In This Issue

Houston City Council Approves Houston Heights Historic District West

General Meeting: "Bat Colony"

2008 Officers

Help HHA Make Plans For 2008

Attorney Sought

Heights Anti-Graffiti Squad Needs Your Help

HHWC Evening Group Anniversary

2007 Heights Holiday Tour Wrap-Up

Holiday Market Thanks

Holiday Read-Aloud Delights Children

Demo Watch

2008 City of Houston Construction Plans for the Heights

SPARK Park at Hogg

Donations

New Members

Community Improvement Award Nominations

Calendars

Staff and Contributors

Copyright

logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Four, Number One, January 2008
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
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Houston City Council Approves Houston Heights Historic District West

[This story just in as we went to press. Congratulations to all the volunteers involved with the effort. -Editor]

It is official: Houston Heights Historic District West was approved by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Houston on Wednesday, December 19, by unanimous vote. An ordinance of the City of Houston officially approving the District was adopted, recognizing the historic importance of the District to the City of Houston, and permanently placing the District under the protection of the City’s historic preservation ordinance. The ordinance was sponsored by our City councilmember, Adrian Garcia. The District, the tenth in he city, is roughly bounded by Allston, Ashland, W. 11th Street and W. 16th Street.

The application for the much larger Houston Heights Historic District East, Phase I, has been approved by the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (the first hearing) and is scheduled to be heard by the City of Houston Planning Commission on January 3, 2008 (the second hearing) and then will go to City Council (the final hearing) probably later in January. The east district is roughly bounded by Heights Blvd., Oxford, E. 20th, and E. 11th.

Volunteers are working on getting signatures for other historic districts, primarily south of E. 11th Street. Contact HHA Land Use Chair Janice Evans- Davis at 713-802-0337 for more information.

A more detailed story will appear in the February issue of this newsletter.

General Meeting

Have you noticed the signs on Waugh and Allen Parkway for the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony? Did you wonder how it compares to the Congress Avenue colony in Austin, or how many tons of insects our local bats consume per night? Come to the January 14 General Meeting and meet Diana Foss, an Urban Biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Wildlife Field Office. Diana is a member of the Houston Bat Team and has studied the Mexican free-tailed bats living under the bridge.

The program topic for the February meeting will be “Birding in Inner City Houston” presented by Bill Eley, Program Development Director, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following 2007-2008 Platinum sponsors:

Allied Waste San Jacinto Stone

2008 Officers

by Mark R. Williamson, 2008 President

The Organizational Meeting of the Houston Heights Association 2008 Board of Directors was held on December 18, 2007. At that meeting, the following people were elected by the Board to serve alongside me as HHA Officers.

  • President-elect Chris Silkwood
  • Secretary Laura Thorp
  • Treasurer Kathleen Williamson
  • VP Information & Communications Genie Mims
  • VP Meetings & Membership Taylor Moore
  • VP Sponsorship & Fundraising Kelly Simmons
  • VP Community Outreach Jim DePitts
  • VP Historic Preservation & Management Janice Evans-Davis
  • VP HHA Property Management Paul Carr
  • VP Financial Affairs Kathleen Williamson

Bill Baldwin and Jim Potter were elected as members-at-large of the Executive Committee, which also includes the President, the President-elect, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The Board decided to continue holding General Meetings on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 PM and Board Meetings on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 PM.

Please thank all of these people for their willingness to serve the Association and wish us all success as we plan for and manage another year of Association activity.

Help HHA Make Plans for 2008

The Board of Directors of the Houston Heights Association is conducting a survey of the membership to determine where the efforts of the HHA should focus in 2008. With so many issues such as curbs & gutters, neighborhood preservation, quality of public schools, alley use, safety, and the maintenance of our two parks and the Heights Boulevard esplanade, the HHA Board would like to hear from members. Please e-mail your comments and suggestions to editor@houstonheights.org or send them by post to HHA Editor, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, 77270-0735.

Attorney Sought

The Land Use Committee of the Houston Heights Association is in need of an attorney versed in land use issues who is willing to volunteer his or her time assisting the committee with deed restrictions and other land-use-related issues. If you can help, please contact Janice Evans-Davis, Land Use Chair and Vice President of Historic Preservation, at 713-802-0337 or by email at landuse@houstonheights.org.

