In This Issue

General Meeting: Get Fit in the Heights

Spring Home & Garden Tour

Candlelight Dinner & Auction

Kick-Off Party Pre-Sells Half Of Candlelight Dinner Event

Support Local Business

Eastside Constable Patrol Program Statistics

Merry Christmas?

Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner

Citizen of the Year: Anne Sloan

Corporate Citizen of the Year: Boulevard Realty, Bill Baldwin

Marcella Perry Award: Angela DeWree

New Generation Award: Marianne Sulser

Heights Bling Award: Kristal Kirksey

Community Improvement Awards

Spotlight on Heights Business Member:

Reagan Offers New Video Editing Track

Restoration/ Historical Committee

Heights Woman's Club News

Relay For Life Greater Heights Presents Bras and Boxers Fundraiser

New Members



Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Six, Number Four, April 2010
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for the print-format Business Directory.
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2010 Spring Home and Garden Tour

“Now Showing… The Houston Heights”

Home Tour posterThe 2010 Spring Home and Garden Tour is only days away, and it is going to be a terrific weekend! Six amazing homes will be featured this year, and they spotlight all the best things about our neighborhood. You will find old houses, new houses, big homes, and small bungalows. There are houses that have huge screened-in porches, gourmet kitchens, and glorious gardens. Some have been in magazines and others featured on tours. But they are all must-sees, and they are all on the tour Saturday and Sunday April 10 and 11 from noon to 6:00 PM.

Chairs Linda Eyles and Danae Stephenson are excited to present the following homes:

  • Glassell Home - 1409 Allston
  • Burleson Home - 615 E. 16th Street
  • Morello Home - 608 Peddie
  • Rodgers Home - 629 Heights Boulevard
  • McIntyre Home - 621 E. 8 1/2 Street
  • Eastman Home - 935 Harvard

Advance tickets are $17 each and may be purchased at Another Place in Time (1102 Tulane), The Artful Corner (3423 White Oak), Buchanans Native Plants (611 E. 11th Street), Eclectic Home (345 W. 19th Street), and Waldo’s Coffee House (1030 Heights Boulevard) and online here. Day-of-tour tickets are $20 each and may be purchased at Buchanan’s Native Plants, Another Place in Time, Heights Fire Station, and at each tour home.

Included in the price is a luxury shuttle bus to all the homes. The shuttle begins and ends at the Heights Fire Station at Yale and 12th Streets, where parking is available.

Candlelight Dinner and Auction

The stage has been set! The stars are going to shine! If you, too. want to be in the limelight, come join us at “Now Showing… The Houston Heights Candlelight Dinner” on Friday April 9. You are invited to the premier of six exclusive tour homes from 5:00 to 7:00 PM followed by the main feature, the dinner and auction at Master Car Care at 2305 Yale Street.

Pass through the paparazzi to experience the exciting evening dinner chairs Donna Bennett and Kristi Synek have created for you. Be dazzled by vintage cars brought in especially for the event. Sip on a “Heights Side Car” courtesy of Heights Liquor on 11th Street and dine on the delicious dinner prepared by Massoud Catering. Bid on live auction items including exclusive artwork by local celebrities, fabulous trips, and jewels worthy of an Oscar winner. And don’t miss the silent auction full of dinners, packages, entertainment, and more!

Auction chairs Pam Kunkemoeller and Kit Davis have found something for everyone. And of course you will leave with a gift from the always-generous Eclectic Home.

For those of you lucky enough to get tickets before they sold out, we’ll see you on April 9… “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!”

Kick-Off Party Pre-Sells Half Of Candlelight Dinner Event

The 2010 Kick-Off Party for the Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour and Candlelight Dinner & Auction was graciously underwritten by one of the neighborhood’s newest restaurants, Stella Sola, and included delicious hors d’oeuvres by chef Justin Bayse - Winner of the 2010 James Beard Award and Semi-Finalist Rising Star Chef of the Year - and a specialty cocktail created just for the event - “The Impala.” Denise Martin, Chris Silkwood, and Kelly Simmons, Co-Chairs Elect for the 2011 Home & Garden Tour, assembled an exciting party to thank the Houston Heights Association 2010 Sponsors, the home tour’s executive committee, the homeowners and head docents, and last year’s Candlelight Dinner Table Hosts.

