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winter 2014

po box 66735

quarterly newsletter

MAMA

• 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

president’s welcome

highlights

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.

maintenance reserve.

mer Eye Excellence Center. MAMA has reached out

annual membership drive

members meeting

Tuesday, February 11th

6:30 p.m.

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

VISIT www.mamahouston.org

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-

-Allen

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

realize it.

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

ment District

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

area streets

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

www.mamahouston.org/membership

• 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 membership@mamahouston.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)

street address

home

email

home

city, st zip

$100 individual / family membership • $35

SPECIAL INTEREST I would like to participate with MAMA on the following (check one or more):

work

patron membership

work

city, st zip

work

mailing address if different

phone

home

$__________ senior / student membership • $15 bell park fund

Bell Park Restoration Communications Membership

Board/Committee Work page

2

winter 2014

Security /

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-

Houston (MFAH).

ing facility will include a separate entrance for

R

©

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

our neighborhood.

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.

Barbara Aksamit

MAMA is reserving about 30 minutes at its Febru-

(713) 398-7896 baksamit@swbell.net

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

winter 2014

page

3


winter 2014

quarterly newsletter

more news and updates online www.mamahouston.org

officers

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

vice president

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.

page

4

Doug Lawing

secretary

Cassie Stinson

treasurer

Barbara Aksamit treasurer@mamahouston.org membership

Lance Jones membership@mamahouston.org

communications

Ginny Camfield Leslie Gerber

nominating committee

need to raise additional funds for our maintenance account for Bell Park.

president

Allen Ueckert president@mamahouston.org

nation in 2014 to help MAMA increase this fund.

Cassie Stinson

liason, upa

Kathryn McNeil

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.

www.mamahouston.org

Winter 2014 Newsletter - Museum Area Municipal Assoc  
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