Heights Anti-Graffiti Squad Needs Your Help!

Paul Luccia with the Heights Anti-Graffiti Squad will be holding aFundraiser & Paint Drive on Saturday January 12. The location will be the same as last year, along Heights Blvd at 13th St., just outside the historic library from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon.

The squad will be collecting latex paint, spray paints, and empty 5 gallon buckets. Monetary donations can be made in cash or by check to the Houston Heights Association. This is the second annual paint drive as the squad enters the third year of service.

The area protected by “The Squad” covers 13 square miles of the city: Loop 610 to the north, I-10 to the south, I-45 to the east, and Durham to the west. For additional information, email Paul at cleanheights@aol.com.

HHWC Evening Group Anniversary

The Evening Group of The Houston Heights Woman’s Club is celebrating its first anniversary on Thursday, January 10 at 7:00 PM at the clubhouse at 1846 Harvard. Anyone interested in membership is cordially invited to attend. The group will be entertained by Maestro Weibel from Opera in the Heights. For additional details, contact Anne Sloan at 713-869-8281 or anne.sloan@sbcglobal.net.

Silver Sponsor

The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following Winter 2007-2008 Silver Sponsor:

2007 Heights Holiday Home Tour Wrap-Up

by Trudy W. Nelson, Co-Chair

Special thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the 2007 Historic Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour and made it a really fun, successful, and record-breaking event! Preliminary numbers indicate we have hit a new high with approximately $28,000 raised! Congratulations!

It all begins and ends with our generous Homeowners: Jeffrey Brenner and Joe Dumas, Debra and Don Broman, Neil Sackheim, Lori and Patrick Lauden, and Marianne and Tim Sulser. Without the graciousness of these homeowners, there would be no tour! Thanks should also be extended to the many neighbors who endured additional traffic and parking during the event. We appreciate your patience as well.

Outstanding Head Docents once again enabled the Home Tour to run smoothly. Major thanks are due to Lindsey Word, Danae Stephenson, Laura and Charlie Thorp, Diane Easley, Katy Bomar Childs, Kathleen Williamson, Melinda and Lee Gaskill, Gail Rosenthal, and Amydell Beardsall. These volunteers were responsible for the coordination of dozens and dozens of docents who helped show the various homes. Thanks to you all!! Thanks also for the hundreds of docents who ushered our guests through each home. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Holiday florals were everywhere, and thanks are owed to Wally Nobles and Sondra Wilson of the Heights Floral Shop, Sheri Harmon of Heights Boulevard Florist, Chriss and Raynell Killion of Killion’s Milam Florist, Judy Bankhead and Susan Tate of Darlene’s Flower & Gift Shop, and to Joseph Dumas of J. Dumas Design. These florists donated their time and creative efforts for the Heights community - please remember them when you are in need of flowers!

Thanks to a variety of musical performers who provided the magic of holiday music during the Home Tour. It added a wonderful touch to the seasonal displays.

Committee members once again were shining stars and crucial to the success of our event. Thanks so much to all the members of the committee this year - especially the following:

Angela DeWree of Design and Inspiration, Collateral Designer, who selflessly donates her talents to create outstanding design and advertising opportunities for this event and many others of the Houston Heights Association; Mark Williamson, Volunteer Coordinator. Mark has overseen the troops of volunteers for the past few Home tours and will be missed greatly when he takes the position of President of HHA next year! His shoes will be tough to fill! Carol and Angelos Sofianopoulos, Trolley Chairs, who cheerfully moved everyone around as if they were royalty; Honi Knowles and Robin Franklin, our Poster Distribution Duo who get the word out so effortlessly! Melissa Bauman, who helped coordinate our gorgeous floral arrangements. And of course, there are not enough thanks to extend to our Business Manager Lauriel Hindman and Fire Station Chair Bob Pearson. Special thanks to Trudy Nelson, co-chair, who so graciously assisted in everything from coordinating entertainers to collecting money boxes.

We can’t forget the help of our HHA board members: President Jim Potter, who guided us through like a veteran, and Treasurer Jim DePitts, who would never let any detail slip through the cracks. Paul Carr gets our “Hero” award for coming to our rescue when our shuttle buses were a bit late. Our guests will never forget their hayride through the Heights!