Kick-Off Party guests previewed some of this year’s live auction items, including the featured artwork - a large acrylic on canvas by fine artist Kevin Peterson depicting the old Heights Theater and a vintage car (“The Impala”) and a spectacular, multi-media, collaborative sculpture by local favorites John Palmer and Chris Silkwood. The ’69 Impala itself - owned by Pamela, Steve, and R.J. Kunkemoeller - was stylishly parked at the entrance to the party, and exotic dried flower arrangements, generously donated by Behind the Garden Gate and later to be auctioned at the Candlelight Dinner, adorned the room.

Linda Eyles and Danae Stephenson, Co-Chairs of the Home & Garden Tour, thanked the large crowd for their continued support of the Houston Heights and invited everyone to sign up for tables to the Candlelight Dinner and Auction, being held on Friday, April 9 - guaranteeing their table at the Dinner, which always includes a private invitation to the following year’s Kick-Off Party. After a wonderful evening of meeting and mingling, over 25 tables (more than half of the event!) were pre-sold for the Candlelight Dinner and Auction.

General Meeting

Get Fit in the Heights

Renew your mind, body, and spirit at the April 12 General Meeting. The Heights is filled with great places to get fit.

Meet the folks from Nia Moves, Heights School of Yoga, and Bungalow Fitness - the fitness gurus in our neighborhood. Enjoy live demonstrations and loads of great information. Chef Adam Miles will speak about Mindful Eating.

This is your chance to renew your resolutions for great health and fitness in the Heights!

Refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited.

See you at 7:00 PM on Monday, April 12 at the Fire Station at the corner of 12th and Yale Streets.

Support Local Business

A reminder from the HHA Business Committee

Please support our local business community. Shopping local saves time and gas, and it keeps your money within the neighborhood.

A good starting point would be to consider our business members and sponsors. Our current sponsors are featured in every newsletter and on our web site. Our business members are also listed on our web site through the “Area Businesses” tab or directly here and in our semi-annual printed Business Directory, in the print edition of this issue and online here.

Thank you for supporting Heights businesses.

Eastside Constable Patrol Program Statistics

Officer Aaron Muñoz reported the following during his patrol in the month of February: completed 36 park checks, investigated 8 suspicious vehicles, performed 15 vacation watches, answered 3 alarm responses, and patrolled 1055 miles. Keep up the good work, Officer Muñoz.

Merry Christmas!

Yes, we know it’s a bit early, but if you think you might be interested in volunteering for the 2010 Holiday Home Tour, please email your name and email address to Elizabeth Poirrier. Happy Holidays!

New Members

Please welcome the following members to the Houston Heights Association.

Kendall Fisher & Drew Eckhardt, gift membership from Cathy Steward, Boulevard Realty

Michael & Laura Czapski

Dennis & Glenna Duke

Ruth Karper

Connie Koepp, Boulevard Realty

Teresa Prater & Stephen Nowakowski

Ravenscourt Landscaping, Shawn Schlachter

Ginny Rust & Matt Walsh

Paul St. John

Letty Surman

Mary & Ralph Wheeler, gift membership from Cathy Steward, Boulevard Realty

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2010 Platinum sponsors:

Republic Services KBR San Jacinto Stone

HHA Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner

The Art of Volunteering is a Splash of Color

Color was the theme on Sunday evening February 28 when the Houston Heights Association held its 36th Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner at the historic Houston Heights Fire Station.

President Anne CulottaAnne Culotta, 2010 President and emcee, splashed the first paint color on the evening’s canvas, commenting on the intricate mosaic of our neighborhood, with all of its volunteers playing such integral roles in the evolving artistic masterpiece that is the Houston Heights.

Heights talents Angela DeWree of Design and Inspiration and Diane Easley and Laura Pineda of Grogan Building Supply beautifully transformed the Association’s recently acquired Fire Station. Diane, Laura, and Angela organized an A-Team of volunteers to make it all come together, including Danae Stephenson, Martin Piké, Paul and Mary Carr, Mike Soltero, Ellen Newcaster, Anne Culotta, and Katy Bomar Childs. Angela DeWree once again produced colorful keepsake programs for all of the guests.

table settingEach guest was put to work early on with a paint can full of generous gifts from Grogan Building Supply, dubbed Grogan’s Goodies. The Benjamin Moore paint cans contained an assortment of practical and fun goodies from that cherished Heights establishment that has provided the “bricks and sticks” transforming Heights homes from meek to simply grand for the last 125 years.

