In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Four, Number Eleven, November 2008|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Get Your Tickets Now for the 2008 Historic Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour
Recently described by Southern Living as “one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in the South’s biggest city,” the Heights will be the scene of the 2008 Historic Houston Heights Holiday Home Tour on Friday, December 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, and Saturday, December 6, from 3:00 to 9:00 PM.
Appropriately themed “Enchantment,” the tour will feature six spectacular homes, including three historic residences -- a 1908 Texas farmhouse, 1920 brick Craftsman bungalow, and 1912 American Foursquare -- and three newer homes reflecting traditional Heights architecture. The homes will be delightfully decorated for the holidays. Docents will be stationed at each home to point out the rich history, architectural features, furnishings, and decorations.
Individual advance tickets are $17 and can also be purchased online; they will be available soon at various Heights locations. Tickets purchased online can be picked up at the will-call booth at the Fire Station during the tour. Tickets purchased on the days of the tour will cost $20, or $5 for each home, and will be available at the Heights Fire Station at 107 W. 12th and Yale Streets, and at each home.
Three buses will operate during tour hours on Saturday. Patrons may board the buses at stops located at each home and at the Fire Station.
Thanks to the generosity of Reliant Energy, tour ticket holders can have complimentary holiday-themed photos taken of them at the Fire Station.
Homes On Tour:
* The Williamson Home at 1433 Columbia Street, built in 1908 and enlarged in 1928, is a Texas farmhouse nestled behind a charming cottage garden. The house has a large country kitchen with a 1930s Chambers range and an island created from an antique buffet. Traditional holiday decorations include an extensive collection of “Twelve Days of Christmas” items.
* The Ouellette Home at 1132 Heights Boulevard is a 1920 brick Craftsman bungalow and garage apartment located on the middle lot of three lots connected with lush landscaping. The original kitchen and baths add to the home’s charm.
* The Henry Hicks McCain House at 1026 Allston Street, built in 1912 as an American Foursquare in the Arts and Crafts mold, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is named after one of the Heights’ original residents. The current owners renovated the home’s interior and exterior, using reclaimed hardwoods, natural materials, and antique accessories found locally, including reclaimed/restored light fixtures.
* Miz Magnolia at 408 E. 7th Street, a Southern Classic residence sited among mature magnolia and oak trees, boasts many custom features, such as several fireplaces, a wine room, wooden bar top, cedar courtyard doors, and a deep porch extending across the front and one side of the house. Ten rooms will be open for viewing during the tour.
* The Counts Home at 719 Oxford is a Queen Anne-style residence with many custom improvements, including stained glass and a wood-burning fireplace. Highlights include a turret, front and back porches, and extensive landscaping. In celebration of the holiday season, the owners will display teddy bear- and Dalmatian-themed Christmas trees, Lionel trains and a snow village.
* The Worthington Home at 1135 Heights Boulevard is a newly constructed, 10,000-square-foot replica of an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian in Virginia. The residence features an extensive front porch, antique fireplace, custom stained glass windows, and two copper-capped turrets. The owner’s collections of more than 200 dolls -- dating from the 15th century to 21st century -- and blown glass ornaments will be on display.
Docent Positions Still Available
Six fabulous Houston Heights homes will be part of this year’s tour. Docents are needed to share information about one room’s architecture, unusual items and unique holiday decorations. People to take tickets and do other tasks are also needed.
Consider being part of the fun and volunteer for a three-hour shift during the tour which will be held Friday evening, December 5, 6:00-9:00 p.m., and Saturday, December 6, 3:00-9:00 p.m.
(Click the form image to get a copy you can print by itself.)
Houston Heights Holiday Hayrides Return
The hay wagon will be available again this year for Xmas lights/Caroling rides through the Heights. The hayrides are another fun function of the Houston Heights Association. The wagon is available for heights groups and HHA members. There is no charge.
Berryhill’s on E.11th is providing the hay again this year. On December 6th there will be hayrides every 40 minutes, starting at 5:00pm from Berryhill’s.
The wagon can carry up to 30 persons. To schedule a ride between Dec. 7th & 24th contact Paul Carr at 713-869-0505 or . Several dates have already been scheduled.
November General Meeting Goes to the Dogs (& Cats, etc.)
The November 10 General Meeting will focus on our furry and feathered companions and people who care for and about them. The meeting will be preceeded by an hour of in-person balloting; see the election article below. Come between 6:00 and 7:00 to cast your ballot in person, or come at 7:00 for the meeting.
