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In This Issue

Message from the Incoming HHA President

General Meeting: ARTS in the Heights

2011 HHA Officers, Meetings, Chairs

Urban Forestry Committee

Restoration/ Historical Committee

Community Improvement Awards

Donovan Park Playground Re-Opens

Sand Box Coming to Donovan Park

A Helping Hand in the Park

Historic Districts Under Reconsideration

Constable News

Recycling News

Holiday Home Tour Wrap-Up

Stars Spotted in the Heights

Holiday Writing Contest a Big Success

Woman's Club News

Ending the Year on a High Note: Instruments for Hamilton Middle School

Spring Home Tour: "There's No Place Like Home"


New Members


Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Seven, Number One, January 2011
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

Message from the Incoming HHA President

by Bill Baldwin, 2011 President

Bill BaldwinIt has been an honor to serve as a Board member for the last three years, and I’m equally honored to serve the Association as President in 2011. It is going to be an exciting year for the Houston Heights Association and our community. We have an experienced, strong, and devoted Board of Directors and Officers, and our talented Committee Chairs are already off and running. The HHA Board has a large number of goals and endeavors that it will continue to focus on in the coming year - all designed to make the Houston Heights an even better neighborhood in which to live, work, and play.

The 2011 Board and I intend to represent the best interests of our members who - like the Board - make up a diverse cross-section of this neighborhood. You put your trust in us with your votes, and we will try our best not to let you down. We may not all always agree on a particular issue, but we will continue to conduct ourselves in a respectful and professional manner - always with the improvement of the neighborhood and the continued success of the Association in mind.


• We will continue to maintain, improve, and beautify the Boulevard, Donovan and Marmion Parks, and the cherished historic Heights Fire Station, which serves as the heartbeat of the Association and neighborhood activities.

• We will also begin a capital campaign for much needed renovations to the Fire Station that was purchased by the Association in late 2009.

• We will deliver four major fundraising events to you in 2011 - all designed to be fun, bring our community closer together, raise our profile city- and state-wide, and raise funds for all the important work that we do.

• We will approach our citizens this year who are not yet members and encourage them to join the Association.

• We will take a strong lead in a campaign to raise capital funds to save and renovate an important historic structure in the heart of the neighborhood - the Immanuel Lutheran Church on Cortlandt.

• We will honor our esteemed volunteers and owners of revered residential and commercial structures at our annual Volunteer Appreciation and Community Improvement Awards ceremony.

• We will hold monthly general meetings and produce interesting and informative programs to cultivate fellowship and lasting relationships among our citizens.

• We will produce and deliver first-class monthly newsletters to our members that inform, entertain, and tantalize.

• We will continue to support our wonderful and unique locally-owned businesses through these difficult economic times.

• We will recruit and mentor new volunteers who will become our leaders of tomorrow.

• We will encourage and enhance area schools with classroom grants and extracurricular events - such as the annual Children’s Art Show at the Fire Station - and we will deliver hundreds of food baskets during the holidays to those who have fallen on hard times.

• We will educate and empower the community concerning our precious urban forestry - our rare wealth of old-growth canopy trees that line our streets.

• We expect our Constable Patrol Program to evolve and grow - protecting our valuables and making our streets safer for our families.

I believe one of the secrets to this neighborhood’s success is the camaraderie we share and the loyal and altruistic nature among our Association members and neighbors. We have been blessed to be served by many fine Presidents over the past years, and I have big shoes to fill (no insinuation to your shoe size, Anne), but at the conclusion of my year as President, my highest hope is that I leave the Association and my beloved neighborhood a little better off than it was before.

Bill Baldwin, 2011 HHA President

2011 HHA Officers, Meetings, Chairs

The 2011 HHA Board held its Organizational Meeting on Monday, December 7. Officers were elected, meeting dates set, and committee chairs appointed as listed below. Andrea Sharp was elected to fill the second year of a Director’s term; the third year will be filled by the membership at the next election.