buffet lineComfort food was the theme, as Candy and Pierre Massoud and their staff served up another great dinner, which was all expertly coordinated by Marianne Sulser. Drink Committee members Kelly Simmons, Keith Crane, Bill Baldwin, and Ellen Newcaster added more color to the canvas with Paintbrush-themed drinks adorned with tasty swizzle sticks - “your brush to paint one on” so to speak. Celebrity bartenders included Keith Crane, Jim Bennett, John Childs, Joe Gonzalez, Bill Baldwin, Martin Pike, Simon Eyles, Taylor Moore, and Mike Easley.

Event Chair and 2008 Citizen of the Year Trudy Nelson coordinated an array of artists for this beautiful and fun event, and all of the neighborhood’s movers and shakers attended. Also supporting the event and taking the time to speak to her constituents was Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

Lindsey Lee (President's Award winner)As the program proceeded, Anne Culotta welcomed the honored guests and introduced outgoing 2009 HHA President Chris Silkwood, who presented the President’s Award to Lindsey Lee [left] for his hard work and dedication in tackling the role of Treasurer and assisting her and the Board through some complicated financial issues in 2009.

Chris Silkwood then awarded the third annual Community Service Award to the 2010 8th Grade Class of Immanuel Lutheran School for their continuing hard work on Heights Boulevard; the award was accepted by ILS Principal Cheryl Burmeister. The class works one day out of each school month alongside Boulevard Czar Jim Bennett and Hike and Bike Trail founder Paul Carr, pulling and bagging weeds and spreading mulch. Our thanks go to them, Jim, Paul, and all of the other wonderful volunteers who make Heights Boulevard a treasured focal point and destination.

As is tradition, Paul Carr explained the history and prominence of the Marcella Perry Award, then Kelly Simmons announced the 2009 winner, Angela DeWree, who often provides both design and inspiration for many of HHA’s important fundraising events. [See article below for the presentation speech.]

A special “Heights Bling Award” was presented to Kristal Kirksey of Jubilee in the Heights. Kristal’s talent and wonderful donations have added glimmer to all things Heights for many years. [See article below.]

Chris Silkwood awarded the Corporate Citizen of the Year Award to Boulevard Realty, owned by Bill Baldwin. For many years, Bill and his real estate agency (formerly Karen Derr & Associates) have supported HHA fundraising events. [See article below.]

Trudy Nelson awarded the New Generation Award to dedicated and talented Heightsite Marianne Sulser. Marianne was Chair of the Holiday Home Tour in 2007, expertly steered events for the 2008 Holiday Home Tour (while she was busy expecting her second child) and Co-Chaired the inaugural Holiday Home Tour Patron Party in 2009 (and has signed up for a repeat in 2010!). All of these events have been infused with her Southern charm, intelligence, and design sensibilities. [See article below.]

The 2009 Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Anne Sloan by outgoing 2008 Citizen of the Year Trudy Nelson. Among her many years of extraordinary contributions to the neighborhood, Anne most recently wrote the very popular book, Images of America: Houston Heights, and donated all proceeds from its sales to the Houston Heights Association. [See article below.]

Diane Easley (CIA Chair)Months of work go into the Community Improvement Awards selection process and ceremony - where awards are given each year to home and business owners, in historic restoration and new construction categories - and Chair Diane Easley [right] pulled off another wonderful program, with the help of this year’s judges, John Blass (also emcee), Mike McIntyre, and Palmer Schooley and of PowerPoint guru Keith Crane. [For community improvement nominees and winners, please see the article below.]

To top the evening off, several door prizes were won by folks at the event. Thanks go out to generous door prize donors Chris Silkwood, Diane Easley, Kelly Simmons, and Trudy Nelson.

The Houston Heights Association wants to thank ALL of its volunteers in 2009-10 and throughout the years for making this neighborhood a wonderful and fun place to live, work, and play.

Charlie Thorp, Joan Boote, Laura Thorpgeneral view of the eventBart Truxillo, Neva Dupuis, Debbie Druin

Seen at the Awards Dinner

Anne Sloan (Citizen of the Year)Citizen of the Year: Anne Sloan

presentation by Trudy Nelson, 2008 Citizen of the Year

One could write a book about this year’s Citizen of the Year - but I’ve been given only a short time, so let me focus on the chapters - and not the details. You can also google and find out a great deal!

