buffalo Bayou, named the "Highway of the Republic" by early Texans, forms the framework upon which are hung a wide range of initiatives and recommendations that include the potential of the bayou to serve as an open space recreation corridor, and a reminder of old industrial Houston through the renovation of industrial sites along its perimeter. The plan proposes to use the bayou as a greenbelt system. which Mayor Lanier observed can equal that of any city in the world. Although the concept of the bayous-asemerald-necklace greenbelt is not new (although it has been persistently ignored), the plan expands this concept beyond that of an expendable piece of municipal jewelry, by recognizing that Buffalo Bayou is Houston's historical heart and soul, the very foundation for the city's prosperity, and continued health as a livable community. As project planning consultant John Rogers, AlA, says "The project links the city's historic and modem ports along a fascinating corridor rich in cultural and industrial history." Additional recreational easements, park land and trails are all proposed for the bayou as well as a series of "rails-to-trails" corridors, which will take advantage of the many abandoned railroad rights-of-way to link neighborhoods together, to downtown, and to other greenbelts along Brays Bayou. But the true ambitions of the plan are contained in the recommendation to create an urban interpretive and cultural corridor similar to the many successful national and state parks that highlight the industrial and cultural heritage of cities in the Northeast. This concept COlllil1lfCliillSiC/c

Facade block grants by Danni Sabota The face of the Market Square Historic District is changing because three small area business owners have received a total of $15,000 in matching grants, to be used for facade restoration work, from the Houston Endowment, a fund established by Jesse H. Jones. Bart Truxillo, long-time owner of the Magnolia Building, received a $4,000 grant for his structure that has anchored the area's preservation efforts since 1968; Neil Sackheim and Randy Pace, co-owners of Carter & Cooley Deli, have been awarded $7,800 for the massive exterior redo project of the Brashear Building, and Sheldon Epstein. owner of Crown Jewelers, received a $3,200 grant for facade work on the Byrd's Building. "We believe in historic preservation, especially in this part of town," explains Ann Hamilton, grant officer with Houston Endowment, "After all, Mr. Jones built most of it.路' The $15,000 in grants was originally given to the Downtown Houston Association-to be administered through the Market Square Historic District Project-as part of an effort to save the cratering Kennedy Corner Building in 1991. Unfortunately, however, the building owner demolished Kennedy Comer before a buyer could be found or the grant application could be fully processed. Despite the demolition, Houston Endowment awarded the money anyway, directing its use for facade restoration on other eligible structures within the district. Each grant recipient has already mapped out uses of the funds. Truxillo plans to repaint his Buffalo B.ayou-side building and repair the original cypress windows. The Magnolia Building was once part of the 20-acre complex that had been designed by architect Eugene Heiner for the Houston Ice and Brewing Co.

''I've been working in historic preservation for 25 years, and this is the first time I've ever gotten anything like this," Truxillo admits. "It takes extra efforts and funds to do special things like this to a historic building." Sackheim and Pace have a $100,000 job ahead of them to resuscitate their deli's ornate facade, an artful creation also by architect Heiner. It is the only remaining building in the city with its cast iron facade intact, which consists of the columns and upper cornices. Their portion of the grant will also go to painting and repairing windows. but Pace and Sackheim also recently received a $75,000 facade grant from the City of Houston through its Community Development Block Grant Funds. "The spirit in this area is improving dramatically," Sackheim contends. "And with that spirit comes continued inside

City Council approves demolition moratorium extension by David Beale Houston preservationists breathed a lillie easier after City Council acted on Wednesday , June 2, to extend the moratorium on the demolition of most historic buildings in Houston for at least another five months. The Council chamber was well stocked with GHPA representatives, and after listening to preservationist speakers Minnette Boesel, Tim McAuliffe, Neal Sackheim. Jamie Mize, Anna Mod, GHPA Secretary Betty Chapman, and GHPA president Barry Moore, City Council voted unanimously to extend the demolition moratorium until December 31. 1993 or until the effective ('oillillll(,(/ il1.1'i(/('


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Winedale Summer Institute by Charles John and Anna Mod This past June, graduate students from the University of Texas and the University of Houston Schools of Architecture joined forces at the Wiriedale Historical Center, outside of Roundtop, Texas, to research, measure and document a historic structure for the

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program within the National Park Service to record America's historic buildings and to employ architects during the Depression. The project follows strict guidelines established by HABS. The students first extensively research the history of the building(s), looking through courthouse records, documents in local libraries and historical societies, and conducting oral interviews. Complete photography of the structure comes next (not snapshots, but large format with perspective corrected lenses). Then the task of measuring the building, inside and out, including the grounds, is undertaken. All building measurements are done by hand by climbing in, out, over, under and through the building, then the information is hand drawn on mylar with ink, as per strict HABS guidelines. Drawings in the set include site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections and lots of details, down to decorative hardware, molding, light fixtures, and any other unique features of the building-ali dimensioned and labeled. The goal is not only to completely document the building as it is today, but the drawings should be such

