In This Issue

Holiday Home Tour

General Meeting

Community Improvement Awards

Can You Throw A Party?

Holiday Tour Locations

Christmas Story at the Library

Holiday Market Needs More Vendors, Volunteers

West Historic District Halfway There

History For Sale

Demo Watch

Director Election Schedule

September Board Summary

Restoration Skips to January

Congrats to Julie Pettit

Congrats to Dacapo's, Glass Wall

Bike Rally Wrap-up

Graffiti Off?

New Members

Request from Opera in the Heights

Donations

Go Green Houston Rally

Last Few Photo Books Going

PIP Meetings Merged, Moved

Studewood Ribbon Cutting

Rose Garden

Calendars

Staff and Contributors

Copyright

logo for The Heights
Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association
Volume Thirty-Two, Number Eleven, November 2006
Click here for the print-format PDF version.
Click here for back issues.

2006 Holiday Tour: Dickens in the Heights

Step back in time and experience a sampling of the various architectural styles of the historic homes in Houston Heights at “Dickens in the Heights - The 2006 Heights Historic Home Tour and Holiday Market.” This opportunity to view five historic turn-of-the-century homes that have been carefully restored is sponsored by the Houston Heights Association and is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 1-2, 2006.

Three homes on tour are on the National Register of Historic Places, and two have been designated as City of Houston Landmarks. Architectural styles represented include Victorian, Prairie, Craftsman bungalow, Queen Anne, and a Colonial Revival that represents adaptive reuse for a business office. Docents will be available to point out the rich history of each house and features unique to the period. Costumed performers will entertain on the porches of these distinctive historic structures, and trolleys will be available to shuttle guests to each house on tour, a historic church that will be open, and the Holiday Market.

Please see below for descriptions and pictures of the featured homes and other locations.

On Friday, December 1, both the Historic Home Tour and the Holiday Market will be open from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. On Saturday, December 2, the Holiday Market will be open from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and the Historic Home Tour will run from Noon to 9:00 PM.

“The trolley will be making a complimentary stop at All Saints Catholic Church, an example of the traditional Romanesque Revival style,” said Sharie Beale, event coordinator. Bro. Robert, who is nationally renowned for his painted icons, will be available to discuss the icons he is creating for the church and will have small ones on hand for purchase.

New to this annual event is the Holiday Market, located in the Heights Fire Station on 12th and Yale Streets. “We are bringing together artists, crafters, and local merchants with fine hand-made wares, gift items, Christmas decorations, and one-of-a-kind accessories. An artist will be available to do a pen/ink/watercolor painting of your home. Must-have items this year are Christmas ornaments hand-decorated by talented Heights artists and crafters. These are truly unique collectibles. Adding to the festivities, we will have food vendors with delicious treats for sale. We are looking forward to a fabulous event,” said Beale.

Platinum sponsors are San Jacinto Stone and Allied Waste, and PrimeWay Federal Credit Union is the Winter Silver sponsor. Winter Bronze sponsors are Fiesta, Grogan Building Supply Co., and Harry James Building & Design.

Advance tickets will be available for $12 beginning November 15 at Buchannan’s Native Plants, Squash Blossom, and Another Place in Time. Tickets purchased on the days of the tour are $15. To purchase tickets for the 2006 Houston Heights Historic Home Tour or for more information, visit the Holiday Home Tour web page or call 713-861-4002.

The Houston Heights Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Proceeds from fund-raisers go to maintain the historic City Hall and Fire Station (where the Market is located) which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as by the City of Houston, the parks on Heights Boulevard (Donovan and Marmion), the two-mile-long esplanade on Heights Boulevard (also individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places), and for other programs to benefit the neighborhood.

General Meeting

Do you want to know which native plants to use in your landscaping and which are more trouble than introduced plants? Do you want to replace some or all of your lawn with other plants, but don’t know what varieties to use? Join us at the Fire Station on Monday, November 13, at 7:00 PM to hear Heidi Sheesley of Treesearch Farms.