Tricia Royal from Citizens for Animal Protection will speak about animal adoptions and basic pet care. She will be assisted by Dixie, the CAP community outreach mascot and former rescue dog. Dr. Clint Duncan, D.V.M., from the Heights Hospital for Animals, will talk about holiday items that are dangerous to our household pets.
Snacks will be provided, and Starbucks is providing a coffee bar. Also, there will be drawings for prizes.
We hope you can join us and meet your fellow neighborhood animal lovers for this fun and casual evening.
Citizens for Animal Protection is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides shelter, adoption, foster care, rescue and other valuable services to animals in need in the Houston area. CAP also provides humane education and community outreach programs to encourage love and respect for all animals.
Thousands of pets throughout the Houston area have found permanent, caring homes through CAP’s award winning adoption program. Adoptions are the highest priority at CAP. Staff members are always willing to work with each individual adopter to make that perfect match, both at our shelter and at three PetsMart Adoption Centers. The result of these efforts is an adoption rate that is among the highest in the nation!
Some of the CAP programs are:
Pets for Seniors
CAP offers a reduced adoption fee for senior citizens who are over 60 years of age. This enables many seniors to acquire a pet and enjoy the many benefits a companion animal provides.
CAP matches prospective pet adopters with shelter animals. Anyone interested in a particular type of dog, cat or other small pet can fill out a Pet Match request card. If and when that type of animal finds refuge in our shelter, our staff and our volunteer Pet Match Coordinator will try to make the purr-fect match!
Volunteer for CAP
Each year, many dedicated volunteers donate their time, talents and efforts to help our shelter animals. Their willing hands and caring attitudes can calm anxious dogs and cats when they first arrive at our shelter, guide worried families as they look for lost pets, foster animals needing special care, wait on customers in our Pet Supply Shop or Thrift Store and help with special events.
Animals available for adoption at CAP include Dogs, Cats, Small Animals (Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Gerbils, Hamsters, Rats, Mice), and Special Needs Animals.
You may have received one or more letters endorsing candidates in the Director election. These letters did not come from the Houston Heights Association and do not represent endorsements by the HHA Board of Directors or HHA as a whole.
Director Election Schedule
Seven of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election this month. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. Two positions are for the remaining last year of terms ended by resignations.
The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominees receiving the sixth and seventh-highest vote counts will fill the one-year vacancies.
The schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2009 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:
• At the September General Meeting, 15 names were placed in nomination for the 7 positions available. Nominees submitted written statements, which appeared in the October issue.
• October 13, nominees or their representatives spoke on their qualifications at the General Meeting for 3 minutes. They also drew for ballot positions.
• On or before October 20, the Election Committee mailed a ballot with a control number to each member whose dues are current as of October 1.
• By November 8 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.
• November 10, polls will be open for balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM before the General Meeting. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2008-2009 Platinum sponsors:
New Historic District Area
Good progress is being made in the petition drive to establish a City of Houston historic district in the area bounded by 4th Street, Heights Boulevard, 11th Street and Oxford. As of mid-October, volunteers were just 120 signatures short of their goal. The city requires signed petitions of support from at least 51 percent of property owners in the targeted area. Owners within the boundaries of the proposed district who have not yet signed in support of the effort recently received a letter urging them to sign the petition. Postage-paid envelopes were provided to make returning the petition more convenient. If you have already signed the petition, please check on whether your neighbor has signed.
Historic district designation can help deter demolitions of the historic housing stock that is the defining character of the Houston Heights. New construction is welcomed in historic districts as long as that new construction only occurs on non-historic sites. Additionally, rehabilitation, renovation and even appropriate expansion of the 19th and early 20th Century structures are encouraged. Improvements that do not compromise the integrity of our historic housing may be eligible for tax incentives. Historic districts are already established in three other sections of the Heights.
There has been a marked increase in demolitions in Houston Heights since 2005. The destruction, fueled by speculative building, has resulted in the loss of about 270 structures within the boundaries of the Houston Heights National Register of Historic Places Multi-Resource Area. Some areas of Houston Heights already do not have enough original architecture left to qualify for city historic district designation. If the current rate of demolition and relocation of structures out of Houston Heights continues, the core areas of the neighborhood will also reach the point where they will not be able to qualify.
Additional information about historic district designation is available at (pdf).
Heights CERT 102 Class
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training is coming to the Heights on January 14th 2009. CERT is Free and open to the Heights Community - Sign up Today!
