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For Preservation the newsletter of

Volume 20, No. 2


greater houston preservation alliance

Houston’s local partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Spring 2010

nat i o n a l p r e s e rvat i o n m o n t h 2010

Carlyle Group founder to speak at luncheon Archives dates from the late 13th century. It bears the seal of King Edward I of England, who formally entered the document into English law in 1297. Edward’s grandfather, King John, signed the original version of the Magna Carta in 1215. “The fight for freedom is an ongoing fight,’’ Rubenstein said. “People who study the Magna Carta realize how significant it is.’’ The document had a direct influence on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Among the legal procedures the Magna Carta helped establish was the writ of habeas cor-

national archives & records administration

David M. Rubenstein, historic document collector and co-founder of The Carlyle Group private equity firm, will be the guest speaker at the 2010 Preservation Month Luncheon, hosted by Greater Houston Preservation Alliance at noon Friday, May 21, at River Oaks Country Club. In 2007, Rubenstein purchased the only copy of the Magna Carta still in private hands to ensure that the document remained in the United States. It is on extended loan to the National Archives, where it is displayed. “I think this purchase is a small repayment to the country for what it’s done for me and for my family,” Rubenstein told the New York Times. The manuscript at the National

David M. Rubenstein’s copy of the Magna Carta, shown here, is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

pus, which protects against unlawful imprisonment. Rubenstein also owns one of the few surviving copies of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln. The proclamation was issued in 1863, freeing slaves in Confederate-held territory. The document is on extended loan to the Smithsonian Institution and is on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington. Please save the date for this exceptional event. Invitations will be mailed closer to the luncheon date. The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated May as National Preservation Month to focus attention on U.S. preservation efforts.

A fresh look at the local landscape courtesy of museum of sylvan rodriguez art

GHPA is working with students in the innovative art program at Sylvan Rodriguez, Jr. Elementary School on a project that could encourage the next generation of preservationists. Fourth and fifth graders at the southwest Houston school have created original works of art depicting the city’s landmarks for the exhibit Houston: Urban Landscapes in Watercolor. Rodriguez art teacher Michael Bourquin approached GHPA in the fall about creating and conducting two field trips to explore historical and cultural landscapes in Houston. GHPA staff members Jim Parsons and Courtney Tardy

Drink, dine and support preservation

Sylvan Rodriguez, Jr. Elementary School fourth grader Jose Ochoa’s watercolor painting of Lovett Hall at Rice University is among students’ works inspired by field trips to historic and iconic sites across the city.

participated in the project. Parsons took fourth-grade students on a tour of the city’s historic sites, including Allen’s Landing, the 1911

Harris County Courthouse and Rice University. Tardy and the fifth graders explored Houston’s cultural and iconic sites, including Miller Out-

door Theatre, the Art Car Museum and City Hall. During the field trips, Please see Rodriguez, Page 3

gl e n wo o d c e m e t e ry

Tours, new book focus on Glenwood’s history

courtesy of texas a&m university press

Explore historic Glenwood Cemetery through quarterly GHPA walking tours and a new book, Houston’s Silent Garden: Glenwood Cemetery, 1871-2009. The book, written by Suzanne Turner and Joanne Seale Wilson, traces the story of Glenwood’s founding and design, and describes how the cemetery has remained an integral part of Houston’s history as the city has grown up around it. The book also features dozens of historic images and new photos by Paul Hester illustrating Glenwood’s landscape and monuments. Houston’s Silent Garden was published by

Texas A&M University Press and is available through GHPA’s online bookstore at Glenwood Cemetery was founded in 1871 on the north bank of Buffalo Bayou at what was then the edge of Houston. Its hilly grounds were one of the first professionally landscaped spaces in the city, making Glenwood not only the resting place for many prominent Houston families but also a popular place for Victorian Houstonians to take weekend drives. Please see Glenwood, Page 2

Ruggles Grill has come up with a delicious way to support preservation in Houston. On Thursday, May 13, the Montrose restaurant will add a “preservation cocktail” and “preservation entrée” to its menu, a portion of the ongoing sales of which will be donated to Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. The new cocktail and entrée will be unveiled during a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. in the restaurant’s Green Bar. Patrons will be able to order the new items as well as anything from the regular Ruggles dinner menu. Displays will showcase past winners of GHPA’s Good Brick Awards as well as the history of Ruggles’ building, which was built as a residence on lower Westheimer Road in the early 20th century. According to Ruggles partner Federico Marques, the menu items benefiting GHPA are part of the restaurant’s updated philosophy, which focuses on environmental responsibility through the use of organic, all-natural ingredients, recycling and conservation. Ruggles Grill will soon join its sister restaurant, Ruggles Green, in becoming green-restaurant certified by the Green Restaurant Association. Ruggles Grill is located at 903 Westheimer just east of Montrose Boulevard. For more information, call 713527-9400 or visit

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h i s to r i c n e ighborhoods resources

New name, same mission for GHPA program

GHPA greatly appreciates the grants recently provided by Houston Endowment Inc., Ray C. Fish Foundation and The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

GHPA’s Historic Neighborhood Resources program conducted the survey of Audubon Place required for the neighborhood’s historic district application.

