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For Preservation The Newsletter of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance Houston's Local Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation


Volume 18, No.2

Fall 2007

Houston Gains Protected District, Two Historic Districts Mayor Bill White achieved one of his most ambitious preservation goals on August 1 when Houston City Council voted to designate the Old Sixth Ward as the city's only Protected Historic' District. Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association tenaciously'supported the mayor's effort, which is designed to ensure the future of the historic residential area. "With the highest concentration of architecturally and histOrically important structures in the city, Old Sixth Ward presented a unique opportunity .to recognize and preserve important pieces of Houston's history," said Mayor White. The ordinance went before Council after the neighborhood association submitted the required petitions, Signed by a majority of the district's property owners, requesting the protected deSignation. After the vote, the Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association was applauded for its work in support of the measure, as were District H Council Member Adrian Garcia, At-Large Council Member Sue Lovell and Jill Jewett, the mayor's speCial assistant for cultural arts. At-Large Council Member Michael Berry cast the only vote against the designation. The ordinance creates a 33.8acre protected district within the larger, existing Old Sixth Ward Historic District. The protected area contains a high concentration of houses that are 100 years old or older. The measure gives the Houston ArcheolOgical and

Historic homes like this one, built in 1916 at 603 Avondale Boulevard, are being rehabilitated in the proposed Avondale West Historic District.

Historical Commission (HAHC) authOrity to prevent the demolition of contributing and potentially contributing historic buildings within the protected area. Previously, HAHC could only delay demolitions for 90 days. Homeowner Steve Kirkland told the Houston Chronicle, "[The deSignation] protects our investment. It protects the hard work we put into saving these houses so there's something we can tell the next generation about." The ordinance also institutes design review guidelines within the protected district. Mayor White emphasized that the guidelines do not dictate land use or architectural styles. The guidelines do address building placement, massing, orientation and construction materials. City officials stressed that the ordinance applies only to the Old Sixth Ward and does not lay the groundwork for any other protected districts.

Avondale West As this newsletter goes to press, homeowners in Avondale West are expected to succeed in their efforts to have their neighborhood deSignated as a City of Houston Historic District. A majority of property owners in the proposed district have signed the necessary petitions requesting designation. City Council should approve the measure creating Houston's ninth City historic district in the weeks ahead. Avondale homeowners Rob and Betty Barrett and homeowner/ GHPA member Tim Womble led the designation effort. "Avondale West residents are very proud of our historic houses," said Womble. "Our goal is to have the historic district in place for Avondale's 100th anniversary in 2008." GHPJ% Historic Neighborhoods Council (HNC) actively supported the district's creation. Former HNC Director Thomas McWhorter attended all of the Avondale West

Historic District Committee meetings and helped develop strategy, create the petitions and set the district boundaries. Avondale contains significant examples of early 20th-century residential architecture, including Prairie, American Four-Square, Craftsman and Tudor Revival houses. The new historic district is roughly bounded by Avondale, Taft, Pacific and Crocker streets. The substantial loss of historic resources at the center of the subdivision resulted in the creation of two Avondale historic districts. Houston City Council deSignated the Avondale East Historic District in 1999. Broadacres Broadacres homeowners have also succeeded in their efforts to have their neighborhood designated a City of Houston Historic District. In April, City Council approved the ordinance creating the Broadacres Historic District. Neighborhood resident and GHPA member Marianne Jones spearheaded the petition drive that registered the support of a super majority of property owners. Broadacres is located in the 1300 to 1500 blocks of North Boulevard and South Boulevard near Rice University The neighborhood features designs by some of Houston's most prominent architects, including William Ward Watkin, John F. Staub and Birdsall P. Briscoe . Broadacres was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

2007 Annual Meeting at Faust Distrihuting, Monday, Octo1er GHPA members are encouraged to attend the 2007 Annual Meeting on Monday, October 15, at Faust Distributing Company, 10040 East Freeway (1-10 East), just nine miles from downtown Houston. A complimentary cocktail reception will be held from 6:30 to 8 p .m., followed by the business meeting. During the meeting, incoming GHPA president Tony Abyad will reco gnize retiring Board members, announce the slate of officers for 2007-2008, and introduce the new members of the Board of Directors. The meeting will also include a presentation on Houston's Art Deco architecture by GHPA volunteer Jim Parsons and Programs and Information Director David Bush. The program will be based on their research for GHPJ% new Web site,, and the new book, Houston Deco.

