For Preservation The Newsletter of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance Houston's Local Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation
2008 Fall 2008
Volume 19, No.2
Good Bricl~ Awards going strong Public and private preservation efforts will be recognized when GHPA presents the 2009 Good Brick Awards for excellence in historic preservation. Although the awards now attract nominations for a wide range of projects, that was not the case when GHPA gave the first Good Brick in 1979. "Thirty years ago, it was difficult to come up with even one or two worthy projects. Now there is serious competition for the awards," said GHPA Executive Director Ramona Davis. "The growth of the Good Bricks mirrors the development of historic preservation in Houston." The awards will be presented during the Cornerstone Dinner at River Oaks Country Club on Friday evening, February 6. Joella and Stewart Morris, Sr. and Joy and Stewart Morris, Jr. are chairing the event. The Morrises are long-time GHPA supporters through Stewart Title. In 2007, Joella and Stewart, Sr. received GHPA's President's Award for their outstanding commitment and support of historic preservation in southeast Texas. GHPA will present the 2009 Presidents Award to the Clayton family for its long history of exceptional public service. The award specifically recognizes the family's support of the comprehensive renovation of the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, which includes the historic Clayton home at 5200 Caroline in the Museum District.
The Gayton family will recicve GHPA:s 2009 President's Award for supporting the comprehensive renovation of the Gayton Center for Genealogical Research, which includes the historic Gayton home in the Museum District.
Ten juried awards will be presented. GHPA board member and former Houston Chronicle design editor Madeleine McDermott Hamm chaired this year's jury, which also included Bob Fretz, Jr., Kerry Goelzer, Barrie Scardino, Jim Parsons, Bart Truxillo and Tim Womble . Tim Beeson will accept the Stewart Title Award for the exceptional effort that went into preserving his historic home on Heights Boulevard. The deteriorated house faced demolition when Beeson bought the home and began its lengthy restoration, Two other Heights projects are receiving
awards. 1102 Yale, LP will receive the North Houston Bank Award for renovating an important Art Deco commercial building that had been hidden under later additions. Houston Independent School District's is being recognized for its extensive renovation of John H. Reagan High School (1926), which included converting the original gym into the school library. Pam Lowe will receive a Good Brick for her outstanding personal contributions to the preservation of Woodland Heights . She has purchased and renovated eight historic homes to prevent their demolition and
30th year enhance the character of her neighborhood. Area 16 Homes will receive an award for its "green" renovation of a 1920s bungalow in the Old Sixth Ward, Three Good Bricks will go to projects that preserve mid-century homes. Mary Elizabeth and Kurt Hahnfeld renovated one of the few remaining houses designed by Wilson, Morris, Crain &: Anderson. Dana Antake-Horning and Jeff Horning rehabbed the 1956 Kropp-Crickmer House in Memorial Bend. Houston Mod's "Mod of the Month" program promotes the preservation of mid-century Modern residences, Two other local organizations will receive Good Bricks. Friends of Wharton is being recognized for its successful community-based effort to keep open historic William H. Wharton Elementary School (1926) in Montrose. The award to Friends of the Texas Room is for the television documentary, "In Search of Houston History," examining the historical resources of Houston Public Librarys Houston Metropolitan Research Center. Images of the winning projects may be viewed online at www.ghpa.orglawards. During the Cornerstone Dinner, American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter, will present its 25 Year Award and 50 Year Award for exceptional architecture of lasting value. The recipients of those awards will be announced after the first of the year.
1929 wharton Elementary to remain open, other historic HISD 1uildings at risl~
From left, the historic former homes of Alamo (1913) and Brookline (1914) elementary schools arc on HISD's list of properties set fo r disposition , Lockhart Elementary School (1949), designed by Finger & Rustay, could be demolished.