• Outstanding leader in the Heights and the Houston area for many years

• A successful businesswoman

• An educator who taught at Lamar for many years and mentored at Hamilton Middle School

• A member of many boards - covering history, education, civics, city, church and family life, including: Houston Heights Association, Houston Heights Woman’s Club, Mayor’s Task Force, Houston Heights Opera (now Opera in the Heights), St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

• Spokesperson of Houston history, recipient of 2000 Marcella Perry award, and 2007 Leader of the Year for Northwest Houston.

In 2008-09, this Heights resident, whose love of the Heights dates to her childhood years, devoted herself to creating a book about the Houston Heights. As a mystery novel author, she spent nearly a year doing detective work to discover new treasures not found by previous Heights’ historians. And she did.

All the proceeds of this wonderful book - like the proceeds of her mystery novels, which benefitted the Houston Heights Association and the Houston Library Fund (some $14,000) - have gone to the HHA - an estimated $9,000 for this book alone.

Although she has many interests, the most important to her is being a wonderful mother to her daughter, Elizabeth. Of course, she proudly speaks about her granddaughter Margaret and grandson John, too, who are both the “Apple of her Eye”.

It is an honor and privilege I am not worthy of - to present the 2009 Citizen of the Year award to Anne Sloan.

Bill Baldwin (accpeting Corporate Citizen of the Year for Boulevard Realty)Corporate Citizen Of The Year: Boulevard Realty, Bill Baldwin

presentation by Chris Silkwood, 2009 President

Bill Baldwin, the broker and owner of Boulevard Realty (formerly Karen Derr & Associates), has been a steady supporter of HHA for many years. When Karen Derr told him she wished to sell the business, he didn’t really want to own a real estate business, but he didn’t want the small Heights boutique company to disappear into the fold of a real estate corporate giant. He bought the business a month before Hurricane Ike; the financial fallout and the resulting real estate disaster hit them like a ton of bricks but, even at great cost to him personally, he didn’t lay off one person from his firm.

Bill is in his third year as a member of the HHA Board. He took the reins of the Constable Program when it was on the brink of failure and is continuing to coordinate its expansion. As head of the membership committee, he has increased membership by 25%; we’ve seen him recruit members he sees in casual settings - going as far as collecting their $25 right on the spot.

Bill has been a tremendous supporter of the Candlelight Dinner and Auction for many years - he has purchased a table for many years and greatly supports the live and silent auctions. We know for a fact that he will forego other art events leading up to the Candlelight Dinner in order to conserve his art budget for our biggest fundraising event.

He opens his beautiful historic home almost weekly to many charitable organizations, including the HHA, to raise money. He has introduced his friends and clients to our events, who have in turn become big supporters of the HHA.

He supports local artists with rotating art exhibits and openings in his offices every month. Starting with his association with Karen Derr and Associates and now with Boulevard Realty, he has been a steady sponsor since we began the program and has recently signed up to be a sponsor for every season in 2010. Boulevard Realty is also a major supporter of First Saturday, White Linen Night, and Mistletoe Madness.

Bill is a fine man with a huge heart, and we are very fortunate that he and his business sit proudly and prominently on Heights Boulevard.

Angela DeWree (Marcella Perry Award winner)Marcella Perry Award: Angela Dewree

presentation by Kelly Simmons

It is our honor to present the Marcella Perry Award to an important behind-the-scenes player for many years. She is serving her last year of two terms on the Houston Heights Association Board and is a staunch supporter of historic preservation and nature conservancy.

Having been the head designer for Tootsie’s and producing events and product launches for the likes of Hermes, storefront windows for Harold’s, and numerous galas for non-profits and the social elite alike for many years, our organization is fortunate for her design talents behind many of our fundraising events - such as the Candlelight Dinner and this Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. She has allowed us to produce these events that look like we’ve pulled out all the stops on what is actually a tight, shoestring budget - many times paying her employees right out of her pocket.

Many of you may remember the out-of-this-world mannequins that she provided and designed for the Candlelight Dinner event at Kaplan’s a few years ago, one of which still proudly stands in the front window of Boulevard Realty.