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). The Winedale Summer Preservation Institute hosts the four week long program (fondly referred to by some as "preservation camp"). The University of Texas, through its School of Architecture Historic Preservation Program, led by professors Wayne Bell and Dan Leary, has been involved in the Winedale program for 18 years. The University of Houston through its College of Architecture Historic Preservation Program, led by professor Barry Moore, is in its second year of participation. The Winedale Summer program is one of many summer projects undertaken each year by students all over the country with the aim of submitting their work to Washington D.C. for the Peterson Prize Competition. The competition, sponsored by HABS and the Athenium of Philadelphia, is in honor of Charles E. Peterson, the founder and first director of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). Prizes are awarded for the best sets of measured drawings donated to HABS by students ~ of architecture, and accept'"a. ~ able entries are then transo o ::;: mitted to the Library of Con~ gress' architectural drawings iii In archives. HABS was initiColorado County Courthouse, Columbus, Texas. ated by Peterson in 1933 as a Architect: Eugene Heiner.

Moratorium,

continued date of the zoning ordinance, whichever occurs first. Should City Council pass a zoning ordinance, it would not become effective until after a zoning referendum, now presently planned for October or November, 1993, so the moratorium will be in effect at least until that time. City Council thus passed Ordinance No. 93-660, amending Ordinance No. 91-1738, which had established the moratorium in December, 1991. The original ordinance would have expired by its own terms June II, 1993. City Hall records indicate that more than 200 buildings have been saved by the denial of demolition permits since the enactment of the 1991 ordinance. The moratorium extension was a project backed by GHPA, and initiated by Donna Kristaponis, Houston's Director of Planning and Development. Passage of the original ordinance was one ofGHPA's finest accomplishments in 1991. It climaxed six months of hard work by a GHPA task force, who developed its strategy after consulting with city council members, drafting the ordinance, securing the sponsorship of Ms. Kristaponis, and advocating its passage with City Council. The unanimous passage of the 1991 ordinance, (which could have been spurred also by the destruction,

unfortunate but legal, of Kennedy Corner on Market Square) was also significant because it was the first time City Council had officially approved an ordinance protecting historic buildings in Houston. The time limit imposed on the June ordinance dramatizes the importance of zoning to historic preservation. The moratorium on demolitions exists only because of the prospect of a zoning ordinance. Similar restrictions elsewhere have been held to be unconstitutional unless enacted as part of a zoning ordinance, or in contemplation of the passage of an ordinance. The proposed Houston Zoning Ordinance, which is strongly supported by GHPA, provides the framework for the establishment of a historic preservation program in Houston similar to those that exist in 2000 other American cities. As part of the proposed zoning ordinance, historic buildings can be protected from demolition indefinitely, historic districts and landmarks can be established, and conservation plans which influence development, and protect and improve historic areas and structures can be adopted and enforced. David Beale is a Houston allorney and resides in The hisToric WesTmoreland Place neighhorhood.

be rebuilt as it now stands. using these documents. The project selected for this year's Winedale Institute was the impressive 1889 Colorado County Courthouse in Columbus, by far the largest project undertaken in the program's 18 years. The building, originally built between 1889 and 1891, was designed by Houston architect Eugene Heiner in the grand Second Empire style. Following a hurricane in 1909 which took off the clock tower and the roof, the building was rebuilt with a new simpler classical roof and the large copper dome which is its dominant feature today . In 1936, as a WPA project, a basement was added, and in 1951, two wings were added to the south side to increase office space . The building underwent an extensive renovation in the 1980s uncovering what is probably the building ' s greatest feature, a massive stainedglass dome in the ceiling of the district courtroom on the second floor. At the end of the project, on June 20, a reception was held in the Courthouse to display the students' work to the County residents, County commissioners, local historical groups, students' families, friends, and invited guests, many of whom were from Houston. The following week, those who were able, spent time in Austin at the School of Architecture, putting the final touches on the package to be sent to HABS . The final submittal included not only the drawings, but

labe led photographs, a written history with cited sources and all field notes. Results of the Peterson Prize Competition will be known in early October. Last year this same team of UT and UH placed second nationally. This year could be number one. Charles John is a locaIIJrl'sl'ITllTion archiTeCf amI a recenT gradullTc (if the I're.\·eITatiol7l'rogram at Unil'crsity of Houston . He was a lIIelllher of the Tcam this slimmer at Winedale .