Faust Distributing Company will host GHPAS Annual Meeting at its Santa Fe-inspired headquarters on the East Freeway.

GHPA is very pleased to be holding its Annual Meeting at Faust Distributing's impressive facility The company is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2007. Don

Faust founded the firm in 1957 as a Falstaff beer distributor. The company now distributes Miller, Coors and a variety of craft and import beers.


GHPA members will enjoy cocktails and hors d'oeurves in the open air atrium, view the extensive Western and Native American art collection and visit a recreated pub filled with Falstaff beer memorabilia. Coffee and dessert will be served before the business meeting begins at 8 p.m. For directions to Faust Distributing, click on "Contact Us" at Reservations are required for the Annual Meeting. Current members are requested to contact the GHPA office by 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 10, with the number of those attending the meeting. Please call 713-216-5000 or e-mail GHPA is very grateful to Board member Sidney Faust and Don Faust for graciously hosting and underwriting the 2007 Annual Meeting.

From the Executive Director I often equate GHPJ% accomplishments with the effect of water on stone. Progress is slow and steady; cumulative change is evident over time. When this organization was incorporated in 1978, Houston was still 17 years away from getting its first historic preservation ordinance. Today, under Mayor White's administration, the City of Houston is preparing to designate its ninth historic district and has created a new protected historic district. More than 200 property owners have successfully nominated their historic buildings for designation as City landmarks. In such diverse historic neighborhoods as Freedmen's Town, Houston Heights and Boulevard Oaks, the owners of 45 buildings have ensured the future of their historic properties by having these important structures designated as protected landmarks. None of these achievements would have been possible without your support of GHPA and its mission. You have literally changed the face of Houston. As GHPA approaches it 30th anniversary, preservation is receiving regular coverage in the local media and is the subject of spirited public debate. In light of the ongoing challenges, it is easy to overlook the progress that preservation is making in Houston. In this issue of the newsletter, we have made a conscious effort to report some of the positive things happening in our community With your continuing support, we are creating a preservation ethic for Houston.

~L Ramona Davis Executive Director

GHPA is an associate. Whenever you shop online, please go to www.ghpa.orglbookstore! and use the search engine at the bottom of the page to enter GHPA will receive a percentage of every purchase made through the search engine on the GHPA Bookstore page. Order generation and fulfillment are powered by the technology of, assuring that your information is secure and orders are shipped in a timely manner.

Neighborhood News New HNC Director GHPA is pleased to welcome back Courtney Key Tardy as director of the Historic Neighborhoods Council (HNC). Tardy served as GHPA's first HNC director from 2000 to 2002, and was instrumental in creating the program. She holds a Master of Architecture History degree with a Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia. GHPA's Historic Neighborhoods Council promotes the preservation and revitalization of Houstons historic neighborhoods by facilitating cooperation and the sharing of information and effort. Twenty-six neighborhood associations are currently HNC members. If your neighborhood association would like to join HNC, please contact Courtney Tardy at 713-216-5000 or GHPA now has two professionally degreed preservationists on its staff. Programs and Information Director David Bush holds a Masters degree in Historic Preservation from Middle Tennessee State University New Board Members GHPA is happy to announce two new members have joined the Board of Directors. The Executive Committee has appointed public relations professional Karen Henry and newscaster/filmmaker Ron Stone as directors. Woodland Heights Centennial Celebration Woodland Heights Civic Association is celebrating its neighborhood's 100th anniversary with two major events. Proceeds from the centennial activities will support the rehabilitation of Woodland Park, Houstons secondoldest public park. The William A. Wilson House (1911) will be the site of the Woodland Heights Centennial Gala from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, October 19. The historic home of the community's Original developer was recently restored by Bill Baldwin and joe Gonzalez. GHPA Board member Ron Stone is the evening's emcee. GHPA Executive Director Ramona Davis is honorary chair for the gala. Tickets are $125 per person. On Saturday, October 20, Swinging in the Heights will fill the Norhill esplanade with entertainment, family activities and refreshments from 4 to 10 p.m. Scheduled performers include Molly &: The Ringwalds and Norma Zenteno. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors over 65 and youths 8 to 16 years old. Children under 8 will be admitted free. For directions, details or to purchase event tickets, please visit

Old Sixth Ward Victorian Home Tour Get a glimpse of life in Houstons only protected historic district during the 16th annual Old Sixth Ward Victorian Home Tour on Sunday, October 21. Visitors will tour several restored houses, enjoy music and entertainment and sample some of the neighborhoods award-winning recipes. Tour hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person and will be on sale the day of the event. For additional information, please visit Proceeds benefit the Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association.