The HNR program is particularly valuable to small organizations and the

individual owners of historic homes who may not have the resources to hire private consultants. HNR Director Courtney Tardy provides assistance with City of Houston landmark, protected landmark and historic district applications, National Register nominations, prevailing setback and prevailing lot size petitions, design guidelines and Texas historical marker applications. The HNR program also benefits from the skills and experience of GHPA’s professional staff and extensive list of contacts. For additional information, e-mail Courtney Tardy at or call 713-216-5000.

The finishing touch

Gifts to GHPA In honor of Janice Evans-Davis by Madeleine & Michael Appel In honor of Stephen Fox by Nancy & Peter Thompson In honor of Odette H. McMurrey by Sarah & Doug McMurrey In honor of Shannon B. Sasser, AIA by Cathy & Paul Chapman In memory of Margaret Skidmore by Louis H. Skidmore Jr., AIA In memory of Lloyd Emerson Whaley by Louis H. Skidmore Jr., AIA

jim parsons

I want to thank GHPA members for being so active in keeping us informed about what is happening around the city. We can’t be everywhere, so our members are our eyes and ears on the street. We appreciate your e-mails and phone calls telling us about the good work being done in your neighborhood or threats to Houston’s historic buildings. Education is a two-way street. The more we become observant and aware of good preservation, the more it strengthens the city’s preservation ethic. With your help, we have made tremendous strides. More and more of our elected officials are recognizing the economic and aesthetic value of preservation when before it wasn’t even on their radar screen. There was a time in Houston when significant historic buildings could be demolished overnight with hardly any reaction. That does not happen anymore. We hope you share GHPA’s e-mail alerts and newsletters with friends and colleagues. Please go a step further and encourage them to join GHPA. Membership forms are available on our Web site, In many ways, advocacy organizations work like microphones. Through GHPA, you can amplify your voice and help to create the kind of city we all want.

david bush

fr o m t h e ex e c u t i v e d i r e c to r: RAMONA DAVIS

Historic Neighborhood Resources (HNR) is the new name for the former Historic Neighborhoods Council. GHPA’s Executive Committee approved the change to more accurately reflect the program’s work. HNR supports the preservation efforts of community organizations and individual owners of historic properties throughout Houston. When a civic association is beginning the process of protecting its neighborhood’s historic character or the owner of a historic house is trying to navigate the designation process, GHPA’s Historic Neighborhood Resources program can help.

A copper pinnacle, which replicates one that disappeared in the 1920s, has been set atop the dome of the 1911 Harris County Courthouse as part of the building’s ongoing restoration. The 13-foot replica was created in the mid-1990s and was funded by Friends of the Courthouse Dome.

Recognize and remember friends, colleagues or loved ones with a dedicated contribution to GHPA. To donate online, please visit Gifts to GHPA are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Scholarships available for National Trust conference

Preservation Texas is offering 100 scholarships for people wishing to attend the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2010 conference, Next American City, Next American Landscape, to be held October 2730 in Austin. The scholarships only cover the cost of conference registration, including all educational sessions and one field session. Transportation, lodging and additional ticketed conference events are not included. Scholarship recipients are required to attend special pre- and post-conference orientation sessions, the conference opening


continued from Page 1 The elaborate monuments and mausoleums have always drawn locals’ interest: “Wealth, moved by grief, has uttered its sorrow in many costly marbles and towering shafts, and many a marble angel with drooping wings broods over the resting places of the dead,” B.H. Carroll noted in his 1912 book Standard History of

Houston, Texas. For those who want to learn more about Glenwood and the people buried there, GHPA offers quarterly walking tours of the historic section of the cemetery. Among the tour stops are the graves of Charlotte Allen, the wife of Houston co-founder Augustus Allen; Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas; newspaper publisher and civil servant Oveta Culp Hobby; actress Gene Tierney;

reception and closing session, and the Honor Awards. They may select the educational sessions and field session necessary to fulfill the scholarship requirements. Recipients must also complete follow-up reports of their preservation-related activities six months and one year after the conference. The scholarship application form is available at the Preservation Texas Web site, Applications must be submitted to Preservation Texas by June 1; for more information on the program, e-mail or call 512-472-0102.