Historic William H, Wharton Elementary School (1929), 900 West Gray, will continue to serve its neighborhood. Houston Independent School District trustees voted unanimously to keep the school open at the recommendation of Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. The schools successful dual language program was cited in the decision, The move is an about face for the district, which had included Wharton on its list of properties set for disposition. Neighborhood residents were concerned the 5.6-acre site near Montrose Blvd. would be sold for development. HISD had already had the property appraised. At GHPA's request, Texas Historical Commission determined Wharton Elementary is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the historic school building, the site contains the Neartown Little League fields, a SPARK Park and Urban Harvest garden. The possible sale brought together a coalition of neighborhood organizations
that opposed the closing. GHPA backed the efforts of the Friends of Wharton, a group that included parents, teachers and community supporters, Historic Neighborhoods Council Director Courtney Tardy met with the group, and spoke before the HISD Board and at public meetings. "I praise all the friends of Wharton for coming together as a unified village to accomplish what no on party could do alone," Ken MacPherson of the Friends of Wharton told the Houston Chronicle. Members of GHPA and its Board of Directors wrote Superintendent Saavedra and district trustees to support keeping Wharton open. The National Trust for Historic Preservation also weighed in with a letter to the superintendent and trustees. In that letter, Daniel Carey, director of the Trust's Southwest Field Office, reminded HISD not to use "a false premise that new = better" GHPA remains concerned about other historic HISD properties. GHPA has been
contacted by residents who object to the possible closings of Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary (1927),5410 Cornish, in Cottage Grove and G.B.M Turner Elementary (1929),2900 Rosedale, in the Third Ward. On November 14, HISD announced Turner would be consolidated with nearby Lucian L Lockhart Elementary (1949) and a new school would be built on the Lockhart site at 3501 Southmore in Riverside Terrace. Joseph Finger and George Rustay designed the historic section of the Lockhart campus as part of a synagogue complex for Congreation Beth Yeshurun. The synagogue was never built and HISD bought the eduational building for use as a public school. GHPA is encouraging Houston school Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra to preserve the historic building, which occupies a small section at the front of the Lockhart site. The Finger &: Rustay building would provide an impressive entrance into the
new facility while maintaining the historic connection to the neighborhood. GHPA members can support this effort by writing Dr. Saavedra at HISD, 4400 West 18th Street, Houston, Texas 77097 Two of HISDs oldest buildings are on the district's list for disposition. The former Alamo Elementary School includes the original1913 building and a 1926 addition. The large, tree-shaded site at 201 East 27th and Cortlandt is located in Sunset Heights, a historic neighborhood under significant redevelopment pressures. The property is now used as an HISD maintenance facility. The former Brookline Elementary School (1914),3901 Telephone Road, is also slated for disposition. Although the facility has served as HISD's Media Center for many years, the historic building remains largely unaltered inside and out. GHPA is contacting potential developers who could adapt these historic buildings to new uses while preserving their architectural integrity. As yet, the school board has taken no action on the properties,
Interior restoration of historic Air Terminal on tracl~ despite II~e
From the Executive Director
When many people think of preservation, the phrase "lie down in front of the bulldozers" is what comes to mind. It's the stereotypical image of what we do. We frequently receive calls from potential volunteers who would like to do something for preservation. Our most common request, that they write letters to public officials about a particular issue, doesn't usually generate a lot of enthusiasm. Its not very exciting. It's unfortunate, because, in the relatively short history of preservation, lying down in front of bulldozers has not saved many buildings. Writing letters has. Elected officials repeatedly tell us that typed or handwritten letters sent via U.S. Mail have the most impact. The article about Wharton Elementary School in this newsletter is a case in point. A coalition of organizations and individuals worked together to keep the historic school open. GHPA members supported the effort by writing HISD trustees. GHPA staff appeared at public meetings. The work was not very dramatic. The results were. HISD reversed its position, Wharton continues to serve its neighborhood and the Friends of Wharton will receive a 2009 Good Brick Award. That same article offers GHPA members an opportunity to help preserve the historic section of Lockhart Elementary by writing HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra. By encouraging individual initiative, fostering communication between organizations, opening dialogue with public officials and focusing media attention on historic preservation, GHPA is empowering people to take action. Volunteering for GHPA is something you can do from the comfort of your own home. It is easy and effective. In that way, all of our members can take an active part in preservation in Houston.
Visitors will soon be able to step through the main entrance of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum into the restored ticketing lobby/waiting room.
Early next year, visitors to the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at William P Hobby Airport should be able to step back to a time when Trans-Texas, Eastern and Braniff airlines were flying high. The interior restoration of the former Houston Municipal Airport Terminal remains on schedule in spite of Hurricane Ike , which blew out several windows in the control tower atop the building and sent rainwater cascading inside. Joseph Finger designed the gleaming white building, now surrounded by hangars and warehouses on the west side of Hobby Airport. For the past few years, the outstanding streamlined exterior stood in stark contrast to the interior. Work done on the building in the 1950s and 1960s included the use of asbestos, which necessi-
terminal and the 1950s control tower, which will be updated to serve as Hobby Airport's functioning back-up tower. The museum is also working to lease the Carter Field Air Mail Hangar (1929), probably the oldest building in the Houston Airport System. The masonry structure is one of the last remnants of WT. Carter Field, the private airfield that was purchased by the City in 1937 and evolved into today's Hobby Airport. The hangar will eventually house historic aircraft, including the museum's 1940s Lockheed Lodestar, as well as the museum's Boeing 737 and Hawker Beech flight simulators. The 1940 Air Terminal Museum is GHPA's newest member organization. The museum is located at 8325 Travelair Street just off Telephone Road on the west side of Hobby Airport. For hours, admission fees and directions, please visit
The 1940 Air Terminal Museums vintage Lockheed Lodestar suffered minimal damage when Hurricane Ike blew in the doors of its hangar.