  • President - Bill Baldwin
  • President-Elect - Lindsey Lee
  • Secretary - Ellen Newcaster
  • Treasurer - Lindsey Lee
  • VP Community Outreach - Anne Culotta
  • VP Financial Affairs - Keith Crane
  • VP Historic Preservation - Simon Eyles
  • VP Information & Communications - Kelly Simmons
  • VP Meetings & Membership - Trudy Nelson
  • VP Property Management - Martin Piké
  • VP Sponsorship & Fundraising - Kelly Simmons


General Meetings will continue to be held at 7:00 PM on the second Monday of each month at the Fire Station. Board meetings will continue to be held at 6:30 PM on the third Monday of each month at the Fire Station. The annual Orientation Meeting for Officers, Directors, and Chairs will be held on Sunday, January 9.

Committee Chairs

  • Awards Dinner - Anne Culotta
  • Bicycle Rally - Donna Bennett & Brian Thigpen
  • Boulevard - Jim Bennett
  • Business - Gilbert Perez
  • Bylaws & Policy - Simon Eyles
  • Constable Program - Lanna vonBaden & John Ridgway
  • Education - Karen Derr, Stephanie Babb, & Emily Cole
  • Election - Mike Easley
  • Facilities - Paul Carr
  • Finance - Lindsey Lee (as Treasurer)
  • Fun Run - Linda & Simon Eyles
  • Holiday Home Tour - (pending)
  • Land Use - (open)
  • Membership - Andrea Sharp
  • Newsletter - Mark Williamson
  • Programs - Angela DeWree
  • Public Relations - Marianne Sulser
  • Sponsorships - Chris Silkwood
  • Spring Home Tour - Kelly Simmons, Chris Silkwood, & Denise Martin
  • Volunteer Coordinator - (open)

Community Improvement Award

Please help us select and honor deserving property owners for their hard work and vision in our neighborhood by nominating them for Community Improvement Awards. The winners will be announced at the Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner on February 27 and in the Newsletter.

Nominations must be submitted by Saturday, January 15. A copy of the nomination form and instruction sheet is included in the print edition of this issue. It is also available on the HHA web site here.

General Meeting:
ARTS in the Heights

Houston Heights is home to numerous artists and musicians. You often can find their work at the many venues and galleries located in the Heights. On Monday, January 10, the first General Meeting of the Houston Heights Association in 2011 will feature ARTS in The Heights. Beginning at 6:30 before the meeting, we will have performances by local Heights musicians. Resident Heights artists along with local venues, galleries, and merchants will be present to display their wares and discuss their upcoming events. The evening promises to be a fun time with a little taste of the spice of life that is the Houston Heights.

Make sure to start the year off with music and art and attend the HHA’s General Meeting on Monday, January 10. For more information about the meeting, visit our website or our Facebook page. If you are interested in participating in the program, contact Lindsey Lee at

General Notes on General Meetings

The Houston Heights Association hosts lively and informative General Meetings on the second Monday of the month at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station located at the corner of 12th and Yale Streets. Everyone is welcome.

Not yet a member of the Houston Heights Association? Well, this is your chance to meet and mingle with your neighbors, learn about our wonder-filled neighborhood, sign up to be a member, or join one of the volunteer committees that make our neighborhood dynamic and great.

So, mark your calendars for the second Monday of every month. Doors open at 6:30 PM; meetings commence promptly at 7:00 PM. See you there!

Urban Forestry Committee

Going Green: Adopt-a-block on the Hike & Bike Trail

Meet Adoption Program Administrator Marilu De La Fuente and TJ Marks from the Houston Parks and Recreation Department Greenspace Management Division at the January Urban Forestry meeting.

Learn about this new program to enhance our Heights hike & bike trail. Get involved on the ground floor with the HHA Urban Forestry Committee to encourage neighbors and businesses to adopt-a-block in 2011. Join us on Wednesday, January 5, 6:30 PM at the Houston Heights City Hall and Fire Station at 12th and Yale Streets.

Restoration/Historical Committee

The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 611 West 22nd Street on Thursday, January 13, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. This meeting will be in the old Oriental Textile Mill building at the corner of West 22nd Street and Nicholson, the 1894 building with the clock tower easily recognized by locals. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Properties and has been utilized over the years as a mattress factory, a mill, and later as a Venetian blind manufacturing plant.