Heidi grew up not far from the Heights and attended Kinkaid School. She received her degree from University of Texas in Austin and spent many years as a professional photographer before her lifetime passion for horticulture brought her the dream of her own farm. Professionals would call her a horticulturist, but she prefers the term “plant nut.”

Heidi started Treesearch Farms in 1983 promoting better ecology through introducing organically grown native and well adapting plants to the landscape trade. Treesearch Farms is the leading supplier in the Gulf Coast region for cutting-edge plant material. Their specialty is native plants, along with hummingbird and butterfly plants, Texas citrus, and “water smart” plants. Heidi is the professional landscaper’s source for anything unique and unusual. She is very active in many national plant societies and is currently consulting on building the first living green roofs for the Houston Medical Center.

Some sample plants will be available as door prizes to members who attend.

The results of the HHA Board election will be reported during this meeting.

Community Improvement Nominations

Once again, it is time to look around the neighborhood and see who has been improving it. The nomination form and rule sheet for the 2006 Community Improvement Awards are on the HHA web site. Click here to download it.

Can You Throw A Party?

We’re looking for volunteers to organize the Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner, which is scheduled for the last Sunday in February. This is the event at which the Houston Heights Association recognizes the many volunteers who make the Association work for all of us and presents several special awards . If you can help, please contact President Robin Franklin, leave a message at 713-861-4002 option 8, or send email to info@houstonheights.org.

Holiday Tour Locations

1. Home of Julie and Rick Dowell

905 W. 14th St. is a charming Victorian cottage moved to its current location and restored by Bungalow Revival, a local organization devoted to the preservation and renovation of the smaller homes that were so abundant in Houston Heights during its early years and which have made Houston Heights a popular place to live today. The interiors of this 1895 home boast many wonderful details as well as an elegant Shabby Chic decor. The talented homeowner is a seamstress and interior decorator whose wonderful collections make her home just bursting with Christmas cheer.

905 W 14th

2. Home of Jay and Kerry Harpole

The Cummings House at 1418 Heights, built in 1921 in the Prairie style, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and this year as a City of Houston Landmark. The original owner, O. S. Cummings, was part of the new and growing oil industry in Houston during that era. Note the full, deep porch roof extended over the porte cochere on one side and the large front window on the porch with multi-paned sidelights. The current owners exhibit their commitment to historic preservation in this extensive restoration. Their first Christmas in their new home - tidings of joy!

1418 Heights

3. Home of Martha and Ivan Pieratt

1829 Cortlandt is a beautiful Craftsman bungalow built in 1922, originally owned by a painter who worked for Humble Oil. The current owners bought the home in 1996. They fell in love with the house because it was so similar to Mr. Pieratt’s family home in Wichita, Kansas where they grew up. Note the clean lines of the Craftsman style, so well complemented by the owners’ modern art collection and robust colors. The homeowners have a collection of Christmas animated boxes, lovely ornaments, and a Santa collection that numbers close to 300. A real Christmas delight!

1829 Cortlandt

4. Greenwood King Properties - Office

The Burge House, built at 1801 Heights c. 1910 in the Colonial Revival style, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The original owner, Robert Burge, President of Burge Manufacturing Co., purchased the property for $2,000. Note the elephantine porch supports, the leaded glass door with sidelights and transom, the interior wood detail and columns, stained glass windows, and ceiling stenciling. This demonstrates a sensitive adaptive reuse of a historic house for a business office.

1801 Heights

5. Home of Laura and Dennis Virgadamo

The Whitty-Virgadamo home at 124 W. 17th St. is a City of Houston Landmark. Built in 1907 by Heights builders Boyd and Frank Newbanks for Edmond and Maude Whitty, the home combines elements of Queen Anne and Four Square style and features high ceilings, stained glass, and beautiful woodwork. The owners’ collections of Victorian antiques, glassware, and antique toys all blend to add to the wonderful Christmas spirit of this home. Descendants of the Whittys will be on hand.

The Community Garden next door is an Urban Harvest Garden and has won a Community Improvement Award. Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions; don’t miss the demonstrations and entertainment they have planned.

124 W 17th

6. All Saints Catholic Church (complimentary trolley stop; tour ticket not required)

201 E. 10th Street. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Church was built in 1926 in the traditional Romanesque Revival style with wonderful stained glass windows and grand Romanesque arches. Nationally renowned for his painted icons, Bro. Robert will be available to discuss the icons he is working on for the church and will have small ones on hand to view and purchase. The Church will be decorated for Advent, and the choir will be singing Advent hymns.

All Saints Catholic Church

7. Holiday Market at the Fire Station

The Holiday Market is new this year! We are bringing together artists, crafters, and local merchants with fine hand-made wares, gift items, Christmas decorations and unique accessories. An artist will be available to do a pen/ink/watercolor painting of your home. The Houston Heights Association will also have a booth and will have items for sale as part of our fundraiser. The must-have items this year are the hand decorated Christmas ornaments done by Heights artists and crafters - truly one-of-a-kind collectibles! Also available are Houston Heights coffee mugs with a picture of the Fire Station. Don’t forget the food vendors for a quick snack or a warm beverage.

Heights Fire Station

Christmas Story At The Library

In conjunction with the Holiday Home Tour and Market, the HHA Education Committee is presenting a Christmas Story Read-Aloud at the Heights Library on Saturday, December 2 at 10:30 AM.

Bring the family and enjoy listening to our own Anne Sloan, noted author and long-term Heights resident, share a family story about Christmas in the Heights in 1905. You will recognize landmarks that continue to play an active role in our community and enjoy the nostalgia of many Christmas traditions.

Refreshments will be served and each family will receive a copy of Anne’s story delightfully illustrated by her good friend, Mary Grace Hammill. The committee is proud to host this presentation.

Heights Branch Library

Holiday Market Needs More Vendors, Volunteers

The first Houston Heights Holiday Market is off to a very good start, but we still need more vendors! Let your favorite special shop know about our Market. We should have great traffic with the Historic Home Tour and our trolley stopping there and people coming to buy their home tour tickets there!

Also, we need some Vendor Liaison Volunteers during the Market hours to help answer vendor questions, etc. We know there are some experienced volunteers who have done this sort of thing before - we need your talent once again!

This should be really fun - we have our Historic Homes decked out for Christmas, lots of music and roaming Dickens characters - maybe even a Queen Victoria and a bagpiper and perhaps a little promenade on the esplanade!

Don’t forget to wear your Victorian garb! Don’t be a Scrooge!

Platinum Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following 2006 Platinum sponsors:

West Historic District Halfway There

How are we coming along in creation of City historic districts? The Houston Heights Historic District West is halfway there after volunteers received the 159th signature on the west historic district application in September, and the Houston Heights Historic District East has even more signatures. Allston Street leads the way in the west with 51% of its property owners having signed the application.

The chart at right (prepared by Janet Buchheit and Jim Potter) shows the numbers and percentages of signatures in the blocks of the streets in the proposed west district. A chart for the proposed east district will be in the next issue of the newsletter.

The City requires 67% of the property owners in a proposed historic district to sign the application to be a historic district. Approximately 316 signatures would be 67% in the probable boundaries of the west district, so 159 signatures is halfway there, and we have reached that mark.

The Houston Heights Historic District East has over 250 signatures, but it is almost 2 1/2 times as large as the west district, so the percentage of necessary signatures obtained is smaller in the east.

The west district boundaries are roughly from W. 11th to W. 16th and from Allston to Ashland. The east district includes roughly from E. 4th to E. 22nd and from Heights Blvd. to Oxford.

Second after Allston’s 51% signed is West 15th Street with 44%. The biggest gains from August to September were on Rutland and Ashland, each of which picked up seven signatures.

Both districts urgently need more volunteers to pass out written materials and flyers, urge their neighbors to sign the application, work on mail-outs, or host “historic happy hours.”

A grass roots effort began in January 2006 to create historic districts in Houston Heights in order to protect the historic character of the Heights, stabilize neighborhoods, and deter the demolition of our historic buildings. The effort was spurred along by the demolition in early February of the Ashland Tea House at 1801 Ashland, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The HHA Board of Directors endorsed the grass roots effort and supports the creation of these two historic districts.

Efforts to get signatures on the application began in April, so we have come a long way in six months. By comparison, it reportedly took Norhill Heights three years to get its 67%.

226 historic buildings were demolished in the Heights area last year. This fact lends greater urgency to the Houston Heights’ effort. Please attend the next meeting of the Houston Heights Historic District Task Force November 1 at 6:30 PM at the Fire Station to see what you can do to pitch in and help.

Demo Watch

After increasing dramatically during the summer months, demolitions and relocations of historic houses in Houston Heights appear to be on the decline. According to information supplied by the city’s code enforcement division, two demolition permits were issued for properties within the boundaries of the proposed Houston Heights historic districts within the last four weeks. Another four demolition permits were issued for areas outside the boundaries of the historic district, for a total of six demolitions/relocations in the Houston Heights in the last month, half the number of permits issued the previous month. 167 structures have been lost since our Demo Watch began.

Historic district designation is currently the only legal avenue for attempting to deter demolition. If you have not yet signed the petition in favor of the proposed historic districts, please do so. The petition and additional information about the city’s historic preservation ordinance is available at www.houstonheights.org.

Below is the list of demolition or relocation permits issued from September 12 to October 10.

  • 805 Columbia
  • 616 Cortlandt
  • 903 Tulane
  • 718 E. 8th St.
  • 415 W. 8th St.
  • 305 W. 22nd St.

District

Total

8/31/06

9/30/06

Blocks

Target

#

%

#

%

West 12th

13

4

31%

5

38%

West 13th

27

7

26%

8

30%

West 14th

12

2

17%

2

17%

West 15th

18

8

44%

8

44%

West 16th

23

8

35%

9

39%

Yale

3

1

33%

1

33%

Allston

91

44

48%

46

51%

Rutland

92

20

22%

26

28%

Tulane

95

21

22%

28

29%

Ashland

100

19

19%

26

26%

Total

474

134

28.3%

159

33.5%

History For Sale

In a recent meeting between HHA board members and Houston City Councilwoman Sue Lovell, a huge supporter of historic preservation, the councilmember commented that the demolition of our historic bungalows would stop if people would quit selling them. She definitely has a point, but home sales are not going to stop; most owners have priorities besides historic preservation.

Here’s what could be described as the next best option: a way to help match up sellers with potential buyers who are interested in purchasing a piece of history. We hope this new addition to the newsletter will help encourage appropriate renovation/expansion of the existing housing stock instead of demolition or relocation, thus saving our quaint Craftsman bungalows, grand Victorian mansions, and cozy Queen Anne cottages.

Below is a sampling of the historic properties currently for sale in the Heights. If you are not in the market for a new home yourself, please pass the list along to someone who is. Likewise, if you know of a home for sale that is not listed here, please let us know so that we may include it on next month’s list.

  • 921 Allston - 1915
  • 1001 Allston - 1920
  • 1447 Allston - 1920
  • 740 Allston - 1920
  • 407 Arlington - 1920
  • 539 Arlington - 1920
  • 540 Arlington - 1940
  • 833 Arlington - 1920
  • 610 Columbia - 1920
  • 945 Columbia - 1920
  • 821 Cortlandt - 1920
  • 1218 Cortlandt - 1920
  • 1545 Cortlandt - 1930
  • 2224 Cortlandt - 1940
  • 2027 Harvard - 1940
  • 1622 Lawrence - 1940
  • 1132 Rutland - 1920
  • 2207 Singleton - 1930
  • 1342 Tulane - 1920
  • 1412 Tulane - 1926
  • 1426 Tulane - 1910
  • 1511 Rutland - 1920
  • 606 E 7th - 1950
  • 730 E 18th - 1920
  • 743 W 18th - 1935
  • 226 W 23rd - 1929

Director Election Schedule

Six of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election this fall. Five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms; members elected to these five positions will have three-year terms. The sixth position is for the last two years of a term vacated by resignation. The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms; the nominee receiving the sixth-highest vote count will fill the two-year vacancy.