She has designed the print and marketing materials for the Spring and Holiday Home Tours many times. These design projects take weeks and weeks of tedious work, and we’ve been fortunate to have her gifted talent.

She would tell us that her proudest achievement in the Heights has been with the Urban Forestry Committee, which she founded five years ago. One of the main reasons people are drawn to the Heights is due to its old-growth tree canopy; a proud tree-hugger, she has made it her goal to spread the word throughout the neighborhood about conservation, care, and perpetuation of our treasured urban forest.

She has held monthly to quarterly events that have given away hundreds of trees and dispersed expert information by partnering with local and state horticultural organizations and agencies. She has organized nature walks on the Boulevard to talk about the many native species of trees and plants there, and she recently organized a meeting to begin recruiting groups to “adopt a block” along the Heights Hike and Bike Trail.

For several years now, she has also been responsible for bringing together all of the wonderful programs we have enjoyed at the monthly General Meetings.

Angela DeWree is a very gifted and sensitive woman whom we are very fortunate to have in our neighborhood. We are proud to name her the Marcella Perry Award recipient of 2009.

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2010 Silver Sponsors:

CenterPoint Energy Eclectic Home
Chris Silkwood Mosaic Art Katy Bomar Creative
Master Car Care Lucas Craftsmanship Inc.
John Palmer Art Stella Sola

New Generation Award: Marianne Sulser

presentation by Trudy Nelson

Marianne Sulser (New Generation Award winner)Intelligent, delightful, soft-spoken, a “behind-the-scenes” kind of person who has chaired or co-chaired three events, and most of you probably don’t know who she is…

Born and raised in Pineville, Louisiana, she is the youngest of four children. She has a degree in Communications and in Law, both from LSU. By the way, Pineville was the home of the “original” LSU in 1860, so I believe her blood is truly purple and gold. She practiced law for six years before leaving the firm of Andrews Kurth to pursue her passion for design. She opened her own company in 2008 focusing on “Interiors for Real Life”.

Her “real life” includes faith, family, and friends. She is the mother of two: Grant, 3, and Lizzie, 11 months, with her now devoted LSU fan husband, Tim. As I mentioned, she is an LSU Tiger football fan, and when Tim (from the mid-west) was courting her, he mentioned a team from the mid-west had a pretty good-looking football team and they had a shot at winning the national title, she looked at him curiously and asked, “Do they play LSU?” … after all, if they were not going to play the Tigers, how could they possibly be any good?

She is actively involved in her community, volunteering for the Houston Heights Association - and decorating the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for Christmas, Easter and throughout the liturgical year. This “Heights treasure” has the ability to balance the beautiful and the practical. She is quick to tell someone what they don’t need as it would be a useless extravagance as she would the way to truly beautiful designs or impressive décor. This ability has enabled her to blend Old South charm with a bit of Mardi Gras crazy into the Holiday Home Tours the past three years. And in 2009, it was her perseverance to see the first-ever Patron Party for the holiday home tour - an event that raised over $10,000 and netted $6,000 for the HHA - an event that will surely add to the annual festivities (and the coffers) in future years.

It is an honor to present the 2009 New Generation Award to Marianne Sulser.

Heights Bling Award: Kristal Kirksey

by Kelly Simmons

Kristal Kirksey, the owner of Jubilee in the Heights - one of the longest-standing retailers on 19th Street at close to 20 years - has been a generous donor to the Candlelight Dinner & Auction, as well as various other non-profit events, for many years. She never hesitates to give generously to this neighborhood and truly embodies the spirit of giving.

For those of you who have attended the Candlelight Dinner in the last few years, you have seen the otherwise lifeless - and sometimes downright scary - venue restrooms transformed into beautiful jewel boxes, retro Hollywood dressing rooms, and exotic Arabian tents. Last year, she brought lavish beauty to the Candlelight Dinner, coordinating her own team and other Heights designers with floral designs, plants and trees, and lots of sparkle and shine.

For the previous two years, Kristal donated beautiful gifts to each and every guest of the volunteer appreciation dinner and again provided gifts for every person who attended December’s Patron Party at the Worthington Home - a donation she has graciously volunteered to repeat for the 2010 Holiday Home Tour Patron Party. She does all of these things with a beautiful smile and an infectious laugh and lots of sparkle.

When we think of the words glimmer, sparkle, and shine, we automatically think of Kristal Kirksey. It is with great honor that we present Kristal with the “Heights Bling Award” - an award uniquely for her.