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those willing to invest in this opportunity." Epstein is in the process of converting the upper two floors of the Byrd ' s Buildingdesigned by local Art Deco master Joseph Finger-into 10 loft apartments. His facade grant will cover power washing of the exterior, replacing windows and the addition of forest green awnings. "This grant was like a seed grant, and we plan to expand upon it," says Susan Coffey, of the Market Square Historic District Project. "The program is definitely needed, and we want to help owners and tenants who are interested in rehabilitating structures." Danni SahOla is communications assistanr at The Greater Houston Conl'ention and Visitors Bureau. Prel'iously, she wrote on architecTural hiSTory and historic preserration for the Houston Business Journal.

The Past in Print by Wendy Teas Jamieson In his vivid discussion of the built environment in South Texas, Joe S. Graham asserts that early Texas colonists brought from Spain and Mexico a ranch culture "that had prepared them to cope with the many challenges of a harsh, arid, unsettled terrain where they had little access to the amenities of civilization." This cultural heritage helped them to build comfortable homes, to locate geological resources, and to manage their precious water supply in

tal cross-references. The essays can be read all at once or over a period of months or years. Most are worth re-reading. Second, the writing style and approach make the essays in Part I very accessible, even to those not familiar with Hispanic Texas history. Some knowledge of Texas geography is helpful, but most essays can be enjoyed by both novices and experts, partly because of the beautiful, well-chosen photographs and figures. Third, the essays skillfully detho; ¥aryil7f5 i-hrcaa5 of J-J;.spal7;'~

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most meaningful message found in Hispanic Texas: A Historical Guide , Graham advises us that the built environment of these early Hispanic Texans "shouldindeed must-be preserved for future generations that they, too, may understand and learn from the contributions their biologicalor cultural ancestors made to the creation of a modem state."(p. 75) Perhaps our awareness of our heritage is not as directly connected to our daily survival as it was for Jose de Escadon and his followers two and a half centuries ago. On the other hand, it could be argued that our present cultural and psychological environment is just as confusing and frightening as the physical barriers faced in south Texas by the colonists of Spanish, Mexican, and Indian descent. What can we learn from the story of Hispanic Texas? How much is revealed in artifacts of language, food, festivals, and the built environment? What still exists to remind us of the Hispanic influences that continue to shape our culture? Hispanic Texas: A Historical GI/ide makes an ambitious effort to attack these questions from two fronts: a collection of essays (Part I) and a "guidebook" listing (part II). The essay topics in Part I are wide-ranging. They include, among other things, a discussion of Hispanic place names in Texas, an account of Spanish Missions, an analysis of Spanish Revival architecture, and a survey of Tex-Mex food . The essays often overlap each other in information, but approach the information from different viewpoints. For example, Patricia A. Mercado-Allinger discusses the arrival of Charles Goodnight and his fellow cattlemen in the 1870s in terms of the panhandle's transformation from an open landscape of nomadic shepherds and pla::as (fortified towns) to carefully-defined cattle ranches bordered by barbed wire. Jack Jackson discusses the arrival of the cattlemen in terms of their adoption of ranching methods from the Mexican I'aquero tradition. Several ingredients combine to make Part I powerful and intriguing. First, the essay format provides a series of detailed "snapshots" of many different aspects of Hispanic Texas heritage. Each essay can stand alone as an independent article, but their combination leads to fascinating men-

culture-from Spanish, Mexican, and native American sources-have been interwoven over time to contribute to a common Texan culture. The essays clarify the distinctions and commonalities of Hispanic history found in different regions of Texas, particularly the panhandle, the Trans-Pecos region, and south Texas. Part II, though remarkable as a research effort, is less successful in its communication of the enduring legacy of Hispanic Texas because of its format. Part II is called "The Guidebook," but in reality it is more of a catalogue of historic buildings, places, and sites that are associated with Texas's Hispanic heritage. It also contains Hispanic community churches, festivals, public art, and institutions. In the Houston area, it lists historic sites such as the Lorenzo de Zavala home site, buildings such as the Gulf Publishing Company Building (330 I Allen Parkway), institutions such as OUT Lady of Guadalupe Church, public art such as "A United Community" (comer of Kane and Trinity), and events such as Festival Chicano. The format of Part II makes location of particular areas or towns difficult, and the index does little to make referencing easier, since it contains listings from Parts I and II. If it is intended to be used as a guidebook for touring, it would be much more effective if it were bound separately and indexed separately from Part I, with its sections separated by tabs. This criticism should not, however, deter the reader interested in Texas heritage; the essays alone are well worth the price of the book. Hispanic Texas is an impressive reminder that our ancestors' legacy is a powerful tool to help us understand and respond to our current environment.

