Heights Association Properties
The Houston Heights Association owns or operates three properties for the public's enjoyment. Two properties, the Heights City Hall & Fire Station and Marmion Park, are available for a user fee.
The first tax-supported fire department was established in 1910 on 12th Avenue and Heights Boulevard, behind the Durham home. The station into the alley between Heights Boulevard and Yale Street. J.L. Durham was the first paid fire chief and his firemen were Lee Nixon, Lee Butler and Mr. Haxthausen. When Fraternal Hall, the town's community center at 12th and Yale Streets, burned in, a combination city hall, jail and fire station was built on that site in 1914. The architect for the building was Alonzo C. Pigg. On March 1, 1915, Hugh Montgomery was appointed fire chief for Houston Heights. His new crew included Captain M.T. Robinson, Lieutenant Ed Kohlman, G.K. Parker, 0. M. Phillips, Roy Crush, S. Lowe and E. Hueboetter.
The building has changed little since its construction and is located at 12th and Yale Streets. It operated as a City of Houston fire station from annexation in 1918 until 1995. The Houston Heights Association obtained a 30-year lease from the City of Houston and immediately began restoration of this beautiful, historic building. Restoration was complete in April 1997 and includes a catering kitchen and chair lift. Subsequently, the Association purchased the facility from the City of Houston in December 2009. Downstairs renovation was completed in 2012 and upstairs recently completed in 2013.
The building has changed little since this early photograph and still remains an active community center.
(Above black & white photograph courtesy of Houston Fire Museum through HMRC).
The fire station is a 7,000 sq. ft. building. It is perfect for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, small and large business meetings, trade shows, civic organizations, social clubs, birthday and anniversary parties, or holiday gatherings.
Constructed in 1892-3, and located on Heights Boulevard at 18th Street, the Cooley mansion was one of the first houses built in Houston Heights by the Omaha and South Texas Land Company. D.D. Cooley, a descendant of early English settlers of Massachusetts, came here from Nebraska as the treasurer and promoter of the Omaha and South Texas Land Company. The house stood on a ½ acre lot at 18th and Heights Boulevard. When the electric trolley lines were installed on the Boulevard, D.D. Cooley connected the electric lines to his house, making it one of the first in the Heights to have the modern convenience of electricity. Mr. and Mrs. D.D. Cooley were the parents of three sons, Denton, Arthur and Ralph. After his father died in 1933, Arthur continued to live in the house. After Arthur's death in 1962, the grandsons, Ralph Jr. and Dr. Denton Cooley, were unsuccessful in selling the house at an asking price of $45,000. Eventually the grandsons were forced to sell it to Olshan Demolishing Company, who dismantled it and sold the remnants.
Pictured here is the Cooley house in October 1965, a few months before it was demolished. The lot where the Cooley house once stood remained vacant until 1979, when it was purchased by the Houston Heights Association for the purpose of constructing Marmion Park, named in honor of the last mayor of Houston Heights, J.B. Marmion. The park's award-winning Kaiser Pavilion was designed to emulate the Cooley home's unique turret. (Photograph courtesy of Houston Public Library, HMRC).
For further information on this or any of our properties, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For five consecutive days in October of 1996, a close-knit community in Houston, Texas, rolled up its collective sleeves and built a lasting legacy for its children. Families, neighbors, craftsmen, teachers, students, local businesses, and friends of Houston Heights joined together in a monumental effort to construct what is now The Heights Playground. They worked from early morning until late night. They sawed, drilled, hammered and painted. They served food, tended minor wounds, and provided child care. They gave their time, their skills, and their hearts, yet asked nothing in return.
Donovan Park is the Cinderella story of a formerly underutilized park transformed into a unique fantasy play-space through the power of community involvement. Over a period of nine months, thousands of dedicated volunteers and supporters participated in the fundraising, organization, and building of a dream that became a reality. Today, it is a place that sparks young imaginations, encourages social interaction among cultures, and serves as an inspiration to future generations. Incorporating original ideas contributed by area school children, Donovan Park was designed by community-built architectural pioneers, Robert S. Leathers & Associates of Ithaca, New York. With its railroad theme and Victorian-era turrets, the playground reflects the historic character of its surroundings.
It serves the neighborhood as both a distinctive architectural landmark and as a popular family gathering site where young hearts and imaginations can run free. It stands as a loving tribute to the children who inspired its construction and as a testament to the caring spirit of the Houston Heights community.
We no longer take reservations for the use of this park. It is first-come, first-served. Due to limited volunteer trash pick up, we request parties of five or more to take their trash with them. For the safety of our children, barbecue pits and open flames are not allowed.