Thanks are also due to Olmstead-Kirk Paper Company for donating all the paper for every bit of printing we did, which included our posters, tickets, and postcards. And, of course, our many sponsors that support the Houston Heights Association.

And, of course, the smooth and carefree efforts of our outstanding Holiday Home Tour Chair, Marianne Sulser, cannot be forgotten. Marianne guided us, coordinated us, followed up with us and kept us all smiling along the way - all the way to the bank for the Houston Heights Association!

Holiday Market Thanks

by Sharie Beale, Market Chair

The Holiday Market was a lot of fun and a great success! The merchants were all happy with the shoppers, and the shoppers were all happy with their treasures. Many of the merchants have already signed up to return next year.

Many thanks to Diane Mozier, Mason Neville and his band of porters, Jim Potter, Barbara Potter, John Hennessy and Byron Pettit, and of course, David Beale my volunteer chair for making the Holiday Market work so well. Also, thanks to Angelos Sofianopoulos for doing an “A-1 job” getting the Home Tour and Holiday Market sign up on the Fire Station - it was the best it has ever been!

Holiday Read Aloud Delights Children

John Manes’ Christmas story titled “Sally and the Sparrow” won this year’s writing competition put on by the Education Committee of the Houston Heights Association. The story is about a poor girl, Sally, and her encounter with an injured sparrow on her way home from school. Manes’ wife, Pauline, read his story to an enthralled audience of children at the Heights Library on December 1. This is the second year HHA has sponsored the event, which featured author Ann Sloan last year.

The Education Committee develops events and programs which support the 40 Developmental Assets which have been identified to help kids in a community succeed. The Holiday read-aloud addresses the important Assets of “encouraging recreational reading and writing” and “holding up community adults outside the child’s family as role models.”

Manes lives in Houston with his wife Pauline where he writes poetry, short stories, and creates Native American beadwork, dance and outfits. He has continued to be active with young people after honing his own writing skills by writing love letters for his peers during his high school years. Manes is an active member of the Sam Houston Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, working with both the youth and training adults to work with young people. He has been known to appear as Santa during the Christmas season.

For more information about the 40 Assets, go to www.search-institute.org.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following Winter 2007-2008 Bronze Sponsors:

Demo Watch

The Houston Archeological and Historical Commission has denied requests to demolish historic properties at 1420 Harvard and 1232 Rutland. Both properties are within the boundaries of the new Houston Heights Historic Districts. When a demolition request is denied by the HAHC, an applicant must wait 90 days, and then he or she is free to proceed with demolition. The waiting period for these properties will expire on February 2.

The goal of the historic districts is to deter demolitions of historic properties and instead guide appropriate new development to non-historic sites. New construction and historic preservation can co-exist as long as the new construction doesn’t replace historic buildings that could be appropriately restored and expanded.

Below is the list of properties for which demolition permits were issued between November 14 and December 3, 2007. With these additions, the number of demolition permits issued in the area under the umbrella of the Houston Heights Association since June of 2005 stands at 298. The latest list includes one property, 1246 Columbia, which is within the new historic districts, but it was not historic.

  • 1516 Alexander
  • 1246 Columbia
  • 1507 Lawrence
  • 1009 Herkimer
  • 1519 Waverly
  • 714 E 8th 1/2 St
  • 716 E 8th 1/2 St
  • 718 E 8th 1/2 St
  • 720 E 8th 1/2 St
  • 621 E 20th St

Donations

Our thanks to the following donors for their generous support of the programs of the Houston Heights Association.

  • Cynthia Felde & David McLean - Parks Maintenance, Boulevard & Flower Gardens
  • Rita Johnson & Jennifer Smart - Boulevard
  • Robert & Cheryl Ketchie - Historic Preservation, Parks Maintenance
  • Suzanne Labarthe & John Rogers - Boulevard
  • Irene Sasaki & Tim Richey - Boulevard
  • Tom & Katrina Price Stilwell - Boulevard

2008 City of Houston Construction Plans for the Heights

Construction is scheduled to start in May or June on the Hike & Bike trail on Nicholson Street and the old MKT railroad right-of way. By the end of the year, bicyclists should be able to ride from 19th street to downtown Houston on the new trail.