[Kristal was unable to be at the Awards Dinner, so no acceptance photo is available.]

Community Improvement Awards

The Houston Heights Association 2010 Community Improvement Awards were presented Sunday, February 28 for residential and commercial projects contributing to the improvement of the Heights.

For Commercial projects, the three nominees were Allegiance Bank at 2222 North Durham, 3122 White Oak owned by Geoff Vaughn, and The Big Mamou at 903 Studewood. The winning improvement is Geoff Vaughn’s space located at 3122 White Oak [right]. Geoff designed this building renovation himself, and APD Builds owned by Mark van Doren completed the work.

In the Residential New Construction category, the three nominees were Mark Johnson’s house at 4307 Center Street, Mike and Amber Lewis’s home at 1246 Columbia, and John and Jan Bloom’s home at 539 West 16th Street. The winning improvement is Mark Johnson’s house at 4307 Center Street [right]. This project was designed by Brett Zamore Design and built on a former vacant lot by Zamore Homes.

In the Residential Restoration category, the five nominees were the Zamore bungalow at 823 Peddie Street, the Stephenson-Piké home at 1233 Tulane, the Perez-Eronko home at 1401 Herkimer, the Ross home at 1402 Harvard, and the Price-Groves home at 1234 Allston. The winning improvement is the home of Jeanie and Jonathan Ross at 1402 Harvard [right]. This restoration was true to the scale of the original structure. The home addition was designed by Rogers-LaBarthe and completed by Becker Fine Builders.

A special “Exceptional Neighborhood Contribution” award was presented to Bungalow Revival for their numerous restorations of bungalows in the Heights that might otherwise have succumbed to the wrecking ball.

Congratulations to all nominees and thank you for improving the Heights. Special thanks to our CIA committee: Judge and Emcee Extraordinaire John Blass; Judges Mike McIntyre and Palmer Schooley; PowerPoint presentation by Keith Crane. Thanks also to Trudy Nelson for donating a CIA Table for the dinner and thanks to Laura Pineda for help with set-up. Be on the lookout for next year’s nominees!

Community Improvement Award Winners

For Commercial projects, the winning improvement is Geoff Vaughn’s space located at 3122 White Oak:

3122 White Oak (Commercial CIA winner)

In the Residential New Construction category, the winning improvement is Mark Johnson’s house at 4307 Center Street:

4307 (Residential New Construction CIA winner)

In the Residential Restoration category, the winning improvement is the home of Jeanie and Jonathan Ross at 1402 Harvard:

1402 Harvard (Residential Restoration CIA winner)

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2010 Bronze Sponsors:

AllegianceBank Texas Boulevard Realty
Coldwell Banker United Realtors Buchanan's Native Plants
EEPB Certified Public Accountants & Consultants Grogan Building Supply

Heights Liquor
on 11th

PrimeWay Federal Credit Union
Design & Inspiration BullsEye Storage

Spotlight on Heights Business Member:

We continue with the newsletter feature Spotlight on Heights Business Member” -- this month spotlighting You may have noticed the recent newsletter issues have been focusing on local businesses. These businesses are drawn from business cards collected at the Houston Heights Association Business Mixer.

OURBLOK, also known as RBlok, is a rapidly growing company that originated in the Washington/Memorial neighborhood and is spreading fast throughout neighborhoods. Each neighborhood division is owned by a resident who cares about their neighborhood. OURBLOK in the Heights is owned by Cynthia Hill of Cynthia Hill Properties, a 20-year resident of the Heights. Cynthia says “this will not affect my real estate career but will enhance it, and my clients will benefit. OURBLOK has cutting-edge technology that will link local businesses and residents together like never before, which is something I have always dreamed about for my neighborhood. The Heights is like our own small town. The goal of OURBLOK is to be the best source for everything pertaining to the Heights and surrounding areas. Please help us by providing information that you would like to see on the Heights calendar and be sure and tell us what is going on in the neighborhood.”

Businesses can subscribe to OURBLOK and market their businesses through a quarterly publication, e-mail blasts, videos, events, and text messaging. OURBLOK is one of the first Houston businesses to have their own iPhone application and will soon have Blackberry and Droid apps. OURBLOK cards are available to individuals free of charge and are found at local businesses or in the quarterly publication. You can also register online. As a member, you have access to OURBLOK specials from the businesses in the neighborhood by daily/weekly e-mails and/or text. It’s free to individuals.

