po box 66735
• houston, texas 77266 www.mamahouston.org
museum area municipal association f o r h o u s to n ’ s b e s t u r b a n e x p e r i e n c e , c o m e l i v e w i t h m a m a
photo credit houston museum district
Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a
at Banks and Montrose, 20 feet from the end of the
safe and joyous holiday season. This is a great time
street to allow for better ingress and egress of the
to live in MAMA as there are so many transforma-
street. We engaged HPD to address crime, were
tional activities happening in our neighborhood.
proactive in getting graffiti abated timely, requested
As many of you know, we achieved our fundraising
installation of dividers on the Bell Park benches to
goal last year and installed a new sprinkler system
discourage camping in the park, and engaged the
Special guest Heather Muller, City of Houston
in Bell Park as well as new beds and plants. There
city to fix potholes on Bissonnet.
cleaned, dug, edged, planted and distributed the
While we achieved much during 2013, this year is
Wine and cheese reception followed by general meeting.
biggest pile of mulch I ever saw! If you missed out
shaping up to be just as active. It was recently an-
last fall, we have volunteers days scheduled this year
nounced that Streetlight Residential Partners in Dal-
as well. While we reached the balance of our fund-
las plans to construct a 20-story, 303 unit apartment
raising goal, we are still raising funds to establish a
building at 4 Chelsea Boulevard at the site of the for-
Funding and work for restoration complete. See back page for volunteer opportunities and news.
mer Eye Excellence Center. MAMA has reached out
annual membership drive
Tuesday, February 11th
Italian Cultural and Community Center 1101 Milford St
bell park progress
A great way to meet your neighbors and get involved in our community. Membership form inside and online museum of fine arts expansion
Bringing change and growth to our neighborhood. Details, page 3. communications
Website, e-newsletter, and Facebook page keeps our members current and connected. Join the conversation!
THANK YOU DONORS Complete list of Bell Park donors available online
CLICK Bell Park Lets enjoy our neighborhood gem!
Find us on Facebook /mamahouston
were several volunteer days this past fall where we
to the developer to engage on issues that will impact Additionally, we engaged the Museum of Fine Arts
the quality of life of the surrounding neighborhood.
on their campus expansion project that is underway.
We welcome your thoughts and hope to work with
This includes the construction of a new building to
the developer to ensure our concerns are addressed.
exhibit contemporary art in the existing parking lot
This is a project that will receive our focus over the
across from the Caroline Weiss Law Building, but not
course of the next year.
before pre-work which will include the relocation of
The Board and I look forward to hearing your input
utilities and the demolition of the current Glassell
and having you involved in each of these initiatives.
School to make way for a new and improved Glassell School facility and new museum that will have
We hope that you will join MAMA and become a
great amenities for us all to enjoy. We will continue
part of our neighborhood organization. Check out
to work with the Museum as they move forward with
our website at www.mamahouston.org and sign-up
their plans over the next few years.
to become a member today!
We also worked to address some of the parking is-
sues on Banks by having no-parking signs installed
ALLEN UECKERT PRESIDENT
bell park makeover complete thanks to mama volunteers and donors After lots of planning, fundraising and volunteer
The project shows the power of collaboration – be-
landscaping efforts, Bell Park has a brand new look
tween MAMA, the Montrose Management District,
– cleaner, greener and more inviting for all who live
the Houston Parks Board and the City of Houston
near by or visit the shops and restaurants in our area.
Parks and Recreation Department. It has taken the
And it’s all thanks to a long list of dedicated volun-
efforts of all these entities to create the plan as well
teers, fundraisers and donors.
as many generous contributions from MAMA members, neighborhood businesses and other friends to
If you haven’t been by, be sure to walk or jog through
soon. You’ll see neatly mulched beds near Montrose, shrubs in new places and several beautiful plantings
In fact, the list of generous donors is so long we can’t
surrounding the pond – all being watered by a newly
fit it all in the newsletter. Please visit www.mama-
installed irrigation system. It looks good now and
houston.org to see the complete list. Thanks, every-
just wait till spring!
body. We did it!