The city’s Neighborhood Street Reconstruction Program has scheduled to rebuild portions of Cortlandt St. and Oxford St. in 2008. The project will remove all pavement and rebuild with curbs and gutters. The sections that will be rebuilt are: Cortlandt from White Oak to 11th, 12th to 14th, and 18th to 22nd; Oxford between 15th and 16th streets.

SPARK Park at Hogg

What’s all the hype at Hogg Middle School? There’s a SPARK Park coming soon! What’s a SPARK Park? The SPARK School Park Program seeks to increase park space in Houston by helping public schools develop their open spaces into community parks.

Hogg Middle School wants to be the next school with a SPARK park, including a walking path, outdoor theater and classroom, beautiful artwork, and more.

In order to accomplish this, they need everyone’s help. Watch for fundraisers in your neighborhood to help us reach our goal! For additional information, comments, or suggestions, please call Principal Imelda Medrano at 713-802-4700 or email Anne Cobb, SPARK committee chair, at acobb1@houstonisd.org.

New Members

Please welcome the following new or returning members to the Houston Heights Association.

  • David Batagower
  • Marilyn Miles
  • Sumner & Associates, P.C. - Ken Sumner
  • Joe Terry
  • David & Felicia Wiggins

Community Improvement Award Nominations

In appreciation and support of architectural improvements and achievements in our neighborhood, the Houston Heights Association will once again present several of our neighbors with awards for their efforts.

Please help us to select and honor those deserving property owners for their hard work and vision by nominating them for one of these prestigious awards. Nominations must be received by January 15. The nominees and winners will be announced at the Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner on February 24 and in the HHA Newsletter.

A copy of the nominations form and instruction sheet was included in the print edition of the December issue. It is also available on the HHA web site at http://www.houstonheights.org/pdf/07CIAform.pdf.

Calendar of Events for January-February 2008

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

1

2

3

4

5

Heights 1st Sat.

6

7 - recycling

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

HHA Urban Forest Group, 6:30 PM, location TBA

8

9

10

11

Deadline for February newsletter

12

13

14

HHA General Meeting, “Bat Colony,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station

15

16

17

18

19

20

21 - recycling?

Martin Luther King Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

22

23

PIP meeting, 6:30 PM, 1602 State Street

24

25

26

27

28

HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station

29

30

31

February 1

2

Heights 1st Sat

3

4 - recycling

HHA Land Use Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

5

HHA Urban Forestry Group, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

6

7

8

Deadline for March newsletter

9

10

11

HHA General Meeting, “Urban Birding,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station

12

13

14

Valentine’s Day

15

16

17

18- recycling?

President’s Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

19

20

21

22

23

24

HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner, 5:00 PM, Fire Station

25

HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, location TBA

26

27

PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

28

29

March 1

Heights 1st Sat.

HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Every Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site www.historichouston.org.

January 6 at 11:30 AM, January 21 at 1:00 PM, and January 28 through February 1 at 9:00, St. Rose of Lima School is holding open houses at their campus in Garden Oaks. To RSVP for one of the open houses or for more information, please call the school office at 713-691-0104.

January 24 - February 2, Opera in the Heights presents Adriana LeCouvreur by Francesco Cilea in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, visit www.operaintheheights.org or call 713-861-5303.

January 27, 2:00 to 5:00 PM, Our Savior Lutheran School will host an open house for prospective families on their campus at 5000 W. Tidwell. For more information, call 713-290-8277 or visit www.oslschool.org.

February 8 - 23, UpStage Theatre Evening Series presents the Texas premiere of Judy Garland, “World’s Greatest Entertainer” by Greer Firestone, based on the 1950’s TV series. Friday and Saturday evenings, 8:00 PM, Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.upstagetheatre.org or call 713-838-7191.

Future History

April 4-6, Spring Home Tour

June 7, Fun Run

October 5, Bicycle Rally

December 5-7, Holiday Home Tour

February 22, 2009, Awards Dinner

The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.

Copyright 2008, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.

Newsletter inquiries, suggestions, or submissions should be directed to:

Editor, The Heights, P.O. Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735;

email editor@houstonheights.org; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.

Staff and Contributors

Outgoing Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

Editor-to-be: Gerald Melancon

January contributors:

David Beale, Paul Carr, Karen Derr, Janice Evans-Davis, Lauriel Hindman, Paul Luccia, Trudy Nelson, Jim Potter, Joellen Snow.