Preservation Update rooms while new residential buildings would be constructed on the adjacent land. GHPA is cautiously optimistic about the project. If the rehabilitation and new construction are carried out with sensitivity to the property's historic character, the project would offer the opportunity to preserve this significant building while providing it with a viable new use. Since the West Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the project would qualify for the tax credits if the renovation meets the U.S. Secretary of Interior's Standards

Derail, West Mansion (1929)

James & Jessie West Mansion In October, Opus West Corporation is expected to close on its purchase of the james &: jessie West Mansion (1929) on NASA Parkway at Space Center Blvd. in Clear Lake. The potential owner has met with representatives of the Texas Historical Commission (THe) to discuss preliminary plans to rehabilitate the historic house and develop part of the site. Opus West is buying the historic Italian Renaissance mansion, its outbuildings and nine surrounding acres from Olajuwon Farms, LLP. Opus West is assessing the mansions condition. According to the Houston Chronicle, the company plans to build independent senior apartments on the property The historic house would contain offices, dining facilities and activity

for Rehabilitation. For the company to receive the tax credits, THC and the National Park Service would have to approve any rehabilitation plans in advance. In addition, the house is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), so any proposed exterior changes must also be approved by the THe Neither the National Register listing nor the mansions RTHL status would prevent the home's demolition if Opus West decides the rehabilitation is not economically feasible. GHPA staff will continue to monitor this project and will keep

Houston Heights residents are continuing their efforts to have their neighborhood deSignated as Houston's tenth City historic district. GHPA strongly encourages its members who own property in the Heights to sign the petitions for historic district designation. Please call Sharie Beale at 713-426-3240 or visit www.houstonheights.orglhistoricdistrictmaps.htm for details and the necessary forms. Every month, the Heights is lOSing an average of ten historic homes to demolition and moving.




City Council has designated the Alabama TheaterlBookstop (1939) a City of Houston Historic Landmark.

GHPA members updated on further developments. River Oaks Shopping Center On August 8, Houston City Council voted to designate the River Oaks Shopping Center (1937), River Oaks Theater (1939) and Alabama Theater (1939) as City of Houston historic landmarks. Although landmark status did not prevent the demolition of the northern half of the An Deco shopping center in September, it will require that Weingarten Realty Investors, the property owner, notify the City of any major exterior changes planned for the two theaters. The action is very significant. For the first time, Houston Archeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) began the designation process and City Council passed the measure without a request from the property owner. Although the historic preservation ordinance permits the HAHC to instigate the designation process without the property owner's approval, it had never used that authOrity

Genealogy Center Preserved for Future Generations Work began in june on the extensive renovation of the William L. Clayton House, 5300 Caroline, in the Museum District. Since 1968, the Recorded Texas Historic Landmark has served as the Houston Public Librarys acclaimed Clayton Library, Center for GenealOgical Research. Businessman and statesman William L. Clayton and his wife Susan Vaughan Clayton built the Georgian Revival style house in 1917 from a design by Birdsall P. Briscoe. One of the founding partners of the cotton firm Anderson, Clayton &: Co. and later Undersecretary of State for

Economic Affairs, Will Clayton was instrumental in creating the

Marshall Plan for Europes recovery after World War II. In 1958, the



Construction materials fill the yard of the William L. Clayton House (1917) as renovation begins.

Claytons deeded their home to the City o[ Houston [or use as a public library Clayton Library Friends is raising $6.1 million to fund the project, which includes renovating the historic Clayton House, its carriage house and guest house, and constructing new meeting facilities. GHPA member and former Good Brick Award winner Carrie Glassman Shoemake of Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects contributed the architectural plans. To read an updated project report or contribute to the preservation effort, please visit