and Howard Hughes, the eccentric billionaire. The tour focuses on their lives and accomplishments while discussing Glenwood’s history and some of its notable sculpture. The remaining 2010 Glenwood tours will be offered at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 29; 10 a.m., Saturday, August 28; and 10 a.m., Saturday, November 20. Reservations are required for these tours and may be made at The

Registration opens June 1 Anyone with an interest in preservation may attend the National Trust conference, whether or not they apply for a scholarship. General registration opens June 1. For more information on the conference, including a tentative schedule, visit www.preservationnation. org/resources/training/npc. GHPA is a promotional partner of the conference.

cost is $7 per person for GHPA members and students, and $10 per person for the general public. GHPA’s Walking Tours Program also offers private tours of Glenwood Cemetery for groups of 10 or more, which can be scheduled for any day of the week. If you’re interested in learning more about private tours or in booking a private tour, e-mail Jim Parsons at or call 713-216-5000.

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2010 Cornerstone Dinner


Houston’s top elected officials were among the 325 guests attending GHPA’s 2010 Cornerstone Dinner on Friday, February 5, at River Oaks Country Club. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was welcomed by Bob Fretz, Jr., far left, the event’s honorary chair. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, far right, and his wife Gwen were hosted by GHPA President Larry E. Whaley. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the 2010 Good Brick Awards for excellence in historic preservation. Images of the award-winning projects are online at

courtesy of miro dvorscak

david bush

david bush

When renovations are complete, Immanuel Lutheran Church will use its 1932 sanctuary as flex space for church, school and community events.

The former Star Engraving Company plant on Allen Parkway was designated a City of Houston Protected Landmark in March, the highest level of protection the city offers.

Tim Beeson’s rehabilitation of his historic Heights Boulevard home has won a 2010 Preservation Texas Honor Award and a 2009 GHPA Good Brick Award.

Heights church votes to save historic sanctuary

Star Engraving building a protected landmark

Heights homeowner wins statewide award

In March, the congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church voted to halt the demolition of its former sanctuary in the Heights. Members also committed $60,000 previously designated to pay for demolition toward renovating the historic church; the congregation will need to raise an additional $90,000 for the project. When renovations are complete, the Gothic Revival building on Cortlandt Street at East 15th Street will be used as flex space to accommodate church functions and Immanuel Lutheran School activities as well as community events. This is one case where Houston’s 90-day waiting period for demolishing designated historic buildings worked. Since the church is a contributing building in the Houston Heights (East) Historic District, the request to raze the building had to go before the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission. Commissioners denied the application, giving community leaders the opportunity to work with church officials to find alternatives to demolishing the historic building. Without the public notice required in Houston’s preservation ordinance, the demolition could have proceeded without warning. Immanuel Lutheran Church was completed in 1932 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The congregation built a new sanctuary in the 1960s and has used the old church building for storage for many years.

In March, City Council designated the former Star Engraving Company plant, 3201 Allen Parkway, as a City of Houston Protected Landmark. The Spanish-inspired building was designed by R.D. Steele and completed in 1930. The City of Houston acquired the property in 1992 to prevent its demolition and ensure its continuing use as an arts center. The building is currently the home of Stages Repertory Theatre and the Houston Arts Alliance. In 2005, Mayor Bill White led the successful effort to amend Houston’s preservation ordinance and create protected landmarks, which cannot be demolished without the approval of City Council and the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission. Since then, several city-owned buildings have been designated protected landmarks, including City Hall (1939), the 1940 Air Terminal Museum (formerly Houston Municipal Airport) and the recently renovated Parks & Recreation Department headquarters (formerly the Farnsworth & Chambers Co. Building, 1957).

Houston homeowner Tim Beeson’s sensitive renovation of his historic house on Heights Boulevard has earned a 2010 Preservation Honor Award from Preservation Texas. The annual awards recognize accomplishments in historic preservation across the state that inspire and encourage efforts to protect the historic resources of the Lone Star State. Beeson, one the founders of Houston House & Home magazine, purchased the badly deteriorated property after a proposed townhouse project fell through. The house was built in 1906 by William A. Wilson, who later developed Woodland Heights. Although the historic structure had been divided into many one-room apartments, a careful, years-long restoration brought the home back to its turn-of-the-century prime. GHPA nominated Beeson for the statewide award. Last year, GHPA recognized his work on the house with the Stewart Title Award during the 2009 Good Brick Awards for excellence in historic preservation. Preservation Texas, Inc. is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for preserving historic resources in Texas. The Preservation Honor Awards are judged by an independent jury of distinguished professionals representing a crosssection of disciplines within the field of historic preservation. The complete list of 2010 Honor Award recipients is available on the Preservation Texas Web site,


continued from Page 1 students photographed buildings and cityscapes. Later, they painted watercolors of Houston landmarks from their photos. “The students took back with them from these field experiences to the