HISPANIC TEXAS: A Historical Guide . Helen Simons and Cathryn A. Hoyt, Texas Historical Commission, Eds. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992. pp.xviii, 502, $19.95 paperback.)


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Preservation in River Oaks by Stephen Fox Since the earl y 1980s, Houston's most establi shed neighborhoods- Wes t University , Southampton, eventually Bellai re, Tanglewood, and even the Memori al vi llages-have been undergoin g econom ic rejuvenati on as existing hou ses are demoli shed and replaced with new, usually large r, and much more expensive houses. Considered stri ctl y in real estate terms, this is a good sign. It means that rather than abandoni ng ex isting neighborhoods and mov ing to new subd iv isions beyond the edge of the ci ty, Houstonians have decided to stay put and rei nvest in Houston. In less abstract terms, however, nei ghborhood transformation has caused emotional and visual distress as familiar settings are changed and modest neighborhoods are aggressively upscaled with oversized neo-traditi onal style houses whose architectural imperfections are summed up in architect Anthony Frederick 's descripti ve term "Georgianburger. "

of Charles W. Olive r's picturesque Spani sh Mediterranean houses, at River Oaks and Inwood. Potentially threatened landmarks include Birdsall Briscoe ' s Redbird House of 1925 at 3237 Inwood and Charles W. Oliver' s "Mediterranean Villa" of 1927 at 2011 Bellmeade, both bu ilt by th e Ri ver Oaks Corporati on and both occupied fo r almost thei r enti re histories by si ngle owners. Because neither house has eve r been ex tensivel y rem odeled, each retains to a high degree what hi storians would desc ribe as its "integrity:" its original finishes and fixtures . But whether a new owner would regard compact size with authentic 1920s spatial organi zation, and original plumbing and lighting fixtures as desirable features is, to say the least, questionable, given current property values in River Oaks. Another landmark on which demolition has been deferred, but whose destruction remains li ke ly is the house that architect Hugo V. Neuhaus, Jr. built for his family in 1951 at 2910 Lazy Lane. This is one of the great modernist houses of Houston, and it exemplifies a special subset of threatened properties: modem style buildings of the 1940s, ' 50s, and ' 60s not yet old enough to qualify for listing in the o National Register, and o .c a. "new" looking to be too "0 o considered "historic" by ::;; many potential buyers. 'c::c::" « Since Neuhaus's Georgianburger at Pine Valley and Troon, 1993. exquisite modem house for the philanthropist River Oaks, Houston's best known neighNina Cullinan at 3694 Willowick was borhood, was until the late 1980s exempt from demolished in 1983 (the site is still vacant), this trend. But no longer. Residents who value loss of this second Neuhaus House would be a the consistency of scale and setting for which major blow . River Oaks is known now share in the dismay Only three houses in River Oaks are expressed by older residents of West Univerpresently listed in the National Register of sity and Southampton and ask: what can be Historic Places. These are Bayou Bend, the done? River Oaks has restrictive covenants, Spanish Mediterranean-style Sewall House at which are conscientiously enforced by the 3456 Inwood Drive, and the Mount Vernonboard of trustees of the River Oaks Property inspired Clayton Summer House at 3378 Inwood Drive. Each listing was initiated by the Ownen; Association. A.Driyate slJna.x levied on River Oaks property owners pays, among other owner of the property . Although listing in the things, for legal counsel and, if necessary, National Register confirms the historic litigation to compel adherence to the restricsignificance of these houses, it is chiefly an tions. But the restrictions do not address honorific designation. It does not prohibit preservation concerns. Short of the 20+ demolition or inappropriate alteration. subdivisions that comprise River Oaks How can loss of landmarks, and eventual adopting preservation addendums to these

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Potentially threatened landmarks include Birdsall Briscoe's Redbird House of 1925 at 3237 Inwood. in the National Register of Historic Places. Presently there are six National Register historic districts in Houston. The elite Buffalo Bayou, (,()Iltilliled neighborhoods of Courtlandt Place and Broadacres (the 1300-1500 blocks of North would use sites like Allen's Landing, unused and South Boulevards) are two of these six public works buildings along the bayou and di stricts. Each was listed in 1980 because facilities at the Port of Houston's turning property owners felt that National Register basin to tell the story of Houston and to eduhistoric district designation, although mainly cate all of us about our city's impressive hishonorific, would give them added leverage torical and industrial legacy. should they have to fight off any threat to the Building upon these big ideas, opportuniintegrity of their neighborhoods. River Oaks ties are highlighted for arts and cultural fawould likely be nominated as a Multiple cilities to house the area's many neighborProperty listing rather than a historic district, hood-based arts institutions. These are based because it is so large. This is the designation upon community desires to see appropriate under which Houston Heights was listed in the use made of assets as diverse as EI Mercado National Register at the instigation of Heights and the many expansive walls of industrial residents in 1983. buildings already used by local artists for Property owners not familiar with different public murals. Several aging industrial structypes of historic designation are often hostile tures, such as the Gable Street Power Plant to listing in the National Register, fearing that and the Willow Street Pump Station in the it will lead to legal restrictions on use of their downtown area, would be converted to museproperty. Listing in the National Register does ums highlighting energy, technology, and not impose such restrictions. However, other subjects of interest. adoption of a municipal zoning code with Playing upon the new role of the bayou as provisions for historic district overlays will front door amenity rather than back-door impose public review procedures on permits infrastructure, the plan proposes to link resifor demolition and alterations in locally dential neighborhoods into this system via designated historic districts. trails and open space. New neighborhoods There is an alternative to public controls : are also identified which could take advanimposition of restrictive covenants mandating tage of Houston's remaining warehouses and preservation of individual properties, with historic structures concentrated along Buffalo enforcement authority assigned to an indepenBayou. dent body, such as the River Oaks Property Consistent with its grass-roots orientation, Owners Association. Architect, River Oaks the plan also outlines basic improvements to I'Osident; and fonner GHPA board member W. the infrastructure in the area. Most important O. Neuhaus, III, first broached the possibility are roadway connections to improve the link of preservation restrictions in 1984, and between the East End and the rest of the city. historian Charles Orson Cook wrote about Like many of Houston's older neighborthem in an article on preservation in River hoods, the East End was left behind by Oaks in the May 1990 issue of RO Maga:il1l'. Houston's massive freeway system, which This would likely take the form of a standard surrounds it, but rarely provides a link. Acclause defining the scope of preservacess to the area, even from downtown, is tion and assigning responsibility for difficult because of the large railroad yards enforcement, which individual that lie in between. Among the most imporproperty owners would voluntarily '''1'( tant recommendations is a new tunnel con~~~ insert in their standard set of restricnecting the East End's Navigation Boulevard tions. An incentive for such voluntary with downtown's Franklin Avenue. Another restrictions could be a program of recommendation would extend Clinton Drive facade easements, whereby property west from Jensen Drive to link with downowners would convey a restrictive town via Wood Street in the warehouse diseasement to the street facades of their trict north of the bayou. Within the project houses to a non-profit body in return area, "scenic drives" along the bayou, for a one-time income tax deduction. planned as local streets, will provide new This is the means that the Galveston access for motorists and residents without Historical Foundation has successfully separating adjacent neighborhoods from the used to protect the external appearance bayou. Industrial traffic, long a problem for of historic buildings that it has bought, residents, would be re-routed to new collecand then resold to private parties. tors. Subsequent owners of such a property The vision is ambitious and the track would have to obtain the consent of record for the city and county in efforts of the owner of the easement before this nature is sketchy at best. In translation, altering its facade. this means that the most difficult work lies River Oaks has a rich architectural ahead for Anne Olson, who spearheaded this and social history. This history is effort for the East End Chamber of Comembodied in its buildings and places. merce. "We realize it's going to be a multiPreservation of the historic integrity of these year project," she observes. "It may take 25 buildings and places is imperative if the years to implement the whole plan." She also distinctive character of River Oaks and such emphasizes that funding from local, state, intangibles as the "collective memory" of federal and private sources will be required. personalities and events associated with In his comments, Mayor Lanier suggested buildings and places is to be perpetuated. that a full-time staff will probably be reConcerned residents need to plan for the quired to manage the project's complex preservation of their community. A historic implementation phase, but he expressed a resources survey, a serious examination of the strong desire to "jump start" the process with feasibility of individual preservation restricseveral near-term projects in order to gain tions and their enforcement, and a program of momentum for the overall project. facade easements or other forms of incentives Whether approached as history, environfor preservation are priority items. Education mental design, economic development, or on the value of community historical awarejust good urban design, Houston's Heritage ness and community conservation are just as Corridor Project gives Houstonians an excelimportant. These are the critical issues that lent example of what good community-based confront River Oaks residents who want to comprehensive planning is all about. We maintain the historic character of Houston's fervently hope that our public servants will most famous neighborhood. follow the good example that Anne Olson, John Rogers and Janet Wagner have set. Stephen Fox is a Fellow of' the Anchorage FoundaMayor Lanier's positive comments encourtion o/Texas and aji'equent writer ahout the history age us that the City of Houston can and will of' Houston and its architecture. lead in the implementation of this vision for the East End's and for Houston's future.

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The notorious demolition of one of architect John F. Staub's most celebrated houses, the Spanish Mediterranean style Crabb House at Pine Valley and Troon in 1985, symbolically marked the beginning of the crisis. restrictive covenants, the River Oaks Property Owners association has no legal standing to disapprove of new construction, remodeling nor demolition or inappropriate alteration of a historically or architecturally significant house. It is precisely the unusual concentration of architecturally-historically significant houses that makes River Oaks so vulnerable to the "tear-down" real estate syndrome. Although houses were demolished for replacement by newer houses in River Oaks as early as the mid-1950s, it was not until the mid-1980s that this became a chronic problem . The notorious demolition of one of architect John F. Staub's most celebrated houses, the Spanish Mediterranean style Crabb House at Pine Valley and Troon in 1985, symbolically marked the beginning of the crisis. Other incidents have followed. Several houses designed by the architect Birdsall P. Briscoe have been moved from their original sites. Since 1990, River Oaks houses by Houston's best known female designer-builder of the 1920s, Katharine B. Mott; famed Pasadena, California, architect Roland E. Coate; and Frank Lloyd Wrightinspired Houston architects MacKie & Kamrath have been destroyed; as has the first

loss of neighborhood character in River Oaks, be addressed? One alterative is zoning. If adopted by Houston City Council, the proposed zoning code will offer the mechanism of "historic overlay zoning." This comprises procedures for designating individual properties, as well as districts consisting of a group of individual properties, as historic; reviewing permits for demolition and alterations; and delaying or denying permits for demolition. These provisions are similar to historic overlay zoning as it presently functions in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Galveston, and other Texas cities. To qualify for protection under a historic zoning overlay, properties must first be designated as historic . For a community as big as River Oaks (1,100 acres), a professionally conducted historic resources survey will be required. A historic resources survey identifies, documents, and evaluates the historic significance of individual properties. In addition to determining which properties qualify for special recognition under the local preservation program , such a survey could also serve as the basis for nomination of River Oaks for listing

Guy Hagstette is Director of Plannillg alld Design ....ith the Houston DO ....l1fol1·11 Management Corporatioll.


In Brief Amendment defeated. On Wednesday. July I-k U.S. Rep. Tom Delay of Sugar Land offered an amendment to the Department of Interior appropriation bill which would have deleted $7 million in funding for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. After 30 minutes of debate on the House floor. the amendment was defeated by a recorded vote of 315 to I 16. The National Trust received strong support from both Democrats and Republicans in the debate (including statements from Rep. Mike Andrews of Houston and Rep. Pete Geren of Fort Worth) preceding the vote. The vote was the first ever exclusively on the National Trust since the House enacted the Trust's enabling legislation nearly a half century ago. Theatre on the Square, founded by James Hansen Prince. announces the September 15th opening date of 'Twelve Angry Men." The play is a drama based on a TV play from the I 950s and deals with racism within the jury and courtroom process. The play will run for five weeks: Wednesdays and Fridays at 8p.m. and Sundays at 7p.m. Theatre on the Square is located above Treebeard's restaurant at 915 Travis on Market Square. For additional infonnation: 868-3538. Citizens for Zoning Organized: The neighborhood campaign for zoning is now official. At a press conference held on the steps of City Hall it was announced that a Houston Homeowners Association (HHA) Steering Committee composed of Ray Driscoll, Chainnan, Kay Crooker, Ed Kopinitz, Talmadge Sharp, and Brandy Wolf has designated the name "Citizens for Zoning." The campaign is to achieve a positive zoning vote for the referendum, which will probably appear on the ballot on November 2, 1993. The campaign has appointed Rev. William A. Lawson, pastor of the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church as treasurer. Ray F. Driscoll will serve as assistant treasurer. Citizens for Zoning has been properly filed with the City Secretary, has a bank account, and is now officially open for business. All contributions are to be made payable to Citizens for Zoning and mailed to Ray F. Driscoll, Citizens for Zoning, 5750 S. Rice, Houston, Texas 7708J. For additional infonnation: 523-2486. (Reprinted by permission from the HHA newslel[er. Neighhorhood News. June 1993.)

U of H students receive grant The Rice Hotel has become the center of attention for some graduate students at the University of Houston. In May, Lynn Edmundson, Charles John and Karen Skaer from the University of Houston Historic Preservation Program, were winners of the Urban Design Research grant sponsored by Tau Sigma Delta, the Architectural Honors Society. Their proposal, The Rice Hotel:

HOl/ston's Grand Lady. A Social History centers on recording the social history of the downtown hotel. Oral history interviews and photographs not in any known collections were greatly needed to supplement and complement the architectural research to record the significance this building had on the lives of the people of Houston. The City's connection to this building is based on the way people used the building and their memories of it-why and when they went there, who they went to see, and what they did while they were there. These firsthand stories are the real contributions of the Rice Hotel to Houston's historic urban fabric. This summer the students interviewed everyone from employees of the hotel, debutantes who had their coming out parties there, businessmen who traveled to Houston and stayed at the Rice, and those that frequented the Rice Roof as the only place in Houston to go and dance under the stars. So far, about 25 interviews have been conducted, recorded and documented. The team will continue working on this project throughout the fall, interviewing more people and reproducing personal photographs and memorabilia to accompany the interviews. An exhibition is planned for the spring at the UofH College of Architecture Gallery.

Inside GHPA Lyons Foundation Grant Thanks very much to The Lyons Foundation for a grant of $3,000 for the GHPA 1993 Summer Intern Program. These funds provided support for the work of two interns in our office this summer. Rob Seale, who served as a volunteer in the GHPA office during the summer of 1992, is a senior at Lamar High School. Carolina Lawson, a recent graduate of the High School for the Visual and Perfonning Arts, will be entering the University of Texas at Austin this fall. We wish them the greatest success and thank them for their very capable assistance. West University history exhibit In partnership with the West University Place Historical Society, GHPA's Membership Committee is planning a presentation of neighborhood oral and visual histories of West University Place, including personal and community photos, maps, documents and mementoes. The exhibit is scheduled to open Friday, November 5th at the West University CommunilY Cemer Wilh a gala reception which all GHPA members are encouraged to attend. Open to the public on November 6 and 7, the exhibit will be hosted by GHPA and the West University Place Historical Society to foster membership in both organizations. Details of this special event for GHPA will be mailed to members in October. If you are interested in helping out, please call Ann Ivins at 942-8191 .

ADVISORY BOARD BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Barry Moore, President David F. Beale, President Elect James A. Tinsley, 1st Vice President Vicki List, Past President Betty Chapman, Secretary Jeffery S. Baloutine R. George Cunningham Gabriella Gutierrez David B. Jones Susan Keeton Staci Minchen Elizabeth Rockwell Rolando Romo Beverly Rudy Mercedes Terry F. Carrington Weems Linda Weiland EX-OFFICIO

Margie Elliott, Executive Director Donald Skipwith, Old Sixth Ward Historic Neighborhood

Nancy C. Brainerd, Downtown Houston Association Jane Ellen Cable, Harris County Heritage Society Kay Crooker, Houston Homeowners Association Franklin Denson,

Gift Thanks to Stewart Morris, Jr. from Stewart Title Company for his generous gifts of file cabinets, framed prints and a laptop computer for the GHPA offices at Texas Commerce Bank. GHPA Board News Our deepest thanks and best wishes go to Morgan A. Hill and Kenneth M. Williams, who have concluded their service on the GHPA Board of Directors. Both Morgan and Ken will continue their support and involvement in GHPA through their leadership and participation in our preservation projects. Welcome new GHPA members: Indil"idual Members: Ms. Martha Alexander, Ms. Joanne D. Anderson, Ms. Joan Archer, Ms. Patricia Doherty Bartlett, Mr. Bill Bateson, Ms. Lisa Bowman, Ms. Debra E. Carter, Mr. Thomas R. Coale, Mr. Hugh D. Gibson. Mr. Thomas C. Hill, Mr. Paul G. Homeyer, Mr. L. D. Jones, Mr. Richard Larrabee, Ms. Sydney Moen, Mr. Donald Nichols, Mr. Peter Roussel, Ms. Lynda C. Smith, Mr. Don Willson, Ms. Marion Worthington. Family Members: Mr. and Mrs. John Klumb. Student Member: Ms. Lynn Edmundson. National Trust Grant The National Trust for Historic Preservation has awarded a $1,000 grant to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. The matching grant is seed money that will help GHPA hire The Galveston Historical Foundation as consultants to assist in the preparation of a membership development campaign with the goal of doubling GHPA membership. The grant was made possible by a special appropriation to the National Trust's Preservation Services Fund from the 103rd Congress of the United Stute:').

The National Trust program for dispensing small grants for local projects is administered by the Trust's Preservation Services Fund (PSF), which holds three competitive funding rounds annually. Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 are awarded to nonprofit groups and public agencies and must be matched at least dollar for dollar with public or private funds. Turn-Verein documentation team Thanks to the very capable services of Geoffrey Brune and his team Lynn Edmundson, Sydney Moen, and Amy Hammond who took photographs, measurements and produced drawings of the Houston Tum-Verein Clubhouse before it was demolished during the week of July 26. The Joseph Finger designed building was razed to make way for a new Walgreen's. The team's documents will be included in the archives of demolished Houston architectural landmarks.

TEXAS UMtTED

Cannata Houses Work continues on the rehabilitation of GHPA 's Cannata Houses on Decatur Street in the Old Sixth Ward Historic District. The Old Sixth Ward Community Development Corporation expect to have qualified buyers identified within the next few weeks. Sanders Construction Company has been awarded路the contract for the current phase of the project. Leveling and foundation repair was completed by contractor Brett Mize from the Old Sixth Ward neighborhood. Preservation breakfasts planned In September GHPA will initiate a series of preservation breakfast meetings featuring talks about important projects and issues related to historic preservation in the Houston area. The tentative date for the first preservation breakfast is Wednesday, September 22. If you would like to be included on the mailing list for this series of meetings, please call the GHPA office at 236-5000. The topic of the first breakfast talk will be the Rice Hotel. GHPA Planning retreat The GHPA Executive Committee met recently with facilitator Ed Allday to discuss plans for the September 1 I Board of Directors planning retreat. This will be the third board planning session since 1989 and will provide an opportunity to establish and/or confinn organizational priorities and to maximize resources. Ed has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations, fonnerly as an affiliate with American Leadership Forum and currently as a member of the finn of Dini & Associates in Houston. GHPA is most appreciative to him for volunteering his services. Heritage Education Student tours The Heritage Education Committee of GHPA will be initiating students' walking tours of the Main Street/Market Square Historic District in the fall. Using a hands-on approach, students will explore the historic built environment through photography, measuring, observation, and recording. Working as teams of detectives they will discover architectural elements, "read" a building, discuss land use, and learn about preservation efforts. If you would enjoy guiding elementary students in "Footsteps to Discovery" and could give a few hours a month, we would like to hear from you. Training will be offered in September. For more lnfo'rrnallorr, I-'(c,,~c ,""It 236-.5000.

Correction: In the February 1993 issue of For Preserl"(ltion two errors have been noted in our story about Washington Cemetery. The cemetery caretaker, W.L. Noland died on October 3, 1941, not 1949 as noted. The Rev. Casper Braun, pastor of the first Lutheran Church in Houston, was buried in Glenwood Cemetery on October 14, 1880 (before the Gennan Society Cemetery was established). His son, Caster Braun, was buried in the German Society Cemetery (Washington Cemetery) on January 6, 1900. For Preser1'atiol1 regrets the errors.

Lee M. Ellwood, University of Houston, Downtown Edwin A. Eubanks, Eubanks, Bohnn Associates Stephen Fox, Fellow, The Anchorage Foundation

JOIN GHPA! Individual Patron Corporate

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Fmnily Business Student

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fl..!llClo .. 1".' I,;opy u1 lD)

James E. Furr, F.A.l.A., Hoover & Furr-3D11 Jim Greenwood, Houston City Council Guy Hagstette, Houston Downtown Mgmt. Corp. John T. Hannah

Nmne _______________________________________ __ Address ____________________ ___________ ______ City/State/Zip ________________________________ Telephone __________________ ________________

Janet Landay, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Truett Latimer, Houston Museum of Natural Science

Kelly Thompson, Houston Archeological & Historic Commission

John Logan, Christ Church Cathedral

Paul Guariglia, City Planning Dept.

Louis Marchiafava, Houston Public Library

Tim McAuliffe, Market Square Project

Stewart Morris, Jr., Stewart Title Company

Al Davis, Chainnan, Harris County Historical Commission

Martha Murphree, American Institute of Architects

Bart Truxillo, Director Emeritus

Emilio Sarabia, Tejano Assn.for Historic Preservation,lnc.

Charles D. Maynard, Jr., Legal Council

StafTNews GHPA says good-bye to Anna Mod, who will be moving to Austin this month to enter the graduate program in historic preservation at the University of Texas School of Architecture. Anna started work as a volunteer in the GHPA office about one year ago and has been on staff with us since January. Her contributions to GHPA have been many, including the primary responsibility for For Presen'ation. this being her last issue. We wish Anna the greatest success and know that we'll be hearing more from her as a preservationist.

Vince Ryan, Houston City Council NEWSLETIER COMMITTEE

Barrie Scardino

Margie Elliott Charles John Anna Mod

Linda Sylvan, Rice DesiRn Alliance Eleanor Tinsley, Houston City Council Betty Wardwell, Houston Proud

Mail with your check to:

Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 712 Main Street, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77002-3207

The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 712 Main Street, Suite 1 \0 Houston, Texas 77002-3207 Address Correction Req uested Return Postage Guaranteed

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PAID Houston , Texas Permit No. 712

September 1993 GHPA Newsletter  

"For Preservation," the newsletter of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance

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