Preservation Update Houston light Guard Armory Construction could begin in early 2009 on the rehabilitation of the Houston Light Guard Armory (1925) as the new home of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (BSNM). Plans for the project are being submitted to the City of Houston and Texas Historical Commission for approval according to Stennis Lenoir of RDC Architects, the firm designing the museum. The Light Guard Armory is a City of Houston Protected Landmark and Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, so any work on the exterior of the building must be approved by the City and State. The former National Guard armory at 3816 Caroline will be a very appropriate location for BSNM. The museum's mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate the history, traditions and
New Main 8t. Wall~ing Tour At 2 p.m., Sunday, January 11, GHPA's Walking Tours Program will offer a new tour, "20th Century Main Street." From the classical Union National Bank Building (1912) to the starkly modem First City National Bank Building (1960), past the Art Deco and mid-century Modem homes of Sakowitz Bros. Department Store (1929,1951), to walk south on Main Street is to witness a timeline of Houston's business development and changing architectural tastes. Walking tours are held the second Sunday of every month. Tickets go on sale at 1:30 p.m.; tours begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for GHPA members and students with valid !D. Children 11 years old and under are admitted free. Please visit www.ghpa.orgltoursl for information on the tour's meeting point and to sign up to receive e-mail notices about each month's tour. Please note that the new tour is an exterior architecture tour only and does not go inside any buildings.
tated the complete removal of all of the original plaster from the interior walls. The heart of the building, Finger's soaring ticketing lobby/waiting room, was off limits to visitors. Today, construction crews are returning the atrium to its appearance in the early 1950s, the years the terminal was expanded before being replaced by Hobby Airport's current tenninal. The original terrazzo floor and stainless steel banisters will shine under the restored chandelier. Eventually, even the barber shop will be back in place. The Houston Aeronautical Heritage Society is responsible for the project. The non-profit organization was founded in 1998 and has leased the historic terrrrinal from the City of Houston since 2003. The museum clearly
demonstrates what dedicated, determined volunteers can accomplish. "Besides myself, we are 100% staffed by volunteers," said museum administrator Megan Lickliter. "Not only do the volunteers keep the museum open six days a week, they have completed large projects in archiving and exhibits, advertised the museum and completely run our monthly event, Wings &: Wheels." The storm cleanup did delay Hobby Fest, the museum's largest public event. The aviation celebration has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 18. City Council has deSignated the air terminal a Protected Landmark, making it one of the few historic buildings in Houston that cannot be legally demolished after a 90-day waiting period. When the current work is complete, the museum will begin planning the next phase of the restoration. That project will include the top floors of the
outstanding contributions of African-Americans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Alfred C Finn originally designed the armory for the Houston Light Guard. Formed in 1873, the unit served in the Spanish-American War, both world wars and was activated to maintain order after Galveston's 1900 hurricane. The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum is currently located at 1834 Southmore Blvd. For hours, admission fees and directions, please visit
www.buffalosoldiennuseum.com. Wilson Stationery & Printing Co. The proposed restoration of the long-vacant Wilson Stationery &: Printing Co. Building (1932) will use original architectural drawings created by William Ward Watkin according to documents submitted
to the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC). The four-story Art Modeme building at the comer of Fannin and Prairie has remained largely unaltered over the past 76 years. In July, HAHC approved the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for the exterior restoration. The approved work includes reconstructing the building's awning to Watkin's specifications, cleaning and repairing the exterior stucco, and conducting a paint analysis so that the building can be repainted its original color. Certificates of Appropriateness are required whenever exterior changes are proposed for designated City of Houston historic landmarks and contributing buildings in City historic districts. The Wilson Building is a contributing building in the Main
StreetlMarket Square Historic District and is on the National Register of Historic Places. AIA Certificate of Honor American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter, presented GHPA with a Citation of Honor during the AlA Houston Annual Meeting on October 30. The award is given every year for "outstanding contributions in the fields of civic improvements, conservation, beautification, transportation or social responsibility" The citation specifically cites GHPA's 30-year record of advocating preservation in Houston. AIA Houston and GHPA are also cooperating on a new exhibit, "Past Forward: Historic Preservation in Houston," at Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol. The exhibit will open with a public reception at 7 pm., Friday, January 9. "Past Forward" will be on display during January 2009 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m , Friday
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For Preservation is printed on paper containing a minimum of 10% post-consumer recycled fiber. This product carries certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry initiative promoting sustainable forest management.