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classroom a great passion and connection to the city of Houston that can easily be seen in their work,” Bourquin said. Rodriguez Elementary has also partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in creating the Museum of Sylvan Rodriguez Art (MoSRA) to display the students’

art on the school’s campus. Students serve as exhibit designers and curators to produce a calendar of exhibitions and thematic shows. GHPA members are invited to attend the opening reception for Houston: Urban Landscapes in Watercolor from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at Rodriguez Elementa-

ry School, 5858 Chimney Rock. The program is part of the school’s annual Night of the Arts. During the event, some of the student artwork will be auctioned to benefit MoSRA. For more information on the Rodriguez Elementary art program, visit its blog at

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greater houston preservation alliance 2009-2010 Board of Directors Officers Larry E. Whaley President Nancy Ames VP/Special Events

Tony Abyad Past President

Al Calloway VP/Communication

Lynne Bentsen Treasurer

Bill Franks VP/Development

Patricia Laurent Secretary

Eileen Hricik VP at Large

Rick Walton VP/Museum of Houston

d i r e c to r s Michelle Barnes Minnette Boesel Rosario Boling Tim Cisneros Joe Colaco

David Cottrell III Jane-Page Crump Carlo M. Di Nunzio Cindy Crane Garbs Diane Gendel

Madeleine Hamm Karen Henry Susan Hill Andrew Kaldis C.C. Lee

Janita Lo Jim Murnane Patty Porter Mary Ann Reynolds Randhir Sahni

Louis H. Skidmore, Jr. Janet Spencer William W. Stubbs Phoebe Tudor Bob Wakefield

ex officio R. George Cunningham Parliamentarian

Charles D. Maynard, Jr. Legal Counsel

Bart Truxillo Director Emeritus

Patrick Van Pelt Chairman, Harris County Historical Commission

Randy Pace City of Houston Historical Preservation Officer

Marlene Gafrick Director, City of Houston Department of Planning and Development

b u s i n e s s a n d n ot - f o r - p r o f i t m e m b e r s 1940 Air Terminal Museum Tony Abyad / Skyland Development Adept Word Management AGC Houston AIA Houston Bailey Architects, Inc. Bering’s Bill Fisher Benefits Specialists Boulevard Oaks Ladies Club Bradshaw-Carter Memorial & Funeral Services Brick Restoration, Inc. Bridgeway Capital Management Canyonlands Corp. Colquitt Court Civic Association Christian Science Reading Room Cooke + Skidmore Consulting Corp. Documentary Alliance Fretz Construction Company

Gabriel Architects, Inc. Gensler Glassman Shoemake Maldonado Architects Glenwood Cemetery, Inc. and Glenwood Cemetery Historic Preservation Foundation HawesHillCalderon, LLP Haynes Whaley Associates, Inc. Karen Henry / The PR Boutique The Heritage Society Hines Houston Mod Houston House & Home HSPVA Friends Jane-Page Crump / Jane Page Design Group JPMorgan Chase & Co. Kaldis Development Interests Kirksey Landmark Houston Hospitality Group

Llewelyn-Davies Sahni Madison Benefits Group Martha Turner Properties Matrix Spencer Architects Nadolney Enterprises, LP Peggy Hull Interiors, Inc. REHKA Engineering, Inc. Rey de la Reza Architects, Inc. Russo Painting & Carpentry Satterfield & Pontikes Construction, Inc. Stewart Title SWCA Environmental Consultants Tellepsen W.S. Bellows Construction Ward & Ames Special Events William Reaves Fine Art, LLC William W. Stubbs & Associates Winlow Place Civic Club Ziegler Cooper, Inc.

About GHPA The mission of Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) is to promote the preservation and appreciation 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 a grant from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance. GHPA is a member of Preservation Texas and Partners for Sacred Spaces.

GHPA online

For Preservation David Bush, editor Jim Parsons, designer Copyright 2010, Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. All rights reserved.

Save the date: 2010 National Preservation Month Luncheon Friday, May 21, 2010 River Oaks Country Club

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

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

Spring 2010 GHPA Newsletter  
Spring 2010 GHPA Newsletter  

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