Scott Tycer, founder of Kraftsmen Baking Company in 2002, stresses the company mission of “sustainable local artisanship,” and his products represent true artisan style production with an absolute commitment to quality. Products are carefully made from high quality - often organic - ingredients to supply local restaurants, hotels, caterers, and consumers with artisan breads and baked goods in a historic but inviting setting, complete with free wireless Internet access in the retail Kraftsmen Café. Breads and baked goods are wholesaled, or local residents can special-order products by phone or fax.

Kraftsmen will utilize 10,000 of the 60,000 square foot building. Other occupants in the building are an antique store, a software company, and several “live-work” spaces. The renovation of this local historic building follows a national trend to use historic buildings for mixed-use projects for saving the environment as well as historical preservation.

This meeting will highlight one of the oldest industrial buildings in Houston as an example of recycling a historic Houston Heights property from days past with discussion of updates for current use. Overall the original exterior beauty and character of this historic property will be kept intact. For those interested in history or how a historic industrial property can be modified, this meeting will be a must. Also, for those wanting to meet some neighbors and have an enjoyable evening, do attend.

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 (713) 880-2832. Dean also conducts historic tours of Houston Heights.

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2011 Platinum sponsors:

Republic Services KBR San Jacinto Stone

Donovan Park Playground Re-Opens

A Christmas Present for All the Kids

SantaOn a beautiful December 4th morning, under blue skies, Santa pulled his glistening sleigh up to the gates at Donovan Park. He was just one of the many assembled to celebrate the grand re-opening of the renovated playground.

Fourteen years of constant use had taken their toll on the playground, which was built by community volunteers in 1996. Noting this, the Perry-cutting the ribbonSaunders family stepped up and offered to help the Heights Association revitalize Donovan Park. Their generosity was extraordinary, and they continue a legacy of service to the Heights community that was started by their ancestor, James Donovan, after whom the park is named. Three generations of the Saunders family took part in the ribbon cutting, along with dozens of neighborhoods children and their parents.

It was a festive day indeed! John Daugherty Realty sponsored “photos with Santa,” Shaggy Dog Rescue brought puppies for adoption, Fundamentally Toys gave goody-bags to the kids, Evin Thayer offered free portraits with donations to the Houston Heights Association, and Mark Ziegler baked the best chocolate chip cookies ever for all to enjoy.

President CulottaSpecial thanks to Paul Carr and Clint Horne for overseeing the renovation, and to Mark Ziegler for putting together the festivities. And, of course, to Santa!

Judging from the children’s faces, all were delighted with the improvements to the park. Specifically, the entire playscape was re-built using Trex where possible. This cement-composite material looks like wood but will not rot or splinter like wood - a huge benefit for future maintenance! New baby swings, benches, tables, and lights have been installed. A new water fountain and a bike rack have been added. kids on swingsNew mulch has been put down in the play area, and a new surrounding border was constructed. Everything has been re-painted, cleaned, and, in the case of the tile wall, repaired.

If you didn’t realize it before, Donovan Park is not a city park. It is owned and maintained by the Houston Heights Association as a service to the community, but we can’t do it without the support of the community. Please encourage your friends to become members of HHA or to make a donation for the benefit of the park. It’s something we can all be proud of! Merry Christmas!

Sand Box Coming to Donovan Park

Along with all the new features of the rebuilt playground at Donovan Park, there will soon be a sandbox. The sandbox will be in addition to the three new swings, water fountain, and bike rack. The park has new hours. The park is locked from sundown to 8:00 AM. We hope the new hours will cut down on the vandalism.

A Helping Hand

On December 4, the Houston Heights Association celebrated the re-opening of Donovan Park. A special “thank you” goes out once again to Gilbert’s Tree Services, owned by Pedro Mora. Pedro and his wonderful team moved in excess of one hundred yards of playground mulch to put the finishing touches onto this great children’s park facility. Pedro did the work for less than half the amount of money that it would ordinarily cost and delayed service to his regular customers to complete the project in one day.

We are immensely grateful, and his contributions to the Heights community are greatly appreciated. Pedro and his team work diligently throughout the Heights and around Houston providing tree trimming services, mulching, and yard maintenance. If you want to thank Pedro personally, you can reach him at his business line, 832-814-3332.

other kids on swings

Historic Districts Under Reconsideration

Houston City Council passed amendments to the Historic Preservation Ordinance on October 13 by a 12-3 vote. At the same meeting, City Council also passed a separate ordinance providing for a transition process from the old ordinance to the new ordinance. The transition ordinance established a 30-day period during which property owners in an existing or pending historic district could request reconsideration of their district. That period ran from October 18 through November 17.