New GHPA Web Site Documents Endangered Deco As part of its ongOing effort to increase public awareness and appreciation of Houston's historic Art Deco and Art Moderne architecture, GHPA has developed, a new Web site featuring more than 130 modernistic buildings from throughout the greater Houston area. The project grew out of GHPA's campaign to preserve three of the city's most significant Art Deco buildings: River Oaks Shopping Center (1937), River Oaks Theater (1939) and Alabama Theater (1939). The Web site's main pages are arranged by decade and feature images of commercial, industrial, institutional, residential and theater buildings in the order of their construction, so that visitors to the site can see how modernistic design evolved over the years. Clicking on a specific building brings up a separate

page containing information about the structure along with additional photos. Clicking on the building'S address calls up a map pinpointing the structure's location, a feature GHPA hopes will encourage site users to explore the city GHPA volunteer jim Parsons and GHPA Programs and Information Director David Bush developed the site. What was supposed to be a project of several weeks grew to several months as the two worked, largely on their own time, to photograph and research dozens of buildings in Houston and surrounding communities. Parsons and Bush will give a presentation on the city's modernistic architecture during GHPA's Annual Meeting on Monday, October 15. Houston Architecture Foundation and the Strake Foundation have provided GHPA

with grants to publish Houston Deco, a book based on Parsons' and Bushs work. Writing and photography are complete. Former Houston Chronicle design editor and GHPA Board member Madeleine McDermott Hamm has contributed the foreword. GHPA members will be

notified of the publication date. The book and Web site integrate three concepts at the heart of GHPA's mission: education, advocacy and committed action. These projects are another step toward achieving GHPA's goal of creating a preservation ethic for Houston.

Joseph Finger's Houston Municipal Airport Terminal (1940) is among the historic Art Deco buildings featured on GHPA's new Web site,

2007 National Preservation Month Luncheon An enthusiastic audience heard GHPA Board member Ron Stone's views on preserving our local heritage during GHPA's National Preservation Month Luncheon on May 31. GHPA is extremely grateful to Board member Patty Porter, who chaired the very successful event at the River Oaks Country Club, During the luncheon, Stone discussed prominent Houstonians who have left their mark on national and world events, and called for the preservation of sites associated with these

individuals, In his talk, the newscaster/filmmaker included inspiring quotations from Congresswoman Barbara Jordan along with the story of a local supermarket's role in the fall of the Soviet Union. The text of the speech is available on GHPA's Web site, The National Trust for Historic Preservation sponsors National Preservation Month every May to focus attention on grassroots preservation efforts, GHPA is Houston's Local Partner of the National Trust.

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GHPA Board member and Luncheon Chair Patty Pona

GHPA Executive Director Ramona Davis and guest speaker Ron Stone,

GHPA President Eileen Hricik, Vice President of Special Events Nancy Ames and Dene Hojhcinz Anton,

GHPA President Elect Tony Abyad and Zma Majdalani.

GHPA Board members Diane Gendc/, Sidney FaIlst, Patricia Laurent and Madeleine Hamm.

Lynda Transicr and Cathy Hevrdejs,

Claire Amonctl, Bill Porter and Pam Wynne

Joe Mashburn, U,S,

Harris County hegins Courthouse Restoration Restoration of the 1910 Harris County Courthouse is underway The first phase of work includes the selective demolition of non-historic alterations, salvage of Significant items and asbestos abatement, Harris County is funding the preservation project. Phase I is budgeted at $4 million, The restoration is scheduled to be completed and the historic courthouse rededicated on November 14, 2010, the 100lh anniversary of the building's original dedication. The master plan for the rehabilitation includes reopening the central rotunda and reconstructing the major entry stairs on the east and west facades. The rotunda and exterior stairs were eliminated during remodeling in 1953. Friends of the Harris County Courthouse is working to recover original furnishings and architectural details for the building. The organization is also seeking historic photos of the interior,








~ The historic Harris County Courthouse is being restored to its 1910 appearance using the original architectural draWings.

especially those shOwing courtrooms and public areas. The Friends hope to find one missing photograph in particular. After World War II, the local attorneys who served in the war posed in uniform in from of the courthouse. The panoramic photo hung in the lobby until the 19605, when it was lost after being removed during building repairs. "We would love to get our World War 11 heroes back in the courthouse," said Posey Parker with the Friends group. The Friends will copy an existing photo or print a new photo from a surviving negative if the current owner does not want to loan or donate the artifact. Anyone with information about the World War II photo or any other historic artifacts associated with the 1910 Harris County Courthouse is encouraged to contact Posey Parker at pparkerÂŽ or 713-650-2468.

Greater Houston Preservation 2006-2007 Board of Directors


â&#x20AC;˘ lanCe

Officers Eileen Hricik President

Tony Abyad President Elect

Rick Walton Past President

Alfred J. Calloway VP-Communication

Nancy Ames VP-Special Events

Larry Whaley Treasurer

Lynne Bentsen Secretary

1. Susan Hill VP-HNClPrograms

Bill Franks VP-Development

Voting Directors Tim Cisneros Dan Dubrowski Phyllis Griffin Epps Sidney Faust Charles Foster Cindy Crane Garbs

Natalye Appel Fred Baca Michelle Barnes Glenda Barrett Minnette Boesel

Diane Gendel Madeleine Hamm Karen Henry Andrew Kaldis Patricia Laurent c.c. Lee

Cora Sue Mach Beth Madison Jim Murnane Carmen Nadolney Patty Porter Dr. Mary Ann Reynolds

Randhir Sahni Louis H. Skidmore, Jr. Janet Spencer Ron Stone William W Stubbs

Non-Voting Ex-Officio R. George Cunningham Parliamentarian Patrick Van Pelt Chair, Harris County Historical Commission

Charles D. Maynard, Jr. Legal Counsel

Cynthia Card Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Assn.

Bart Truxillo Director Emeritus

Randy Pace City of Houston Historical Preservation Officer

Marlene Gafrick Director, City of Houston Dept. of Planning and Development

Business and Not-far-Profit Members 917 Franklin umdlMr. &: Mrs. Tony Abyad AIA-Houston Artspace Projects, Inc. Avenue CDC Blumenthal Sheet MetalJBill Lipscomb BMS Management, Inc. Boulevard Oaks Ladies Club Bowne Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distributors, LP Canyonlands Corp. Clocktower Enterprises Colliers International Cooke + Skidmore Consulting Corp. CRM Structural Services, Inc. Cunningham Engineering Davey CompanieslPaul M. Davey English &: Associates, Architects, Inc. Faust Distributing Co. Fretz Construction Co. Geo. H. Lewis &: Sons/Forest Park Lawndale Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects Greenwood King Properties G.T. Leach Construction HawesHillCalderon, LLP

Haynes Whaley Associates Heights Funeral Home Heritage Texas Properties Hermann Park Conservancy Hines History Housing Horizons, LLClKimberly-Clark Houston Chronicle Houston Hispanic Forum Houston House & Home magazine Imperial Venture, Ltd. J.E. Dunn Construction John Daugherty Realtors Johnson &: Maxey JPMorganChase Kirksey The Lancaster The Law Office of David McEwing Lionstone Madison &nefits Group Mattheisen &: Associates MECA Minnette Boesel Properties

Nadolney Enterprises Natalye Appel + Assoc., Architects North Houston Bank Ostendorf Tate Barnett &: Wells PageSoutherlandPage Parkside Homes Past Era Antique JewelrylMrs. Marion Glober Pittsburgh Paint Prestige Builders Ray + Hollington Architects Rice Design Alliance Silvestri Investments Stewart Title STOA International Story Sloane!; Gallery Taste of Texas Tindall &: Foster, PC University of Houston-Downtown Walter P Moore Ward &: Ames Special Events Watkins Hamilton Ross Architects Webb Architects Weaver, Davis &: Jacob Realty Group William W Stubbs &: Associates

The mission of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) is to promote the preservation and appreciation of Houston~ architectural and cultural historic resources through education, advocacy and committed action, thereby creating economic value and developing a stronger sense of community. GHPA is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. GHPA is funded in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. For Preservation is published with the generous support of Houston House &: Home magazine.

Copyright 2007 Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. All rights reserved. David Bush, editor. Photography by David Bush, unless otherwise credited.

GHPA Calendar Sunday, October 14 University of Houston Architecture Tour. Monday, October 15 GHPA Annual Meeting at Faust Distributing Co . Sunday, November 11 Montrose BoulevardlMain Street Architecture Tour. Friday, February 1 The Cornerstone Dinner presenting the 2008 Good Brick Awards at River Oaks Country Club. For detailed information about these events, please visit

Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 71 2 Main Street, Suite 11 0 Houston, Texas 77002-3207 Address Service Requested

Nonprofit Org.

u.s. Postage Paid Houston, Texas Permit No 712

Fall 2007 GHPA Newsletter  

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

Fall 2007 GHPA Newsletter  

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