2008 National Preservation Month Luncheon photos Almost 300 guests were on hand to hear guest speaker Bill Strickland's inspirational sto!), during GHP1% National Preservation Month Luncheon on May 8 at River Oaks Count!)' Club. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Houston City Controller Annise Parker, Houston City Council members Sue Lovell and Jolanda Jones, and Municipal Court Judge Steven Kirkland were among those attending the event, along with
GHPA Board members Bill Stubbs and Karen Henry.
by Pete Baatz/Formula One photography
representatives from many local non-profit organizations. Luncheon chair Cindy Crane Garbs had encouraged the events underwriters to bring directors, volunteers and staff from other non-profits to the luncheon. Bill Strickland is a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and a guest lecturer at Harvard University He is the founder and CEO of Manchester-Bidwell Corp. (MBC), one of the nations most innovative not-for-
profit organizations. Through its Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Bidwell Training Center and National Center for Arts and Technology, MBC has trained and placed thousands of out-of-work adults and offers after-school programs for at-risk students. Several MBC projects are housed in renovated historic buildings. Members of the Luncheon Host Committee were Irene and Brian Binash,
GHPA Board member Patty Porter, Patti Rabin, Marcia Harris, Anne Romano.
Cindy and Randy Garbs, Bonnie and Likover, Anita and Jim O'Shaughnessy, Lisa and Jer!)' Simon, Kathryn and Jeff Smith, Virginia and Dan Steppe, and Joanne and Derby Wilson. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated Mayas National Preservation Month to celebrate grassroots preservation efforts. GHPA is Houston's Local Partner of the National Trust. Lafl)'
Host Committee member Brian Binash and guest speaker Bill Strickland.
Host Committee member Randy Garbs, guest speaker Bill Snick/mId, hmchcoll chair and GHPA Board member Cindy Crane Garbs.
Leigh McBurneir, Carlo OiNIIIlZio, GHPA President Tony Abycui, Bob Moore .
Anna Mod, Houston City Controller Annise Parker, Houston City Council Member Sue Lovell.
GHPA VPIEvents Nancy Ames, Nancy and Brian Heitshusen, Shara Fryer. Standing, GHPA Executive Director Ramona Davis.
Sl~yscraper exhiLit now online at www.museumo/houston.org The online Museum of Houston has launched its first curated exhibit, 'Tall, Taller, Tallest: The Rise of the Houston Skyline, 1900-2000." The interactive exhibit traces the history of Houston skyscrapers from the Kiam and Binz buildings of the late 19th centu!), through the 1980s boom that created the Skyline District along Louisiana Street. The site includes video interviews with GHPA Board members Joe Colaco and Lar!)' Whaley who discuss the challenges engineers faced in constructing tall buildings in Houston's shifting soil. Visitors to the exhibit will also be able to leave their own stories about the city's development. "Tall, Taller, Tallest" was curated by Mimi Crossley Detering, former curator for the Houston Museum of
Natural Science and the Museum of Printing History. GHPA is leading the effort to develop the online museum and digital archive. As the site grows, www.museumojhouston.org will prOvide access to a broad range of digitized materials from the archives of the city's leading educational and cultural institutions . The project's Steering Committee currently includes representatives from Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Libra!)'; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Rice University, Texas Southern University and University of Houston. The Museum of Houston is supported by a generous grant from Houston Endowment Inc .
GHPA when you shop
GHPA is offering hardcover copies of Houston Deco: Modernistic Architecture of the Texas Coast, signed by the authors for $16.47, the price of unsigned books on Amazon.com. Call GHPA's office at 713-216-5000 to place your order. With sales tax and shipping, the total cost is $23. Books may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. Shop GHPA's online Bookstore, www.ghpa.orglbookstorel, for books on local history, preservation and architecture, or search Amazon.com for other interests. When you access Amazon.com using the search function at the top of the GHPA Bookstore page, GHPA benefits from any purchases you make, not just purchases from GHPA's book list. If you regularly shop online, please enter Amazon.com through www.ghpa.orglbookstorel for all your purchases.