In seven historic districts, including Houston Heights East, West, and South, the owners of 10% or more of the tracts asked for their districts to be reconsidered. The City mailed to all property owners in those districts an announcement of a public meeting (held December 8 for the Houston Heights districts) and forms to be mailed back by December 23 by any owners wanting to repeal their districts. Tabulation of returned forms is expected to take until sometime in January. Ultimately, City Council will use the information on the returned forms to decide whether to affirm, modify, or abolish each district.

Please see the City of Houston Planning and Development Department site (click here) for final versions of the amended Historic Preservation Ordinance and the transition ordinance. We expect that further information on the reconsideration process will be posted there as it becomes available.

The Houston Heights Association is remaining neutral on the new ordinance and the reconsideration process.

Recycling News

Households in the “Heights II” recycling area, which lies south of 11th Street between Heights Blvd and Studewood, were added to the City of Houston’s single-stream automated recycling program in December. These households should have received green 96-gallon bins in which they can place glass, paper, plastic containers, aluminum, and cardboard for curbside pickup. With the dozens of new areas added in December, the single-stream recycling program should now serve over 105,000 households, a quarter of the city.

Constable Notes

Our integrated Heights Constable Program will start on January 1, 2011. With the Houston Chronicle reporting that there will be cutbacks on our HPD non-emergency calls this year, it is important that we support this program. HPD announced lower crime stats in our neighborhood this year at the Greater Super Neighborhood Council meeting and said they enjoyed working with the constables. We are working on yard signs to distribute to our subscribers this year.

You may subscribe here. If you want to volunteer or have any questions regarding the Heights Constable Program, please email

November Statistics

Total Arrests 3 10 0
Citizen Assists 1 0 2
Citizen Contacts 54 56 25
Vacation Watches 83 28 62
Court Citations 7 16 10
Alarm Responses 6 1 0
Suspicious Vehicles 8 23 6
Park Checks 39 41 24
Disturbances 4 3 4
Major Accidents 0 0 0
Criminal Offenses 4 0 1
Miles Patrolled 932 1118 761

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2010-2011 Silver Sponsor:


Holiday Home Tour Wrap-Up

Holiday Home Tour posterWell, another year has come and gone and with it another outstanding Holiday Home Tour! This year’s Tour, “Holiday Greetings! From the Houston Heights” was a great success thanks to fabulous weather and a small army of generous volunteers. The Patron Party, which seemed to be effortlessly organized by Marianne Sulser, was a beautifully festive gathering at the elegant home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez.

But of course, as every year, this Holiday event could not take place without the generous contributions of close to 200 volunteers, local businesses, gracious homeowners, and the Home Tour committee who tirelessly work to make the Holiday Home Tour a festive and fun holiday destination.

This year’s Holiday Tour Chair, Elizabeth Poirrier, had a great team of volunteers who formed an efficient and well-organized planning committee. Special thanks to Amy Brooks, Susan Diederich, and Honi Knowles for helping to make sure no detail slipped through the cracks.

Of course, there would be no Home Tour and no need for a planning committee without the lovely homes and their generous owners. Words are not sufficient to describe the hours of hard work, detail, imagination, and energy these wonderful homeowners spent getting their homes ready to wow tour goers! And wow they did! All of the homes were stunning in their holiday glory! A heartfelt thanks to our homeowners: Victoria Harrison & Jay Wehnert, Gene & Trinh Kuo, Jeffrey Wade, Ruth Davis, Debbie Drouin, and Dan & Kyna Batterson.

Elizabeth and Bobby Poirrier hosted the first-ever Holiday Home Tour Kick-off Party in their home on July 30. It was a fun and relaxing gathering of committee members, homeowners, head docents, and many others. Once again Angelos and Carol Sofianopoulos were the Shuttle Chairs and, as always, kept those buses running smoothly, rerouting as necessary, and most importantly always keeping the tour goers happy!

