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For Preservation A quarterly publication of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance

Volume 13, NO. 3

Summer 2001

2001 This year's Good Brick Awards were held in the epitome of a historic adaptive reuse project, Enron Field. Chairs Eileen and George Hricik did an outstanding job of taking the Good Brick Awards to a new level. Their generosity and hard work brought a new awareness of the importance of historic preservation to a much wider audience than ever before. GHPA is extremely grateful to have friends like the Hriciks who understand and embrace our mission and who care about preserving the history of the City for future generations. The luxurious concourse that encircles the playing field was an appropriately large stage and provided a comfortable space for the annual awards. The large crowd had plenty of room to talk, mingle and partake of refreshments. After the awards ceremony, guests went to Union Station for a seated dinner, catered by Ruggles. Union Station never looked so good as Drayton Mclane, owner of the Houston Astros baseball team and the founding board of the Harris CoumylHouston Sports AuthOrity received the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance President's Award for the restoration of Union Station and then , it's incorporation into the new design of the stadium. This is what historic preservation and adaptive reuse are all about, and the resultant benefit to downtown Houston is shown with increased property values, more business and more people. There were many wonderful projects nominated for the 2001 awards, and the Good Brick jurors made distinguished decisions. The Mid-Continent Companies, Limited and Patrick Van Pelt restored 1218 Webster, a building that represented Houston city life in the 1920's and early 1930's. Mr. Van Pelt noticed the building and decided it contained grand elements of

Good Bricl~s Awards

design as drawn by its architect, Alfred Finn. The resulting restored building makes a wonderful addition to Midtown and enhances the area. Harry Gendel Architects received an award for the 1885 Helfrich House, remodeled in 1924 to a Craftsman-style bungalow. Mr. Gendel renovated the house to it's 1924 bungalow exterior to fit within the adjacent neighborhood style and uses the house as his office. The house fits neatly into its Old Sixth Ward neighborhood is an inspiration for those to follow. The restoration of the 1905 Dr. Penn B. Thornton home at 327 West 16th Street in the Heights area of Houston brought an award to Norman Kirk Speck. The Colonial Revival house has been restored to its period and is one of the few houses of this period to survive in Houston. It is an elegant addition to the Heights. Move Home was recognized with an award for it's rescuing of small, vintage houses. The houses become homes, through relocation and restoration, for low to moderate income first-time homebuyers. Move Home has saved 18 homes since it's inception and brings restoration to a wider audience. The residents of Norhill, just north and west of downtown Houston, received an award for their work in organizing a historic district for their area. The Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association accomplished the work required to attain local designation from the city to form the largest historic district, Norhill, designated to date. The designation establishes the significance of the history of the area and provides a parameter for development.

East of the River, written by Addie Mae Barrett Dixon, was another sign of the diversity of the Good Brick Awards. Addie researched her famil y history east of the San Jacinto River near Crosby, Texas and has written a moving book documenting the life and culture of her family from 1875 onward. Her grandfather, Harrison Barrett, founded Barrett's Settlement east of the river and Addie determined that a written history would be a lasting history lesson. Her book

has enriched our knowledge for a culture and lifestyle that were an important part of the past. The Blue Triangle MultiCultural Association received the Stewart Title Award for its work on the 1951 YWCA building located at 3005 McGowen. Hiram A. Salisbury and Birdsall Briscoe, well known Houston architects, deSigned this building as a public space for women and children of the Third Ward. John Biggers , one of Houston's most prominent artists, painted

Below: Presidents Award winners Drayton McLane Oeft) and Jack Raines, (right) with Louis Skidmore, GHPA President Right: Good Brick Award winners Diane and Harry Gende!.

Left: Good Brich Awards chairs Eileen and George Hri cih Above: Louis Skidmore, left, Ghpa President with Charlotte Bryant, center, of Blue Triangle Multi Cultural Center, winner of the Stewart Title Award, and Ed Lester, President of Stewart Title

TIRZ, the City, the County and You In this and future newsletters we will be offering articles dealing with the various tools available to accomplish neighborhood revitalization and preservation. A TIRZ, or Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, is one of the tools that can have a positive effect on Houston's historic neighborhoods. The resulting tax zones created with this tool for improving less fortunate areas are funded with tax revenues that are kept at their current levels, then when development starts to take place and property values rise as a result of redevelopment, the tax revenue above the existing

level is reinvested into the area through the TIRZ. A TIRZ is created to assist areas that have fallen behind in maintenance of Sidewalks, streets, esplanades, lighting and landscaping. The resulting public improvement is meant to encourage more private development. A TIRZ may be created from tax zones set up as designated areas that are experiencing development regression. A TIRZ involves the residents in the area and a Board of Directors appointed by the partiCipating taxing entities. City Council determines the total number of individuals on the

Board. The Board of Directors also includes the State Representative and Senator from the district, or their representatives. A redevelopment authOrity administers a TIRZ with input from Harris County and the City of Houston. Bonds may be issued to pay for projects and competitive bidding laws are adjusted for these areas. This process should make projects go faster and still adhere to City and County regulations. The Board meetings are open to the public and an agenda for each meeting will be posted at City Hall at least three days before the meeting. There is

usually a public comment segment to each Board Meeting for individual participation. A TIRZ has a lifespan limited to 40 years or may be terminated through a date deSignated in the original creating ordinance; or by reassigning the date through a subsequent ordinance; or when all project costs, tax increment bonds and interest on those bonds have been paid in full. The lifespan reflects the progress of development of the TIRZ area. The area benefits from the improvements brought about by the TIRZ funds and the quality of life within the city is improved.

a powerfully reflective mural for this building and the Blue Triangle Multi-Cultural Association has done a wonderful job of restoring this important asset to this community The Good Brick Award for Outstanding Service or Leadership went to Bart Truxillo. Bart has been a moving force for restoration in Houston when there was not even a wisp of breeze in that direction. Bart has restored both commercial and residential buildings and helped countless others to do the same. He has worked on the historic preservation ordinance for the City of Houston and the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission. The old Magnolia Brewery Building on Franklin Street and his 1896 home in the Heights are monuments to historic restoration. The award ceremony included the American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter 25-Year Award for enduring architectural landmarks. This award was presented to the City of Houston for Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park. William Ward Watkin originally deSigned this theatre in 1921, the present metal canopy with its impressive support span was designed in 1968 by Eugene Werlin and Associa tes. It has been a community gathering place enjoyed by a large cross section of Houston citizens for free public events. This is what Houston is all about, buildings that reflect the wealth of culture and lifestyles of it's citizens. Greater Houston Preservation Alliance is pleased to acknowledge these architectural reflections and all the hard work that went into each project.

Contenl of For Preservation is produced by lhe Publicalions Commillee of the Grealer HOUSlon Preservalion Alliance, including: Ramona Davis, Roy Hill , Paul Homeyer, Daphne Scarbrough, Artwork, layoul and printing of For Preservation is generously underwrillen by Houston House & Home magazine.

Founded in 1978, the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance is a non-profit501c(3) corporation that promotes the preservation and appredation of Houston. architectural and cultural historic resources through education, advocacy and committed action, thereby creating economic value and developing a stronger sense of community. Fundingfor GHPA programs and activities is provided through memberships, granes, and individual and corporate gifes. C200 1. All contenlS a" copyrighted by the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance.

The Great Flood of 1935 Left: The Sears Roebuck Store at the corner of Montmse Boulevard and Allen Parhway under flood waters from Buffalo Bayou, December 8th, 1935

Above: A vtew of the East entra nce to River Oahs wh ich IS now the lI1tersectIOn of Shepherd Dnve and Allen Parhway


National Preservation Weel~ Luncheon and Fair

Ti tle Sponso r; Waste Management, In c

Forreman Deguerin Nugent Gerger

The annual National Preservation Week Luncheon and Fair was held on May 16, 2001 downtown at the Houston Club. Louis Skidmore, the acting president of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance welcomed everyone to the luncheon and introduced City Council Member Annise Parker who read the Mayors Proclamation in observance of National Preservation Week. Louis called attention to the sadness many of us felt about the demolition of the Gulf Publishing Building even though many efforts were made to influence the developer about the historical significance of the building and to persuade him to use it as part of his development. Anita Garten introduced this year's speaker, John Lienhard, University of Houston Professor of Engineering, best known for his nationally syndicated Public Radio program, The Engines of


Our Ingenuity; and an inspiring, educational talk followed which included the origin of the shotgun houses common in the 19th century. Dr. Lienhard spoke of historic preservation as a curatorial process, of saving as much as possible in one form or another and the reality that there is not room to save everything. He reminded the audience that saving and learning go hand in hand, and that there is great tension in the balance between the two. Ms Garten announced that the trustees of the Cotton Exchange Building have given GHPA a gift of over $25,000 to establish the A. Frank Smith, III Facade Easement Fund. In addition, Ms. Garten announced that GHPA will be working with H.tS.D. in the fall 2001 semester to begin a Heritage Education Program in its approximately 80 historic schools. The program will be a

contest for 4th and 7th graders to research the history of their schools. Entries will be videos , interviews with former students, architectural studies, or anything that sparks the students' interest. The Good Brick Awards judges will judge the entries, and the top three winners will be presented at the Good Brick Awards ceremony in February. The elegant setting of the Houston Club was an excellent back drop for the Preservation Fair which included the participation of the Downtown Historic District, the Upper Kirby District, the Old West End Association, the Eastwood Historical Commission & Friends of Lantrip Elementary, Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association, Rice Design Alliance, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, The Park People, Incarnate Word Academy, Trees

for Houston, Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, Independence Heights, MECA, Greater East End Management District, Houston Heights Association/Hogg Middle School, the American Institute of Architects, Scenic Houston, University Place, Courtlandt Place, Norhill Association, Westmoreland Civic Association, Bethel Baptist Church, and the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation. Luncheon guests could stroll among the participants' displays and learn more about current preservation projects in Houston. The Title Sponsor of the event was Waste Management, Inc. Table Sponsors of the event included Kirksey, Metro National, Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distribu tors, L. P , Minnette Boesel Properties, Foreman

DeGuerin Nugent Garner, Gensler, Anita Garten, Eileen Hricik, Jim and Betty Key, Cora Sue Mach, Patrick Van Pelt, Eastwood Historical Commission and Friends of Lantrip Elementary School, the Downtown Historic District, the Heritage Society, the Heritage Society Docents, Houston Heights Association, Houston Hispanic Forum and MECNOld Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association. The Luncheon and Preservation Fair was well attended and provided a great opportunity for many groups to meet and discuss preservation projects. Greater Houston Preservation Alliance is grateful for the interest and support provided by those attending and also, for partial funding from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston! Harris County and the Texas Commission on the Arts through the Cultural Arts Council.

Wal~e Up a Treasure] Houston is replete with vacant historical buildings awaiting their reincarnation into modern life. The stories of their history and construction are mute, until someone shows an interest in cleaning them up and opening them to the current world. Historical buildings represent slices of time, a time gone by that is reOected in the quality of construction materials and details of craftsmanship. There are many stories to be told from old buildings when you look at them through the construction detai Is of the past. The value of a historical bUilding encompasses its construction history as well as its history in the city. When looking at the materials available for construction today and what was available in the past, there are interesting comparisons. Building materials such as hand hewn beams of old growth woods; hand made ceramic Liles, and hand wrought metal work comprise an old building's structure and architectural personality. These building materials can be taken for granted, but to reproduce them for a current bUilding would sometimes not be practical con sidering the cost of production and the unavailability of products. Old growth woods have made quite a comeback on to day's market and are expensive materials to use for Ooors and beams, but they exist in all historical bUildings. The beautiful dark lines of the tree growth give texture to a room in a Ooor, mantel or beam but they also represent strong wood that stands the test of time as rafters and beams, still clean and structural many years later. Vintage brick is another premium building component, its solid insulating qualities and weathered beauty add much to the building's exterior. Brickyards sign their bricks, and the colors are a history of the area of the brickyard. New bricks by comparison are usually not solid, thus , not as insulating, and the color lacks the patina of time. Even old windows have their place in a materials list, particularly the metal frames with swiveling glass and hidden screens from the 1920's. These are windows that are not being built today with the same materials. Metal railings, solid

Demolition Day: The GLtlJ Publishing Building on Allan Pm'kway was razed on May 16 despite efforts by the GHPA to save it. Photo by Daphne Scarbrough.

Old growth woods salvaged from vintage buildings exhibit dreamatic grain patterns which are unmatched by their modern replacements. Photo by Daphne Scarbrough

wood doors, metal hardware, and light fixtures are also found in vintage buildings. Metal items glow with the patina of time and the finesse of craftsmen long gone. Many metal items are replicable today, but many of the newer pieces do not have the detail or strength of casting of the older pieces. The key to the physical value of historical bUildings is the building materials that are already there, waiting to be cleaned up and used again, rather than trashed or replaced. Respecting the building's original spirit through the quality of its construction and the work of its craftsmen gives a value to old

structures that should be an inspiration for the future . All old buildings have something pertinent to their historic time period, whether it is wood or bricks, metal or tile ; even light fixtures can be a valuable asset to the bUilding. So, next time you drive by an old building, think about the craftsmen from the past that gave the bUilding its structure and its character and hope that a new purpose may be found so that this historic structure can live again, recycling the craftsmanship through time.

by Daphne Scarbrough

ODDS & ENDS Good Reading Looking for gift ideas? The GHPA still has plenty of copies of Historic Houston: An Illustrated History and Resource Guide by local historian Betty Trapp Chapman for $49.95. Call the GHPA office at (713) 216-5000.

Mal~ing it

Newsletter Comments, Corrections, or Questions? Call or email Executive Director Ramona Davi.s, at (713) 216-5000 or; or email volunteer editor Paul Homeyer at:

Happen! Volunteer Opportunities There are numerous ways in which to get involved at the GHPA. We need you! If you're interested in lending your talents and time please contact Ramona Davis, Executive Director at (713) 216-5000.


Don't forget our num1er! It's 2841. The next time you're at Randall's, remember to link your Remarkable Card to our number 2841 , and your purchase will be credited to our account.

Randall's will pay us a percentage of our account total, so be sure to use your card every time you shop.

2001 Wall~ing Tour Schedule July 22Riverside Terrace August 26BinziSouthmore September 23 5th Ward October 28Eastwood November 25 (Thankgiving weekend) Freedman's Town December 16 Independence Heights

Sadly, another of Houston's architectural landmarks has been the victim of the wrecking ball. The Gulf Publishing Building, which graced Allen Parkway for nearly seventy-five years, has been demolished by the current owners of the property, Simmons Vedder &: Co. The development company has razed the historic structure to make way for a 32-story apartment complex. Designed in 1928 by the prominent Houston architectural firm, Hedrick &: Gottlieb with subsequent additions made by architect Alfred Finn, the building's SpanishlMediterranean style set the architectural tone for many of those later constructed nearby. Ironically, the less graceful adaptation of the style in the form of the recently constructed apartments and strip retail center nearby remain while the model that started it all is carried to the landfill. In a pro-active attempt to save the building, representatives from Greater Houston Preservation Alliance met with Tom Simmons to discuss alternate ways of developing the site without destroying the historic building. Other Houston developers were invited to these meetings in an attempt to persuade Simmons that profitable development could, in fact , coexist with historic preservation. Apparently Simmons just didn't get it. While such lack of stewardship of our historic resources is disturbing, it's heartening to know that even in such a developer driven city as Houston there are those that believe that profitable development and historic preservation can not only peacefully coexist but can actually support each other. Proving that the preservation and reuse of historic buildings can make good business sense, Spire Realty has construction underway to redevelop the Bankers Mortgage Building at 708 Main Street in downtown. The first phase of the Banker's Mortgage Building was built by

Jesse Jones and deSigned by Alfred Finn ca: 1910. A large addition - which more than doubled the size of the building - was constructed in the 1920s . The structure was extensively remodeled again in 1939. Spire plans to continue the' original use of the building as office space with retail establishments on the ground Ooor. The building once housed the offices of both j esse jones and Alfred Finn. What is believed to have been jone's office is still intact on the second Ooor and used as an elegant conference room by Spire. The restoration of Finn's 1939 deco building lobby is expected to be complete in the next few weeks. The redevelopment of the Banker's Mortgage Building represents the seventh redevelopment of a historic bUilding by Spire in downtown Houston. Developer Andrew Kaldis is currently redeveloping the Imperial Plumbing Company Building at Westheimer and Mandell. Built ca: 1920, this bUilding was designed by Houston architectJoseph Finger and originally housed, among other tenants , Mading's Drugs. A representative of A. Kaldis Interests has indicated that the facade of the bUilding wi ll be restored as closely as possible to the original condition based on old photographs. The developer had already secured a lease with a restaurant tenant who has a long and repected history in the Houston restaurant industry. Built the same year as the Gulf Publishing Building was the Thir d Church of Christ, Scientist at Almeda and Binz. This historic place of worship is currently being renovated by attorneys (and part time developers) James Stafford and Deborah Keyser and will be adaptively reused as a banquet hall for parties, receptions and other speCial events.

By Paul Homeyer

New Members 2001'

Th e Greater Houston Preservation Alliance

John A. Adams, Jr.

Mary L. Holton

Matt and Shi rley Provenzano

Louis F Aulbach

Dot Honeycuth

Bobby and Beth Reeves

Jeffery O . Beauchamp

Scott Howard

Charles G. Riepe

Anita Garten

Louis H. Skidmore, Jr.

David Jones

Morgan Hill

Doug Belisle

Adam M. Hricik

John P Rislen

Past President

Acting President



Elizabeth Chouinard

Eileen and George Hricik

Sylvia G. Rodriguez

Pam Churchwell

Luke T. Hricik

Jolynn Rogers

Michael J. Coley

George M. Hricik, Jr.

Veronica Rossini, AlA

and Teresa M. Petrucci-Coley

Ronald and Mickie Huebsch

Pat Webb and Greg Shaw

Margie Conroy

Florence S. Hughes

Jesse Ska tes

Marianne Cook

Carole C. Johnston

Wanda Sorsby

Dan Del'Homme

Geoff Jones

Andy Sumar

Deborah Detering

Mr. and Mrs. Jake Kam in

Tim Svegliano

Blanten Filak

Gjoa Kuberry

Loyd S. Swenson , Jr.

Sarah M. Frazier

Mr. and Mrs. Lee A. Lahourcade

Jim and Kitty Tardy

Margaret Gonzalez

Mike Mark

William and Lynda Transier

Mr. and Mrs. David Grau

Virginia McKay

Greg Travis

Drs. Lewis and Laurie Greenberg

E. Drew Mehlhaff

William and Amanda Van Pelt

James T. and Maureen Hackett

William H. Me rrim an

Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Waller

Stan and Karen Hallet

Judy Meyer

Larry E. W haley

Madeleine M. Hamm

Doris Murdock

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W hitaker

Leif and Elsie Hatlen

John L. Nau Family

Tom and Monica White

2000-2001 Board oj Directors

Voting Directors Al Calloway Gracie Cavnar Cliff Davis W illiam Eide James W Fonteno, Jr. W illiam Franks

Non- Voting Ex-Officio Charles D. Maynard, Jr. Legal Counsel

Bart Truxillo Director Emeritus

Larissa Lindsey Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood

Robert Litke City Planning Director

Robert and Susan Hawkins

Claire U. Navarre

Ann Witucki

Roy Hill

Robert a nstead

Peter Wo lfhagen

Randy Pace

Marks Hinton

Helen R. Peter

Kathleen Zak

Al Davis

Dan Holt

Rebecca Prothro • at time of printing

Ramona Davis Executive Director

Courtney Key Tardy

Membership Application

Director. Historic Neighborhoods Counci l

Please enroll me as a member of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. My contribution for the following category is enclosed. __ Student $15 __ Individual $35 __ Family $ 50 __ Patron $100

Benefactor $250

Bob Fretz, Jr. William B. Gammon Wendy Teas Heger L. Susan Hill Paul Homeyer Eileen Hricik

Nancy Littlejohn Betty Newton Mary Ann Reynolds Hill Swift Joe Douglas Webb Don W Woo

Corporate Members AIM Funds American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter Aramark Corporation Associated General Contractors, Houston Chapter Bank United BO\vne of Houston Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distributors , L.P Camden Property Trust Chase Bank Chevron Companies Duke Energy El Paso Energy Corporation Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery FMG Design Inc. Foreman DeGuerin Nugent Gerger Fretz Construction Company Gensler Linda and Ken Lay Family Geo. H. Lewis & SonsiForest Park Lawndale Haynes Wha ley Associates, Inc.

Historic Restorations. Inc. Houston Astros Houston Hispanic Forum Houston House & Home Magazine Independence Preservation Trust Kirksey METRO Metro National The Mid-Continent Companies, Ltd. Minnette Boesel Properties Mission Constructors, Inc. NL Industries Northern Trust Bank Ocean Energy Richard Flowers and Associates Stewart Title of Houston Strake Foundation Union Pacific Walter P Moore Waste Management Inc. Cyvia and Melvin Wolff Family Foundation WS. Bellows Construction Corporation

The Historic Neighborhoods Council: Boulevard Oaks, Downtown Historic District, Eastwood, Heights Progressive Civic Club, Houston Heights Association, Independence Heights, Market Square/Do\vntO\vn, Midtown, NorhilllProctor Plaza, North Montrose, Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association, Old West End Association, University Place, West Eleventh Place, Westmoreland .

__ Non-Profit $50 __ Small Business $250 __ Corporate Member $1,000 __ Corporate Sponsor $2,5 00 __ Historic Neighborhoods Council $50 Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 71 2 Main Street, Suite 110 houston, Texas 77002-3207

Name Address City / State / Zip Telephone

Mail with you check to: The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 712 Main Street Suite 110 Houston , Texas 77002-3207 • 713-216-5000 The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance is a 501 (c) (3) corporation. Con tributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Address Correction Requested Return Postage Guaranteed

Nonprofit Org. U.s. Postage Paid Houston, Texas Permit No 712

Summer 2001 GHPA Newsletter  

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

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