MAMA launches 2014 membership drive In 2014, MAMA hopes to at least double its mem-
the park when city funds were depleted. Bell Park
• Supporting formation of the Montrose Manage-
bership. Despite the small size of our neigh-
sits nearly in the center of the MAMA area and we
borhood, MAMA accomplishes a tremendous
watch out for it!
amount. With more members, we will be even stronger.
• Lobbying the City of Houston for resurfacing of • Influencing the redesign of US 59 along our
northern boundary: Working with other neighIf you haven’t yet joined MAMA, please take a look
borhoods and civic associations, MAMA prevent-
At MAMA’s first meeting in 1980, the 80 attend-
at a few reasons why we hope you will, whether to
ed an elevated flyover envisioned by the highway
ees included original owners of homes, young
attend our quarterly meetings to get information
department and lobbied successfully for the
couples with modest incomes, apartment dwell-
on the issues of the day or to take a more active
current below-grade lanes of today. In coopera-
ers and even students. Today, that list also in-
role through donations of time and funds.
tion with the highway department, ensured the
cludes residents of more recently developed town
installation of sound barriers and landscaping in
homes and high-rises.
MAMA has been active for nearly 35 years in
the section near the detention pond on Rosedale.
the area bounded north-south between Bisson-
All are welcome regardless of home ownership or
et and 59 and east-west between Main St. and
• Planting trees on streets and esplanades – 130
residence – in fact, some of our best supporters
Graustark. We keep area residents informed on
crepe myrtles planted between 1983 and 1993
are area businesses.
• Organizing a walking tour of the neighborhood
We don’t win all our battles, but the more of us
developments and issues that affect them – and take positive steps to improve and protect the neighborhood.
who care, the better we can do to ensure our • Sponsoring numerous gatherings over the years
neighborhood is the best it can be for all who live
So what have we accomplished over the years? It’s
on National Night Out to help neighbors get ac-
and work here. Please join us by mailing the form
a long list:
quainted and to link with law enforcement in im-
below in the stamped envelope provided, or visit
proving neighborhood security
• Supporting Bell Park: in 2013, MAMA complet✤
ed a $30,000 project to install new irrigation and
• Blocking unwanted non-residential construc-
plantings to restore and beautify the park. And in
tion, despite lack of deed restrictions, solving
prior years, MAMA has raised funds to install the
parking problems, and working with commercial
lights in the park and to complete the paving of
enterprises to solve problems that arise
Simpy scan the QR code for a shortcut to the MAMA payment page.
membership in the museum area municipal association Questions?
Contact our Membership Chair, Lance Jones at 713.249.1641 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- join online at www.mamahouston.org/membership Please complete the bottom portion of this form and return with your check to: MAMA • P.O. Box 66735 • Houston, TX 77266
checks made payable to mama
member name (please include business name, if applicable)
city, st zip
$100 individual / family membership • $35
SPECIAL INTEREST I would like to participate with MAMA on the following (check one or more):
city, st zip
mailing address if different
$__________ senior / student membership • $15 bell park fund
Bell Park Restoration Communications Membership
Board/Committee Work page
National Night Out
Annual Meeting / Holiday Party - Dec ’14
museum of fine arts campus expansion Bringing Change and Growth to the Neighborhood You’ve probably noticed the traffic cones clos-
restaurant that will overlook the Cullen Sculpture
ing a lane at Montrose and Bissonet. If you’ve
Garden. The new building for Glassell School
wondered what it’s all about, the ongoing work
will provide a significant increase in space and
under the roadway is all part of growing pains in a
include a plaza enhancing accessibility to the
significant expansion at the Museum of Fine Arts,
Cullen Sculpture Garden. The underground park-
ing facility will include a separate entrance for
buses and trucks and an underground pedestrian The proposed plan was outlined at the September
and vehicle connection to link all three sites.
2013 MAMA meeting by speakers Gwen Goffe, MFAH, and Patti Joiner, Knudsen & Associates.
The MFAH has worked with the City, the Parks Department, and affected neighbors to create
The multi-year proposed plan calls for unifying
plans for this new center for public engage-
the current MFAH campus through construction
ment with the arts. The project proposes to tie
of a new exhibition building for contemporary art
together all landscape elements in the immediate
on the present parking area across from the Caro-
area. Exterior gardens and water features will be
line Weiss Law Building, the integration of the
added, the existing setback along Montrose will
Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden with
be maintained, and street trees will be protected
an expansion of the Glassell School of Art, and
in cooperation with the Parks Department. To-
construction of an underground parking facility
gether with moving the parking underground, the
for the new buildings. The proposed plan will
entire project will greatly enhance the beauty of
bring yet another distinguished firm, Steven Holl
Architects, to Houston to add to the Museum’s list of buildings by great architects.