The ever-faithful Paul and Mary Carr seemed to appear like Santa’s elves, placing all the signs throughout the community and supplying the homes with tables and chairs for the ticket sellers. Many thanks for their continued dedication and service.

Magnificent Holiday floral designs were provided by: Darlene’s Flowers for 1439 & 1445 Harvard, Behind the Garden Gate for 1432 Tulane, Events in Bloom and Central Market for 1222 Allston, Killion’s Milam Florist for 1629 Cortlandt, and Art Attack and Leyendecker Landscape for 729 Rutland.

Volunteer Chair Eleanor Lane brilliantly kept track of the many new volunteers who answered our call and helped fill in spots when folks had conflicts - she is truly amazing. And of course many, many thanks to all of the Head Docents (Donna Bennett, Kathy Butler, Diane Easley, Kara Salton, Christine Spin, Gilbert Perez, Sandy Steitz, Julie Pettit, Neva Dupuis, and Anne Slone) who kept everything running smoothly as the Tour rolled on!

Graphic Artist Ulrich Diederich generously donated his time, talent, and ideas to create a truly unique and fabulous design for the Home Tour posters, post cards, and ticket brochure. Photography for the ticket brochure was provided by Elizabeth Poirrier. Special thanks to our local businesses for selling home tour tickets before the tour weekend: The Artful Corner, Buchanan’s Native Plants, Waldo’s Coffee House, Bliss on 19th, Heights Antiques on Yale, and Phil’s Texas Barbecue.

To all of our fabulous volunteers, floral sponsors, businesses, Patrons, and of course the many wonderful people who attended the Holiday Tour and viewed our beautiful Heights homes - we hope you enjoyed the tour and will join us again next year! Happy Holidays!!

[Finally, thanks to Elizabeth Poirrier for putting it all together! -Editor]

Stars Spotted in the Heights

by Marianne Sulser, event chair; photos by Trudy Nelson, co-chair

Marianne and TrudyThe Stars were out on Thursday, December 2, as our Holiday Home Tour Patrons enjoyed a Starlight Preview of the gorgeous Holiday Home Tour homes. The private preview was followed by a brilliant party at a bonus home: the incomparable Baldwin-Gonzalez home at 205 Bayland. Patrons toured the 100+-year-old, fully restored home before partaking in delights by Heights’ area restaurants.

Kelly, Bill, DanaeMAJOR THANKS to the incredible food donors for the party, who treated us with culinary delights: ceviche from Glass Wall, roasted pepper soup from Berryhill in the Heights, chicken roll-ups from Pizzitola’s, truly smokin’ duck gumbo with andouille sausage and wild rice pilaf from Rainbow Lodge, mouth-watering Sweet Eats platters from Whole Foods, a delightful variety of Macaroni and Cheese from Jus’ Mac, spicy blackened chicken salad from Tony Mandola’s, gator spring rolls and muffalleta sliders from The Big Mamou, the seasonal delight of Saint Arnold’s Christmas Ale, Spanish tortillas from Ibiza, goat cheese cakes with aioli from Benjy’s on Washington, Tex-Mex delights from El Tiempo, chicken salad from My Fit Foods, and Sweet Ride for the scrumptious take-home sweets and midnight snack! Hungry yet? Each of these restaurants is right in our neighborhood! Next time you head out, tell them we sent you!

Mary and GregGushing thanks to Benjy’s on Washington for donating 10 gift certificates worth $25 each! If you went to the December General Meeting, you may have been lucky enough to win one!

Special thanks to Jubilee in the Heights and Kristal Kirksey for providing all of the patron gifts. Our gardens will be brightened this spring with the delightful and colorful garden birds! Thanks also to Lauriel Hindman and Kelly Simmons for all the help and guidance, to our committee co-chair, Trudy Nelson, and our hard-working committee: Susan Diederich, Eryn Myers, and Michelle Scheffler. We could not have held the party without the generous homeowners: Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez. Thanks also to the Home Tour homeowners and Head Docents who agreed to open their homes for our Patron preview. Thank you all!

SPECIAL Thanks to our Stars of the evening:

Elizabeth and BobbyNorth Stars: Premier Remodeling & Construction, Amy & John Brooks, Anne & Ken Culotta, Diane & Mike Easley, Linda & Simon Eyles, Chris Silkwood & Gary Milnarich, Michelle & Aaron Scheffler, and Kelly Simmons & Keith Crane.