GHPA Bookstore is powered by the technology of Amazon.com, assuring that your information is secure and orders are shipped in a timely manner. GHPA has also joined Kroger's new Neighbor to Neighbor Donation Program. For GHPA to benefit, please bring the bar code in this article the next time you shop at Kroger. Have the cashier scan you KrogerPlus Card at the beginning of your order, then scan the bar code from this newsletter. Once your card is scanned with the bar code, it will be active in the Neighbor to Neighbor program. GREATER HOUSTON PRESERVATION ALLIANCE
Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 2008-2009 Board of Directors
OJjkers Tony Abyad President
Larry Whaley President Elect
Nancy Ames VP-Special Events
Eileen Hricik Past President
Alfred]. Calloway VP-Communication
Lynne Bentsen Treasurer Bill Franks VP-Development
Patricia Laurent Secretary
Rick Walton VP-Museum of Houston
Voting Directors Michelle Barnes Minnette Boesel Rosario Boling Tim Cisneros Joe Colaco
David Cottrell Carlo M. DiNunzio PhylliS Griffin Epps Sidney Faust
Cindy Crane Garbs Madeleine Hamm Karen Henry Andrew Kaldis c.c. Lee
Jim Murnane Carmen Nadolney Kathy Plaeger Dr. Mary Ann Reynolds
Randhir Sahni Louis H. Skidmore, Jr. Janet Spencer William W Stubbs Phoebe Tudor
Non-Voting Ex-Officio R. George Cunningham Parliamentarian
Charles D. Maynard, Jr. Legal Counsel
Bart Truxillo Director Emeritus
Patrick Van Pelt Chair, Harris County Historical Commission
Randy Pace City of Houston Historical Preservation Officer
Marlene Gafrick Director, City of Houston Dept. of Planning and Development
Business and Not -for-Profit Members 13 Celsius European Cafe & Wine Bar 1940 Air Terminal Museum 5020 Investments, Ltd. AIA-Houston Alabama Place Civic Assn. Architect Works, Inc. / Donna Kacmar Astrodome Redevelopment Corp. Avenue CDC Berings Bowne of Houston Boulevard Oaks Ladies Club Bridgeway Capital Management Budweiser / Silver Eagle Distributors, LP Canyonlands Corp. Colliers International Cooke + Skidmore Consulting Corp. CRM Structural Services Curtis & Windham Architects English + Assoc. Architects, Inc. Faust Distributing Co. First Montrose Commons Civic Assn. Fretz Construction Co. Gensler Geo. H. Lewis & Sons / Forest Park Lawndale Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects Greenwood King Properties G.T. Leach Construction HawesHillCalderon, LLP
Haynes Whaley Assoc. Heights Funeral Home Heights Progressive Civic Club Heritage Texas Properties Hines HistoryConsultants.net / Dr. William Keller Houston Chronicle Houston Hispanic Forum Houston House & Home Houston Mod Hyde Park United Civic Assn. lEC Bank Independence Heights Neighborhood Council James E. Bashaw & Co. ].E. Dunn Construction John Daugherty Realtors JPMorganChase Kaldis Development Interests Kirksey The Lancaster Lionstone Madison Benefits Group Martha Turner Properties MECA Minnette Boesel Properties Nadolney Enterprises Natalye Appel + Assoc., Architects North Houston Bank
North Montrose Civic Assn. Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Assn. Ostendorf Tate Barnett & Wells The Parador / Deborah Keyser Past Era Antique Jewelry / Mrs. Marion Glober Personette & Assoc. Pittsburgh Paints The PR Boutique / Karen Henry Prestige Builders Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Assn. Ray + Hollington Architects Rice Design Alliance Skyland Development / Mr. & Mrs. Tony Abyad Spencer Partnership Architects Stewart Title STOA International Story Sloanes Gallery SWCA Environmental Taste of Texas Tindall & Foster, PC Transwestern University of Houston University of Houston-Downtown Walter P Moore Ward & Ames SpeCial Events William W Stubbs & Associates Winlow Place Civic Club Woodland Heights Civic Assn.
The mission of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) is to promote the preservation and appredation of Houston's 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 grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. For Preservation is
published with the generous support of Houston House & Home magazine. Copyright 2008 Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. All rights reserved. David Bush, editor. Photography by David Bush unless otherwise credited.
GHPA Calendar Friday, January 9 "Past Forward" exhibit opening with AlA Houston Sunday, January 11 20th Century Main Street Walking Tour Friday, February 6 The Cornerstone Dinner presenting the 2009 Good Brick Awards Sunday, February 8 Old Sixth Ward Walking Tour For detailed information about these events, please visit www.ghpa.org.
Greater Houston Preservation Alliance 712 Main Street, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77002-3207 Address Service Requested
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"For Preservation," the newsletter of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance