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In This Issue

Monthly Mixers & Meetings:

March 10 — Featuring Unique and Offbeat Collections

April 14 — Here Comes the Sun

Spring Home & Garden Tour:

The Streets Are Alive With The Sound Of Home Tour Chatter

A Fabulous Home Tour Weekend Coming April 4–6

Featured Homes on the tour

Heights Garden Club — March 7

Houston Heights Urbanites — March 20

Heights Fun Run — June 7

Help Wanted:

Spring Home Tour Volunteers

Heights Fun Run

Girl Scouts — Beyond The Cookies

New Members



Staff and Contributors


logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Nine, Number Three, March 2014
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.
Click here to return to main HHA site.

The Streets Are Alive With The Sound Of Home Tour Chatter

This year’s Spring Home & Garden Tour - which will take place on April 5-6 - will be terrific! Homes range in styles from traditional to contemporary.

• Two homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

• A custom-built home that fits into the historic neighborhood.

• A modernist energy-independent family home.

• A remodeled bungalow with a great family addition.

• An 1896 cottage remodeled with open spaces.

Who could ask for more? Well, what about a fabulous Candlelight Dinner & Auction? That’s also in the works for Friday, April 4 at Silver Street Studios. It will be the perfect opportunity to step into some vibrant spring attire and then step out for a fun evening with your friends and neighbors.

On Saturday and Sunday, accommodations will be made for tour-goers who choose to ride their bicycles from house to house. Bicycle racks will be available at each home, and a “bicycle valet” will be on hand to assist with parking and securing bikes while the home is being toured.

Bicycle riders should stop first at the Fire Station to purchase tour tickets and pick up a map showing the special route planned for them. (Tickets will not be available at the individual homes, and single home tickets will not be available.)

If you’d like to volunteer for the home and garden tour, email To donate to the auction, email

[See articles below the Platinum, Gold, and Silver Sponsors for more information about the events and homes on April 4-6.]

Heights Garden Club

Our next meeting will be held at 4:30 PM on Friday, March 7, at the Carnegie Vanguard High School gardens at Taft and West Gray. The landscape designed by Asadura Robinson features a central courtyard, an amphitheater, pedestrian sidewalks, a baseball field, community gardens, and roof gardens. Views and pedestrian connections to downtown and the surrounding Fourth Ward are highlighted throughout the landscape. Sustainable landscape features include edible gardens, rainwater harvesting tanks, native and drought tolerant plantings, low-water irrigation systems relying solely on rainwater, and two roof gardens.

Please note that the meeting is not at our usual day and time. You will need to have a driver’s license and arrive BEFORE 4:30 PM to be checked in through their security system (driver’s license scanner). Parking is in the two-story parking garage on Taft.

April’s meeting will be at our usual date and time on the second Saturday of the month at 10:00 AM. We will be visiting the Lyke/Kissinger home garden at 1648 Columbia. Come and see how beautiful a no-turf, native plant garden can be.

Please check our Facebook page or our website at for information about upcoming workdays and plant and seed swap.

Help Wanted

A roundup of volunteer openings for Houston Heights Association events and functions, brought to you by our new Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Menefee.

Calling All Spring Home Tour Volunteers

• Docents are needed for homes, shuttles, and bicycles. Work a three-hour shift, either 12:00-3:00 PM or 3:00-6:00 PM on Saturday, April 5 or Sunday, April 6.

• The Silent Auction Committee needs volunteers now to gather donations and also for set up and take down April 3-5.

• The Candlelight Dinner needs volunteers to check in guests Friday evening, April 4.

• Ticket sellers are needed at the Fire Station on April 5 and 6. The shifts there are 11:30-2:30 PM and 2:30-5:30 PM.

Home Tour volunteers receive a free ticket to the Home Tour!

Heights Fun Run

The 29th Annual Heights Fun Run will take place on Saturday, June 7.

• Volunteers are needed to help put together packets; work shifts for pre-race day packet pick-up; set up and take down tents, tables, and water stations; staff registration tables and water stations on race day.

Fun Run volunteers have lots of fun and get a free t-shirt!!

Contact Information

To volunteer for either event, please email

HHA Monthly Mixer & Meeting

The Houston Heights Association holds its General Meeting at the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station, 107 W. 12th Street (at Yale) on the second Monday of every month.

The meetings begin at 7:00 PM; doors open at 6:30 PM. Refreshments will be served.

March 10 General Meeting: Featuring Unique and Offbeat Collections

The hobby of collecting began over 2300 years ago when the Ptolemaic dynasty began gathering writings from throughout the known world, which evolved into the Library of Alexandria. Modern collecting is a descendant of the 16th century “cabinet of curiosities,” by which affluent Renaissance Europeans acquired and shared unique objects from all over the world.

While many think only of expensive items like art and cars as collectibles, modern collecting is very broad, including stamps and coins, autographs and sports memorabilia, folk art, butterflies and insects, fossils, and ephemera.

“If something exists, somebody somewhere collects them.”

At the General Meeting on Monday, March 10, two Houston Heights residents will share their unique and eclectic collections with our members.

Houston Heights resident Deb Rouse will share two collections: her nationally renowned snowdome collection and her collection of glass dip pens. Her collections have been featured in the Orange Show Eyeopeners Tour and the New York Times. Deb’s snowdome collection started as a gift of a plastic snowdome from California in 1988. Twenty-five years later it has grown to over 3,000 pieces. She was introduced to glass dip pens at Bittner the Pleasure of Writing Store in Carmel during a vacation with her husband. Over time, she has acquired glass pens from all over the world.

Pam Kalinec has been collecting dolls for about 10 years. What started as buying a doll while on vacation had developed into a passion. This Houston Heights resident is an officer with the First Houston Doll Club, and has been a speaker on the topic of doll collecting. Her collection is focused on modern, not antique, dolls. About 95% of Pam’s dolls have red hair.

We continue to look for other collections to present at the General Meeting. If you or someone you know has a unique collection they are willing to share, please contact Lindsey Lee at

Coming Up on April 14: Here Comes the Sun

Summer is near, and everything that comes with our hot weather is on its way. Learn about the cool breakthroughs for energy efficiency in our neighborhood. Solar panels, thermostats, landscaping for efficiency, and more. Don’t miss this information-packed meeting to get you ready for summer.

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2014 Platinum sponsors:

Boulevard Realty Circa Real Estate

A Fabulous Home Tour Weekend Coming April 4-6

The home tour weekend festivities begin on Friday, April 4, with the Candlelight Dinner & Auction. Ticketholders can enjoy an exclusive preview of the six fabulous homes in this year’s Spring Home & Garden Tour from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Says Home & Garden Tour Chair Sandy Steitz, “There’s such a variety of homes for people to enjoy this year, something to please everyone!” If ticketholders do not finish touring the homes on Friday, their tickets are also valid on Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6, from noon to 6:00 PM.

Next on Friday evening, it’s off to Silver Street Studios for the Candlelight Dinner & Auction. Co-chairing the dinner portion of the evening are Donna Bennett and Stacey Courville. “We’ve been looking at ways to jazz up the warehouse space at Silver Street Studios,” said Stacey. “Mission accomplished,” responds Donna. Although the dynamic duo won’t reveal too many details, they are announcing that Massoud Catering will provide delectable passed hors d’oeuvres, a delicious buffet dinner, and a sweet selection of yummy desserts. Also on the menu are a tantalizing specialty drink with ingredients provided by Heights Liquor on 11th and brew provided by St. Arnold’s Brewing Company. Plus each guest will receive a gift provided by Eclectic Home.

Julie Pettit is chairing the silent auction. Her committee is busy gathering art, crafts, clothing and accessories, antiques and collectibles, exciting getaways, fabulous parties, and more red-hot items for the home, garden, family, and pets. To make a donation to the silent auction, call the Houston Heights Association at 713-861-4002, or e-mail

Co-chairing the live auction are Linda Eyles and Danae Stephenson. This awesome twosome is tickled pink to be able to include the original artwork of Heights resident John Pavlicek in the live auction, along with an art piece by Paul Kittelson, trips, an evening with a local celebrity chef, and jewelry.


Advance tickets to the Home & Garden tour are $20 and available online here and at various Houston Heights locations, including Buchanan’s Native Plants, Another Place in Time, and Jubilee. Tickets purchased on the days of the tour are $25 and will be available at the neighborhood locations as well as at the Houston Heights Fire Station, where you can board a luxury shuttle bus that will tour the homes. Please note that tickets will not be sold at the tour homes, and single-home tickets will not be sold.

Reservations are required for the Candlelight Dinner and Auction. Individual tickets are $150 and reserved tables for 10 or 12 are $1,500 or $1,800, respectively. Tickets are available online here.

For more information visit the home tour page.

[Featured Homes after the Gold sponsor list.]

Spring Home & Garden Tour Committee Chairs at the February General Meeting: (l-r) Stacey Courville, Donna Bennett, Julie Pettit, Sandy Steitz, Danae Stephenson, Linda Eyles.

The tour poster featuring John Pavlicek's original artwork, which is to be sold in the Live Auction at the Candlelight Dinner on Friday, April 4.

Gold Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2014 Gold Sponsors:

Trudy Waguespack Nelson The Reyna Group

Featured Homes on the tour

401 W. 9th Street

Homeowner, Dr. James Flowers and Michael Beard
Head docents, Laura Menefee, Nancy Flesch
Florist: Homeowners

This red brick building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1928 as a neighborhood grocery store. When the current homeowners bought the property in 2013, James and Michael say they were attracted to the openness of the space, which is very loft-like with its exposed rafters and concrete floors. They immediately incorporated their style into the interior, which they refer to as “vintage modern,” with a color scheme of white and subtle tones of oaky moss green.

409 W. 8th Street

Homeowners, Merry and Palmer Schooley
Head docent, Jan Clark
Florist: Homeowners

The homeowners of this unique home proudly describe themselves as modernist at heart. Homeowner and architect Palmer said his philosophy about the redesign of his family’s 1980-ish home was to make it modern yet respectful of the neighborhood. So he and his wife Merry, a special event planner, created an “energy-independent” home that combines original materials with great updates. A solar porch at the entry makes the home high performance. There is also a big back garden porch that adds to the sustainability of the property.

718 E. 9th Street

Homeowner, Blair and Jeff Ainsworth
Head docents, Mary Ellis, Laura Thorp
Florist: Jana’s Flowers

The homeowners were drawn to the charm, centralized location and sense of community of the Houston Heights neighborhood when they moved here. After they purchased the house in 2012, they embarked on an eight-month renovation that embraces the bungalow style with their addition while creating a more open interior to fit their family needs, which includes their young daughter. The homeowners were heavily involved in the design work, including all finishes and colors. The interior includes vibrant pops of color seen in their mid-century furniture, artwork, textiles, and accessories.

[More homes after the Silver Sponsors.]

Silver Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2014 Silver Sponsors:

Buchanan's Native Plants CenterPoint Energy
Ann & Ken Culotta Eclectic Home

Featured Homes continued

1005 Oxford

Homeowner, Bobbie Echard
Head docents, Bob Burleson, Rene Ibarra
Florist: Heights Florist

The homeowner describes her home as a vernacular cottage built in 1896 by German working-class immigrants. The home was in disrepair when purchased by the current homeowner. After renovations, Bobbie describes the interior of the home as clean and modern, with a mid-century influence. Among other awards, this home received a community improvement award for residential restoration from the Houston Heights Association in 2012. The homeowner says the best features of the home are that there’s no wasted space and there’s plenty of room to display art.

1448 Heights Blvd.

Homeowners, Susan and Jeffrey Bell
Head docents, Kathleen and Mark Williamson, Martha Peet
Florist: Darlene’s Flower & Gift Shop

Many people refer to this home at the corner of Heights Boulevard and 15th Street as “the house with the blue gate.” Built in 1912 for Herman T. Keller, the two-story with its fabulous wrap-around porch and magnificent trees was updated in 1993 and again in 1998, when an addition on the rear of the home doubled its size. Bought by the Bells in 2011, the home features traditional furnishings. This lovely home is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes.

1648 Columbia

Homeowner, Douglas Killinger and Robert Lyke
Head docents, Terre Coffman, Tom Villanueva
Florist: The Empty Vase

The current homeowners bought the empty lot in August of 2010 and spent the next year working on plans for a custom home that would fit into the historic neighborhood and meet their preferences for a low-maintenance modern aesthetic. The result is a stunning home that embraces the Arts and Crafts style with subtle modern nuances in the materials and irregular patterns. The modern interior of the three-bedroom, four-bath home features an open layout, 12-foot ceilings, and collections of artifacts from various travels.

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Spring 2014 Bronze Sponsors:

Allegiance Bank Texas BullsEye Storage
Chris Dray, Moody Rambin Interests Computer Whiz
Heights Liquor on 11th Grogan Building Supply Co.
Shawn Manderscheid Real Estate Team PrimeWay Federal Credit Union
The Village of The Heights Tommy Vaughn Ford

Heights Fun Run

Mark your calendars and plan to run, run, run down Heights Boulevard on Saturday, June 7. This beautiful 5K course runs along historic Heights Boulevard. Hundreds of runners have participated, and many spectators have come to cheer them on. The website for the Fun Run should be up and running soon, but if you have questions you can send an e-mail to

If you want to have an active role (other than running), why not volunteer? [See "Help Wanted" above.] We appreciate all the help we can get!!!!

Girl Scouts -
Beyond The Cookies

On March 12, Girl Scouts celebrates 102 years of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council, a United Way agency, extends to 26 counties and 60,000+ girls. In addition, GSSJC offers “grown up” Girl Scouts unique alumnae opportunities with other adults as well as episodic events or workshops with girls.

Thank you for your support of the current 2014 cookie sale. What do girls learn from the Girl Scout Cookie Program? Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls develop five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Learn more about the cookie sale: click here.

Melinda Gaskill, Heights resident and GSSJC professional staff member, would like to offer any interested adults the opportunity to share their skills and expertise with middle and high school age girls to earn GSUSA badges or Journeys ( through either events, a series, or service project adventures in the neighborhood. Please contact her at your convenience, 713-292-0232,


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

Rich & Patricia Bartoskewitz - Boulevard, Fire Station Restoration

Jeff & Susan Bell - Boulevard

Katy Bomar & John Childs - Parks, Fire Station Restoration

Melvalene Cohen - Boulevard

Vanessa & Chris Collins - Donovan Playground

Jones & Cindy Devlin - Boulevard

Stephen Donato & Sergio Davila - Parks

Charles & Leigh Duke - Boulevard

Patricia & Jack Fu - Flower Gardens

Kevin Grice

William & Renee Guckenburg - Miscellaneous

Kelly & Jeffrey Hewett - Boulevard

Pam Hilmes - Parks, Boulevard, Flower Gardens, Fire Station Restoration

Maurice & Cynthia Jett - Boulevard

Jeff & Allison Johnston - Parks, Boulevard

Patty & Adrian McGrail - Donovan Playground

Jim & Barbara Potter - Boulevard in memory of Carol Sofianopoulos

David & Lynn Rizzio - Boulevard

Daniel & Susan Sessions - Flower Gardens

Charles & Anne Smith - Flower Gardens

Jack & Deanna Vernon - Boulevard

Houston Heights Urbanites

Third Thursday Happy Hour is at Down House! March 20, 6:00-8:00 PM. Please “like” our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates, and we’ll see you soon!

New Members

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

Paola & Daniel Alvarez

Rick & Patricia Bartoskewitz

Bayou City Bike Tours, John Boerstler

Heather & Anthony Bryant

Michelle Childers & John Parten

Skye & Mark Cizek

William & Renee Guckenburg

Heights General Store @ Harold’s, Alli Jarrett

Kelly & Jeffrey Hewett

Insulator Guru, Keith Hall

Lumens Electric, Pablo Rios, Jr.

Blaine Morris

Brooks & Vickie O’Hara

Mynette Murtagh Randall

Matthew Schlueter & Eston Burciaga

Andrew Sharenson & Meghan McCurdy

Donna Wright

Constable Statistics

We’re sorry. The January constable statistics were not available at the time we uploaded this issue.

Calendar of Events for March–April 2014











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


PIP meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street


Deadline for next newsletter

6 - garbage


Heights Garden Club, 4:30 PM, Taft at West Gray



Daylight Saving Time starts


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



13 - garbage and recycling





St. Patricks Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


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

19 - heavy trash (tree waste)

20 - garbage

Houston Heights Urbanites, 6:00-8:00 PM, Down House







27 - garbage and recycling





April 1

PIP Meeting, 7:00 PM, 1602 State Street




Candlelight Dinner & Auction


Spring Home & Garden Tour, 12:00-6:00 PM


Spring Home & Garden Tour, 12:00-6:00 PM


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


Deadline for next newsletter


10 - garbage and recycling



Heights Garden Club, 10:00 AM, 1648 Columbia



HHA General Meeting, “Energy Efficiency”, 7:00 PM, Fire Station


Tax Day

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

16 - heavy trash (junk waste)

17 - garbage






San Jacinto Day

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station


Earth Day


24 - garbage and recycling







May 1 - garbage



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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations

Every Saturday, 8:00 AM, Heights Running Club meets on the Heights Boulevard jogging trail at 7th Street. Contact to be added to the weekly distribution list.

First and third Thursdays, 7:30 PM, English Country Dancing in the Heights, dances taught and called. For more information, email or visit

Third Tuesdays, 7:00-9:00 PM, Houston Storytellers Guild meets at St. Andrew’s House, 1811 Heights Boulevard, for a story swap. For more information, or 713-643-8478.

Through March 22, 8:00 PM, Obsidian Art Space presents the Texas premiere of Ruined by Lynn Nottage, 3522 White Oak Drive. Dates, info, & tickets at

March 8, 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM, Greater Heights Chamber of Commerce Crawfish Festival at 411 W 20th Street. For more information, visit the Festival’s Facebook page or the Chamber’s website

March 28-April 6, Opera in the Heights presents Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Boulevard. For more information, visit

Heavy Trash Notes

March is a “Tree Waste Only” month; April is a “Junk Waste” month. The heavy trash pickup date is the third Wednesday for most of the Houston Heights Association coverage area.

For dates in your immediate area, visit the City Solid Waste site. (Click here.)

Future History

June 7, Heights Fun Run

October 5, Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt [tentative date]

December 5-6, Holiday Home Tour [tentative dates]

December 9-10, Holiday Food Baskets [tentative dates]

February 22, 2015, Awards Dinner [tentative date]

April 3-5, 2015, Spring Home Tour [tentative date]

At The Properties

Events at the Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station, Donovan Park, and Marmion Park

Heights Tai Chi Association meets Saturdays at 9:00 AM and Wednesdays at 7:00 PM in Marmion Park, Heights Boulevard at 18th Street.

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

Copyright © 2014, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.

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

Editor, The Heights, 107 W. 12th Street, Houston, TX 77008-6907;

email; or leave a message on 713-861-4002.

Staff and Contributors

VP Communications: Julie Pettit

Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

March contributors:

Angela DeWree, Brenda Eskelson, Melinda Gaskill, Lauriel Hindman, Lindsey Lee, Laura Menefee, Julie Pettit, Kelly Simmons.

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