A key component of each OURBLOK neighborhood is to raise $35,000 a year for local charitable causes. If you have a non-profit or charitable organization that is in need of a unique fund-raising opportunity, please call them. OURBLOK is serious about serving the Heights community and linking all of the people who live, eat, drink, worship, work, and play in this area.

See RBlok’s entry in the Business Services section of our Business Directory in this issue or online, or visit their website for more information.

If you’re a business member, remember to check the calendar for the next Houston Heights Association Business Mixer and come and meet Cynthia and other business members at the meeting.

Restoration/Historical Committee

The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/ Historical Committee meeting will be held at 607 Harvard on Thursday, April 8, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

OK, how many two-story homes in the historic Houston Heights have a stucco exterior? Actually, very few. When one is a vintage 1911 home built at 607 Harvard Street, at the corner of White Oak on a double lot, you just know it is special. Special because this home has the potential of being a modified Sears Roebuck plan historic home. Yes, Sears did sell homes from their catalogue until the late 1920s, and we have a select few of them in Houston Heights. This home is also unusual for the Heights because the home was influenced by the famous Prairie school of design and constructed with brick and stucco and included curved porches. These features were in fact original to the home as verified on an original plat map of the Heights, which shows it with the same exact footprint, straddling two full lots.

Used as a rental fourplex until the 1980s, the home then was purchased by a builder and gently renovated and restored to being a single-family residence with garage. A French drain system was added and concrete poured on the dirt floor cellar to make it into a finished basement. Ceilings were vaulted in bedrooms with loft area over a library. Following the contractor came another owner who had property development and renovation experience, who finished the garage apartment. They also flew flags of their alma maters and their sons’ military affiliations which many in the neighborhood recognized. Finally sold again to the present owners who needed more family room and better schools and had the good fortune with “an alignment of the stars” as they called it, to buy it. They, too, have had a lot of renovation experience in the Heights with three other properties.

Meeting attendees will see first-hand the results of removing Grecian columns and a 300-square-foot bar and changing room configurations to fit some Vastu Shastra system design principles from India. These principles are based on an ancient treatise dating back thousands of years. This home now reminds the owners of their honeymoon in Bali and homes in India with furniture, art, and textiles.

This meeting will highlight a most unusual example of a one-of-a-kind home in Houston Heights. Attendees will see what beauty and character can be maintained in the historic Heights neighborhood using modern construction techniques and ancient Vastu principles and painting. This meeting will be enjoyed by all as this energetic and lively Heights couple tell us its meaning for them.

The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are held bimonthly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with an appreciation of the historic nature of 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. Dean can be contacted at or 713-880-2832.

Reagan Offers New Video Editing Track

New Apple Lab Third in Texas

Reagan students enrolled in the Computer Technology magnet program have an exciting new option available to them. Over the summer of 2009, the school began the requirements to become the third “Apple Authorized Training Center for Education” in the state of Texas. The other two locations are in Austin and Fort Worth.

The process began with the commitment of the staff to become Apple-certified and with the funding of an all-new Apple Lab. This program gives students an education that will be relevant and marketable in the real world. Currently, the Reagan program is awaiting final certification.

Multimedia teacher Michael Shea, the principal architect and instructor of Reagan’s Video Editing Track, spent much of his summer taking Apple training courses to become certified as an instructor. With the new Apple Lab, the students’ interest in film, video, and photography can be taken to a professional level using the same hardware, software, and equipment as the professionals. These courses are the same ones taught at universities offering film curriculum.

Reagan’s Computer Technology Magnet offers three other areas of study - Computer Programming, Business Applications, and Computer Electronics & Networking.

Heights Woman’s Club News

Congratulations to Mary Dickinson, who won the Houston Heights Woman’s Club quilt raffle.

The club will hold its annual Hortense Ward Founder’s Day reception on Thursday, May 13, at the clubhouse, 1846 Harvard, beginning at 7:00 PM. The Hortense Ward Scholarship will be presented to an outstanding female graduating senior from the South Texas College of Law. Miss Ward was a resident of the Heights and the first woman to be admitted to the State Bar of Texas. All are invited to attend.