Although disasters are relatively unexpected and unpredictable, their effects are not. We have seen, all too often, how quickly disasters (e.g., Hurricane IKE) can impact our “normal” lives. Roads become impassable, critical services are impacted or cut off, professional emergency response agencies quickly become overwhelmed, and people are left on their own for an extended period of time. Awareness and preparedness is the answer to how to keep yourself, your family, and your neighbors safe in emergencies of all kinds. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training will help you become more aware and better prepared to face the inevitable storm.
CERT offers free 24-hour training (taught in 3-hour modules - 8 sessions) taught by professional first responders, i.e., Fire, EMS, and Emergency Management Personnel as well as the FBI. Weekly topics include general disaster preparedness, fire safety and suppression, basic medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, and terrorism awareness. CERT Team members learn how to organize as a team to do the most good for the most amount of people. The training concludes with a mock search and rescue drill where CERT team members can practice skills introduced throughout the training.
Don’t wait until the NEXT STORM is approaching to think about your safety and that of your family. Sign up for CERT training today! To sign up for training, call Ken Lindow (Heights CERT Team Coordinator) at 832-754-1202 or e-mail .
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2008 Bronze Sponsor:
Restoration/Historical Committee Meeting
The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 1630 Harvard St. on Thursday, November 20th from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.
What do you do when you buy a home struck by lightning, caught fire and then stood vacant for months? Well if you are active builder of new homes and remodeler of Heights homes Mike Journeay, you consider it your next rehab project. Covered by a tarp over the burned-out second story, the rehabilitation looked promising. Then when the rest of the structure was found to be structurally unsound for remodel or addition purposes, you tear it down, and rebuild a new one on the same footprint that echoes the style of the former structure. This may not be the normal, most popular concept in the Houston Heights, however many times it is the only acceptable alternative.
While looking at the rehab/tear-down, Mike and his wife, Pat, decided to downsize from their much bigger house in Memorial Hunters Creek Village and to build in the Heights a residence and "model-home" for Mike to show to potential clients. Collaborating with Mark van Doren of APD, they designed a residence of 2,700 square feet., with an open, spacious first floor incorporating three living areas, parlor, dining/library, and kitchen/breakfast/family room plus a master suite. The second floor design included two bedrooms with baths, a media room/office and front and back covered porches.
The interior features traditional crown moldings and classic trim and transoms, along with custom cabinets, granite counters, and porcelain and travertine tiles. Recycled materials included some porch decking, interior doors and oak flooring.
A feature of special interest is the garden, designed by The Backyard Gardener. It features an orchard as well as plumeria, orchids, and a number of favorite plants from their prior home. Native plants and an unusual "rock river" extends from the far corner of the back yard to the front yard. It provides visual interest and practical drainage.
For their efforts, in 2004, Pat and Mike were awarded the Houston Heights Association Community Improvement Award for Residential New Construction.
This meeting will highlight an unusual example of recycling a Houston Heights property from tear down to new construction. Overall, meeting attendees will see first hand what beauty and character can be added to the Heights historic neighborhood under adverse circumstances. For those interested in newly added features adding function to a property, this meeting will be a must. Also, for those wanting to talk with the people that made it happen and to meet some neighbors for an enjoyable evening, do attend.
The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public quarterly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with the appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. Please let Committee Chairman Dean Swanson know if you have a restoration project, historical structure under restoration or historical information or photos pertaining to the Heights to share at future meetings. Contact Dean at or telephone him at (713) 880-2832.
School Notes from the Education Committee
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings named Harvard ES as a National Blue Ribbon School on September 9,2008. This honor is given to only 200 of the top-performing schools in the United States each year.
The HHA Education Committee hosted its annual “Principals Welcome” a month later than usual due to the disruption of Hurricane Ike. On Monday, October 27, the committee honored Heights area principals with an evening social including dinner and artwork viewing at the new Koelsch Gallery, 703 Yale. During the evening, the committee presented special banners of recognition to Love ES and Harvard ES for earning their TEA rating of Exemplary this past school year.
Hamilton MS will be represented at the 82nd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Adelaide Daniel, 6th grader, who has participated in Camp Broadway for the past four years, will be among the final group who will introduce Santa. Local coverage starts at 9:00 AM on NBC.
On another fine arts note, Hamilton student Ivonne Trevino had her artwork displayed at the administrative conference in Austin in October. Her piece was one of only ten chosen from hundreds of entries statewide that were displayed. Congratulations to Ivonne and Hamilton Art Teacher Bridgette Phillips!