Big Dippers: Allegiance Bank Texas, Pore Pressure Consultants, June & Steve Barth, Rita & Jerred Blanchard, Infinity Title, Patti & Jim Mischler, Trudy Nelson, and Marianne & Tim Sulser.

[Finally, thanks to Marianne and Trudy! -Editor]


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

Another Place in Time - Boulevard

Matthew Bedingfield - Donovan Park/Playground, Fire Station Endowment, & Flower Gardens

Amy Blumrosen & Shari Heyen

Rosemary Boros - Flower Gardens

Ruth Davis - Boulevard Beautification

Houston Zen Center

Robert & Cheryl Ketchie - Boulevard Beautification & Fire Station Endowment Fund

Tiffany & James LaFleur - Donovan Park/Playground, Classroom Grants, & Flower Gardens

Joseph & Rebecca Leahy - Flower Gardens & Donovan Park/Playground

Donna Thomas

New Members

Please welcome the following new members to the Houston Heights Associaiton.

Amy Blumrosen & Shari Heyen

Dave & Ashlea Cedrone

Steve Colvin & Frances Johnson

Bill & Judy Cummings

Ann Derryberry

Josh Ecroyd

Kat Gallagher

Danielle Herring

Shea Sandefer Hill

Jordan Marye & Emily Gibson

Caroline & Andrew Meade

Patricia Nixon

Aaron & Jessica Petersen

Odessa Pye

Farrell & Stuart Saunders

Steve & Debbie Scholl

Will Terrill

Write Now!, Shanna Barnstone

Holiday Writing Contest a Big Success!

With over 25 wonderful entries from Hamilton Middle School, Reagan High School, and several adults in the Heights area, the HHA Education Committee is delighted to announce our 2010 holiday story winners:

• First place -- Ismael Garza for “The Choir Tour”

• Second place - Jodi Bash for “Annie’s Christmas”

• Third place - Andrea Arroyo for “Her Wish”

The winners were invited to read their stories before Heights residents, family, and friends at Waldo’s on Saturday, December 18. Following the readings, Stephanie Babb from the HHA Education Committee presented the winners with their prizes.

Woman’s Club News

The Houston Heights Woman’s Club is looking forward to the new year and many exciting activities. Election of officers will be held at the January 20 general meeting. The January 29 Cork and Fork will have a Mardi Gras theme. Both activities will be held at the clubhouse at 1846 Harvard beginning at 7:00 PM.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Winter 2010-2011 Bronze Sponsors:

Boulevard Realty Jubilee Grogan Building Supply Co.

Ending the Year on a High Note

HHA Education Committee gives $5,000 to Hamilton Middle School for the purchase of musical instruments.

by Anne Culotta, 2010 HHA President

On November 29, 2010, the Houston Chronicle ran an article entitled “Sound of music costly, HISD middle schools look for ways to pay for required band and orchestra instruments.” A new state mandate has made a fine arts elective a requirement for all middle schoolers. The article discussed the strain that this places on some less-affluent schools because they can’t afford enough musical instruments.

Hamilton Middle School band director Eric Jimenez was quoted in the article. The number of students interested in band at Hamilton far exceeds the instrument inventory. Most of the students cannot afford to purchase their own.

The article came out on the same day that the HHA Education Committee was meeting. The committee looked at their budget and voted to give Hamilton Middle School $5,000 for the purchase of instruments.

I had the privilege of dropping in on Mr. Jimenez’s orchestra class to give him this good news - and it was music to his ears! He was speechless! And extremely grateful to the HHA. It was heartwarming to see the kids working hard to produce beautiful music.

I was also pleased to present a check to Mr. Jimenez at the December General Meeting [right]. The Hamilton Beginning Orchestra provided some holiday entertainment [below], and the spirit of Christmas filled the Fire Station.

“There’s No Place Like Home”
Houston Heights 2011 Home & Garden Tour

by Denise Martin, Chris Silkwood, and Kelly Simmons, 2011 Home & Garden Tour Executive Chairs

Plans are already underway for a spectacular Spring Home & Garden Tour to be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3. The Houston Heights Association home tours are among the best and most successful in the state of Texas, due in large part to the generosity and immense talents found right here in the neighborhood.

The Homes & Gardens:

  • Wanda and Mark Cohen Home - 726 E. 8th Street
  • Brett Bohnn and Bill Green Home - 945 Columbia
  • Dawnia and Darryl Willis Home - 711 E. 19th Street
  • Gena and Michael Vaughn Home - 1802 Cortlandt
  • Nick Eronko and Gilbert Perez Home - 1401 Herkimer
  • Erik Nichols Home - 421 W. 13th Street

The Candlelight Dinner:

We are excited to announce the new venue for the 2011 Candlelight Dinner & Auction. Spring Street Studios (in the First Ward/Warehouse District near Target) has been renovated from an early 1900s former furniture warehouse building. The owner is generously holding the first floor space open for our event before it is fully divided into artists’ studios. When we toured the building and admired the many fabulous details, we were delighted to discover that many old Heights tiled street curbs - which sadly had been removed and stored years ago when the City revamped the sidewalk corners for wheelchair accessibility - are now incorporated into the parking area of Spring Street Studios - preserving and showcasing a little bit of Heights history. Please mark your calendars now for the Candlelight Dinner & Auction on April 1. Tickets will go on sale approximately March 1.

The Auction:

A large crew of volunteers is already in high gear creating the highly anticipated live and silent auctions that take place at the Candlelight Dinner. It takes a village to pull this auction together, and the proceeds are very important to continue to fund the many projects undertaken by the Houston Heights Association for the benefit of our neighborhood. Please help us by donating an item or a gift certificate to this very important and high-profile event. In addition to your kind generosity and helping hand, you will receive acknowledgment in the evening’s wonderful gala program (which is taken home by approximately 500 distinguished guests), on the bid sheets accompanying your donation, in the wrap-up Newsletter article after the conclusion of the auction, and additionally, you may provide marketing material and reasonably-sized signage to be placed alongside your donation. We also encourage our volunteers and the guests at the dinner to support the businesses and artists who contribute to this event. We are still looking for a few good men/women to join the Auction Committee, which entails soliciting and collecting donations and helping organize, set up, and design the silent auction on the eve of the event. If you would like to make a donation to the Candlelight Dinner Auction or volunteer on the Auction Committee, please e-mail

The Committee:

And when we say it takes a village, we aren’t kidding. Introducing the 2011 Home & Garden Tour, Candlelight Dinner & Auction Committee:

Executive Chairs & Candlelight Dinner Chairs: Denise Martin, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons

Steering Committee: Linda Eyles, Danae Stephenson, Diane Easley

Home & Garden Tour Chairs: Jan Cottage & Sandy Steitz

Auction Chairs: Janet Buchheit, Kit Davis, Beth Martin

Kick-Off Party Chairs: Linda Eyles, Danae Stephenson

Candlelight Dinner Chairs-Elect: Marylou Erbland, Gayle Klaybor

Candlelight Dinner Décor Team: Kristal Kirksey, Ellen Newcaster

Candlelight Dinner Venue & Collateral Design: Angela DeWree, Design & Inspiration

Guest List Manager: Donna Bennett

Candlelight Dinner Media Production: Katy Bomar, Suzy Jennings

Auction Committee: June Barth, Mitch Cohen, Anne Culotta, Linda Eyles, Suzy Jennings, Sameera Mahendn, Ellen Newcaster, Pamela O’Brien, Martha Pieratt, Julie Pettit, Nicole Ridgeway, Liz Conces Spencer, Danae Stephenson, Kristi Synek, Carol Welter

Head Docents: Natalye Appel, Stuart Smith, Holly Simmons, Sue & Bob Burleson, Hilary Parr-Cobb, Pen Morrison, Paula Swain, Penny Fiederlein, Benjamin Graham, Jeannine & Stephen Coffey, Mitzi & Mike Micholas