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

CenterPoint Energy in honor of volunteer Janet Buchheit - Fire Station Endowment

Charles & Leigh Duke - Boulevard

Julie Hackett - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, & Fire Station Endowment

Weslay & Joanne Johnson - Parks & Flower Gardens

Charles Krenzler

Ginny Rust & Matt Walsh

Jim Sikorski - Boulevard

Texas State Optical, Aurea I. Rivera, O.D., P.C. - Boulevard

Relay For Life Greater Heights Presents Bras and Boxers Fundraiser

Houston, TX: Bras and Boxers is an opportunity to raise awareness about cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society by donating new and gently used bras and boxers. Collection will be from March 15 through April 30 at various locations (listed below) throughout the Greater Heights area. Following the Relay, the donated items will be given to local nonprofit agencies.

Relay For Life Greater Heights will be held on May 14, 2010 at the Delmar-Dyer Sports Complex starting at 6:00 PM. The donated bras and boxers will be used at the Relay as part of the evening’s activities. Relay For Life consists of teams of people, including local businesses, friends, families, hospitals, religious organizations, and clubs, who take turns walking laps overnight for 12 hours.

For additional information on Bras and Boxers or the Relay, you can visit the event website at or send an email to The Relay is always looking for more survivors to get involved, so if you are a cancer survivor or know someone who is, contact the survivorship committee at so you can get involved and be honored at the event.

Donation Drop Off locations:

  • Curves, 444 W. 19th St.
  • Darlene’s Flower & Gift, 10570 Northwest Fwy.
  • Studio Fitness, 325 W. 19th St.
  • White Horse Academy of Martial Arts, 215 E. 11th St.

Calendar of Events for April-May 2010











1 - garbage and recycling



Heights 1st Saturday




HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

Deadline for next newsletter



8 - garbage

HHA Restoration/ Historic Committee, 7:30 - 9:30 PM, 607 Harvard


Youth Art Show Reception

Candlelight Dinner and Auction


Spring Home & Garden Tour, Noon - 6:00 PM

Youth Art Show, Fire Station


Spring Home & Garden Tour, Noon - 6:00 PM

Youth Art Show, Fire Station


HHA General Meeting, “Get Fit,” 7:00 PM, Fire Station



15 - garbage and recycling

Tax Day





HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


22 - garbage

Earth Day





HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

29 - garbage and recycling


May 1

Heights 1st Saturday



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



Cinco de Mayo

Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage




Mother’s Day


HHA General Meeting, Topic TBA, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



13 - garbage and recycling





HHA Board Meeting. 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Greater Heights SNC (SN15), 6:30 PM, Fire Station


20 - garbage





HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

27 - garbage and recycling





Memorial Day

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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

Every Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. See

Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.

Through April 15, Neighborhood Tax Centers provide Houston area families earning less than $50,000 with free tax preparation. Call 211 or visit for more information.

Through April 10, Opera in the Heights presents Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. “Who doesn’t love opera’s most famous lovers? Mimi and Rodolfo, the most popular work ever… at the end, Puccini doesn’t leave a dry eye in the house.“ Visit for more information.

April 10, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Hamilton Middle School invites everyone to their annual Spring Thing Family Carnival on the school playground (22nd Street entry).

April 10, 6:00 to 10:00 PM, Travis Elementary “Night in Monte Carlo” Auction at The Villa in the Heights, 3600 Michaux. Visit and click the auction logo.

April 17, 8:30 AM, American Liver Foundation’s first Liver Life Walk/Run at Terry Hershey Park. Sign up at or call 713-510-2109.

May 5, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, first session of eight-week Heights CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training class at Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, 211 Byrne. For information, email or call 713-409-4240.

May 14, 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, Relay For Life Greater Heights fundraiser for American Cancer Society at the Delmar-Dwyer Sports Complex. For more information, visit or email

Future History

June 5, Heights Fun Run

October 3, Bicycle Rally

December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour

February 27, 2011, Awards Dinner

April 1-3, 2011, Spring Home Tour

At The Fire Station

Events at the Historic Houston Heights Fire Station, 12th and Yale

Every second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and every fourth Monday, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east door.

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

Copyright 2010, 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: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

April contributors:

Angela DeWree, Diane Easley, Linda Eyles, Lauriel Hindman, Irene Nava, Trudy Nelson, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, Dean Swanson, Lanna von Baden.