Reagan High School’s UIL Academics Team topped Carnegie, Bellaire, Westside, Waltrip, and four other HISD high schools at the Fall HISD UIL Academics Meet held at Carnegie Vanguard High School on Saturday, Oct. 18. The Reagan students captured 19 awards including first place teams in Accounting, Current Events, and Social Studies, and placed first in the overall sweepstakes tabulations. Way to go, Bulldogs!
Curbside Recycling Resumes
The City of Houston resumed its Curbside Recycling Program beginning Monday, October 27, 2008. The program was temporarily suspended after Hurricane Ike as the curbside recycling crews were assisting the yard trimmings staff with storm debris cleanup in the ”Sweep and Bag” Program.
Curbside Recycling services are provided on alternating weeks to 162,000 Houstonians.
Week of October 27: Residents on the “B” week (covering the entire HHA area) began receiving normal collection on their regular pickup day (usually Monday in our area).
Week of November 3: Residents on the “A” week will begin receiving normal collection on their regular pickup day.
To find your collection day, log onto and click on the “Schedules Via Zip Codes” tab.
Remember, the City of Housotn now accepts all plastics (excluding code 7, plastic bags, and styrofoam) at the curb and all recycling drop-off centers. The City also accepts aerosol cans, aluminum, catalogs, envelopes, flattened cardboard, home and office paper, magazines, mail, newspaper, telephone books, tin and used motor oil.
Bicycle Rally Wrap-Up
The Heights Bicycle Rally is well on its way to accomplishing the main reason for its creation. That being to replace the Heights Festival as an HHA fund raiser. This year's bicycle rally netted $3,600.
The success of the rally was only possible through volunteer effort. A special thanks is due the following HHA volunteers and supporters:
David Cassidy - check point management & trail marking, Genie Mims - publicity & prizes, Jody Roberts - prizes & awards, Mary Carr - registration, popcorn & much more, Martin Piké - M.C., Kelly & Keith Simmons - prizes & registration, Anna Pi & Chris Silkwood - Scavenger Hunt judging, Mitch & Susan McFarland - trail marking, entertainment & bartending, Norman Adams (Adams Insurance) - event sponsor, Lauriel Hindman - administration, Gerald Melancon - registration, Keri Claybourn - registration, Lanna Von Baden - registration, Mike & Diane Easley - registration & sponsorship, Chris Synek (Allied Waste) - Top Prize, Park Blair (Berryhill’s) - Major prizes.
The bicycle rally checkpoint/water stations were manned by Cathleen Chevallier & students of Imanuel Lutheran School, Keith Crappell, Brian Driskill, John & Nicole Ridgway, Scott & Jennifer Rennie, Jerry Bertinot, Darra Robertson, Linda & Simon Eyles, and Martin & Danae Piké.
The following Heights businesses generously supported the rally with merchandise and gift certificate prizes: Shade Restaurant, Venus Hair, Collina’s Restaurant, Onion Creek, Dharma Café, Cricket’s Creamery, Java Java, Bicycle Co., Jubilee, Jazzercize, I-Cycle, Blue Line Bicycle Lab, Heights Hospital for Animals, West End Cycle, Another Place in Time, Buchannan’s Native Plants, C & D Hardware, Dacapo’s, and Yale Grill.
The 2006 rally had 40 riders (in the rain). The 2007 rally, 100 riders and this year’s event, 210 riders. The participation has doubled each year. The 2009 rally is planned to use the new Heights Bicycle Trail that is under construction.
Plan to Come to the Holiday Home Tour
Calendar of Events for November-December 2008
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
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 .
November 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22 - Opera in the Heights presents two works by Gaetano Donizetti in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, call 713-861-5303 or visit .
January 29, 30, 31, February 5, 6, 7, 13, 14 - Opera in the Heights presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth at 7:30 PM in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, call 713-861-5303 or visit .
March 26, 27, 28, April 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 - Opera in the Heights presents Giuseppe Verdi’s Falstaff at 7:30 PM in Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For tickets or more information, call 713-861-5303 or visit .
February 22, Awards Dinner
April 3-5, Spring Home Tour
April 18, HHA Camp-Out & Music Fest
June 6, Heights Fun Run
October 4, Bicycle Rally
December 4-5, Holiday Home Tour
Copyright and Submissions
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 ; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.
Staff and Contributors
Editor: Gerald Melancon
Editor Emeritus: Mark R. Williamson
November contributors: Paul Carr, Janice Evans, Lauriel Hindman, Eleanor Lane, Peggy Lindow, Genie Mims, Mark Willamson.