Floral Design Chairs: Rita Blanchard and Molly Blanchard

Room Design Coordinator: Chris Silkwood

Marketing Directors: Robin Franklin, Honi Knowles

Signage Coordinator: Bob Alban

Ticket Sales Coordinator, Name Tags and Shoe Covers: Joy Stapp

Trolley Chairs: Carol & Angelos Sofianopoulos

Operations Directors/Security: Sheriffs: Paul and Mary Carr & Deputies: Jim Bennett, Paul Cottage, Keith Crane, Bill Davis, Simon Eyles, Anita Goff, Gary Milnarich, Martin Piké

Candlelight Dinner Program Chair: Anne Culotta

Program Designer: Paula Collins, Boulevard Realty

Photography: Christine Tremoulet

Public Relations: Susan Love Fitts Communications

The Featured Artist:

We are very excited to announce that the featured artist for the 2011 Houston Heights Home & Garden Tour is Patrick Palmer. Mr. Palmer, who was recently named Studio School Chairman of The Glassell School of Art (the teaching wing of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), has created a custom work to be used in marketing material throughout the event; the original canvas will go to the highest bidder during the Live Auction at the Candlelight Dinner. You can visit Patrick Palmer’s website here.

The Volunteers:

We can’t pull this event off without our wonderful volunteers. We have at least 200 openings for docents and ticket sellers: each home requires an average of 40 volunteers over the course of the weekend. The volunteer shifts are only three hours long, and you will receive a complimentary home tour ticket in exchange for your invaluable time. This is a great way to give back to your community, meet new people in the neighborhood, and have a lot of fun in the process. If you like volunteering as a docent or ticket seller and you have the time, you may want to step it up the next year and become a head docent or a committee chair! You may volunteer by e-mailing

Stay Tuned:

You can expect more fun details on the Home & Garden Tour, the Candlelight Dinner, and the Auction in the coming months. If you have any questions or comments at all, please contact us at You can also visit our web page here for all of the current information.

Calendar of Events for January-February 2011









New Year's Day



HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



Urban Forestry Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage and recycling





HHA General Meeting, “Arts in the Heights,” 6:30 PM, Fire Station



13 - garbage

Restoration/ Historic, 7:30 PM, 611 W 22nd





MLK Jr.. Day

HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


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


20 - garbage and recycling





HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station



PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

27 - garbage





February 1


Groundhog Day

3 - garbage and recycling



Deadline for next newsletter



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



10 - garbage





Valentine’s Day

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


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


17 - garbage and recycling





Presidents Day

HHA Board, 6:30 PM, Fire Station



PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street

24 - garbage




Volunteer Appreciation & Awards Dinner, 5:00 PM, Fire Station


HHA Education Committee, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

March 1


3 - garbage and recycling



Deadline for next newsletter

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.

January 3, 7:00 to 9:30 PM, and January 4, 2:00-4:30 PM, Urban Harvest presents information about growing fruit trees in Houston at United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. For more information, visit

January 15, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM or until sold out, Urban Harvest holds their annual Fruit Tree Sale at Robertson Football Stadium at Scott Street at Holman Street on the UH campus. For more information, visit

January 19, 6:00 to 9:00 PM, first Greater Houston Heights Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training session at Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, 211 Byrne; sessions contnue through March 9. To register or for further information, please contact Marcela Berg at or 713-205-9939 or Dave Kelly at or 713-409-4240. On the web at

January 23, 2:00 to 4:30 PM, Our Savior Lutheran School holds its annual Open House for parents of potential students at 5000 W. Tidwell Avenue. See for more information.

January 27-29 and February 3-5, Opera in the Heights presents Verdi’s Don Carlo at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information, visit

Future History

April 1-3, Spring Home Tour

June 4, Heights Fun Run

October 2, Bicycle Rally

December 2-3, Holiday Home Tour

December 5-7, Holiday Basket Preparation and Delivery

February 26, 2012, Awards Dinner

At The Fire Station

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

The second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and the last Monday of the month, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open at the east (office) door.

Heavy Trash Notes

January is a “Tree Waste Only” month; February is a “Junk Waste” month. See the City of Houston Solid Waste site for dates in your area and more information.

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

January contributors:

Bill Baldwin, Paul Carr, Anne Culotta, Angela DeWree, Lauriel Hindman, Lindsey Lee, Trudy Nelson, Elizabeth Poirrier, Chris Silkwood, Kelly Simmons, Marianne Sulser, Dean Swanson, Maureen Weyel.

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