The current work in traffic lanes near the museum will rebuild and relocate underground utili-
The new exhibition building will feature Art after
ties over the next few months. The next phase will
1900 and include galleries for traveling exhibi-
be the construction of the new Glassell School, to
tions, educational facilities, a library and study/
commence in 2015. The above proposal is subject
resource center, lecture halls, a theater and a
to modification in the ongoing planning phase.
new high-rise on chelsea A Dallas development company has announced plans to begin construction in the next few months on a 20-story apartment tower at the site of the former Eye Excellence Clinic at 4 Chelsea Blvd. The plan calls for 303 apartment units. Con-
Call for a free in home market analysis
struction of the building and its attached garage could take up to 2 ½ years according to the announcement of the project. All access to the development will be from Chelsea Blvd. Demolition of the Eye Excellence building is slated to begin early 2014.
MAMA is reserving about 30 minutes at its Febru-
(713) 398-7896 email@example.com
ary meeting to hear the concerns of the neighborhood, helping MAMA as it engages with the devel✤
oper in the coming months. Architectural rendering provided by Gromatzky Dupree & Associates
more news and updates online www.mamahouston.org
maintenance fund established for bell park had the opportunity, please consider a modest doOur fundraising goal is $2,000 to add to the nearly $500 in the Bell Park account at the Houston Parks
Board. Any funds raised in addition to the goal will be used to further beautify Bell Park. These funds can be used only for Bell Park and your donation to the Houston Parks Board is tax deductible. It’s easy to contribute online. Simply visit www. houstonparksboard.org, and click on the large Donate button in the upper right corner. All major A landscape is a living thing and it must be tended
credit cards accepted. Be sure to select Bell Park
over time. To help MAMA keep the mulch deep,
in the drop-down menu near your credit card in-
dead plants replaced and sprinklers repaired, we
formation. You can also send a check with Bell Park noted in the check memo to Houston Parks Board, 300 N.
Whether you have already donated or haven’t yet
Post Oak Lane, Houston TX 77024.
volunteers needed to keep bell park beautiful
- february 15
After our fall planting days, Bell Park is looking great. To keep it that way, MAMA needs volunteers for a short maintenance opportunity. Please come to Bell Park on Saturday, February 15 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Bring your garden tools (put a label on them identifying them as yours) and your garden gloves, and help pull weeds, remove dead foliage and other light maintenance. Let’s work together and get our neighborhood gem ready for spring!
MAMA volunteers pitch in at Bell Park prep day
2014 schedule of meetings MAMA has four scheduled general membership meetings during the
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
year, generously hosted by our neighbors at the Italian Cultural and
February 11, 2014
Please join us on Tuesday, February 11, for the first meeting of 2014.
April 8, 2014
is leading the effort to implement a coordinated housing system for the
June 10, 2014 December 9, 2014
Community Center beginning at 7:00pm.
Our guest speaker will be Heather Muller, with the City of Houston, who homeless. Homelessness is an ongoing concern in ours and all inner city neighborhoods. Time will be set aside at the meeting to address concerns about the new high-rise apartment tower slated for construction in early 2014 on Chelsea Blvd.
Barbara Aksamit firstname.lastname@example.org membership
Lance Jones email@example.com
Ginny Camfield Leslie Gerber
need to raise additional funds for our maintenance account for Bell Park.
Allen Ueckert firstname.lastname@example.org
nation in 2014 to help MAMA increase this fund.
board of directors
Barbara Aksamit Ginny Camfield Mike Delaney Rey de la Reza John Gabriel Leslie Gerber Carvel Glenn Doug Lawing Kathryn McNeil Allen Ueckert
visit mama 24/7 Once a year, we print and deliver our newsletter. If you would like to continue receiving news and information about the MAMA neighborhood, please visit our website and subscribe to our electronic quarterly newsletter, or find us on Facebook to join the conversation and stay connected.