The remaining schedule for the election of Directors to serve terms starting in 2007 will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:

• By November 11 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.

• November 13, polls will be open for secret balloting in person from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM before the General Meeting. The Election Committee will tabulate ballots and announce the results during the meeting.

Please remember to return your ballot.

Restoration/Historical Committee Meeting Skips to January

The next Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 916 Courtlandt Street on Thursday, January 18, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. This home is a work in progress, a 2-bedroom 2-bath bungalow home which was built as a “$3,000 kit home” in 1920 and is now being restored by Jerry Frazier.

The former owner, who is now 70 years old and still works for an energy company, grew up in the home and has many very interesting stories to tell about the neighborhood, which he will relate to all attending. Famous names like singers “Elvis” and “Tommy Sands” and even “Rosie the Riveter” will likely come up during the evening meeting. The evening will include a tour and a discussion of some of the renovation details for those considering renovation, restoration, or new construction in the Heights.

The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public to learn about history and restoration in keeping with the Heights neighborhood. Please contact Committee Chairman Dean Swanson if you have a restoration project, a historical structure, or historical information pertaining to the Houston Heights that can be shared at future meetings. General historical knowledge of the Heights neighborhood, historic memories, or photos are also welcome to be shared with other Heights residents and may by forwarded by e-mail to restoration@houstonheights.org or discussed by telephone at (713) 880-2832 or by bringing them to any meeting.

Congratulations to Julie Pettit

Houston Heights’ own Julie Pettit has been named to the Board of Directors of the Art Colony Association (ACA). The ACA produces the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, the Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park, and the newly created The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival held in The Woodlands, Texas. To date, the ACA has donated over $2.2 million to Houston charities from the proceeds of 69 festivals.

Julie and her husband Byron received the Citizens of the Year Award for 2003. Julie chaired the 2003 Spring and Holiday tours, the Picnic, and the Art Show at the Festival; Byron was HHA President that year. Julie holds the current record of chairing the most home tours of any HHA volunteer to date. She is also responsible for many creative ideas, such as the Candlelight Dinner and Auction, the Wreath Auction, and the artists’ section of the Heights Festival.

September Board Meeting Summary

The recommendation of the Finance Committee to sign an extended power contract was accepted. A proposal was accepted that members not current on dues be sent an email reminder to pay by October 1 to be eligible to vote in the upcoming election. An audit bid was received.

The Board adopted a resolution on proposed changes to the City’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. David Beale noted that Julie and Byron Pettit had bought the recently saved house at 946 Arlington, planning to restore it, add to the back, and resell it. Eight permits for demolition or removal had been issued the previous week.

The Board agreed to engage Susan Love Fitts, who handles public relations for Opera in the Heights, to assist with publicity for the Holiday Home Tour.

Treasurer Jim Potter said that a review of the Business Manager’s time sheet revealed that she had put in 120 hours in the last two weeks, with no major event in progress. He asked if any of her duties could be outsourced, especially routine, repetitious, or high-volume activities. Further discussion was deferred to the October meeting.

The Finance Committee recommended a change to the Budget Policy, adding a new tier of small expenditure of general or unbudgeted funds with a less-stringent approval process that would be reported and limited to two per month. Action was deferred to October.

It was reported that we had received an offer to help write a tree protection ordinance (beyond City right-of-way). A task force was established.

The October General Meeting will have a Halloween theme. Two speakers and a presentation by children from HITS Theatre had been scheduled; Target and Kroger were to sponsor refreshments.

It was reported that the September General Meeting/Membership Drive came in well under budget. Pappas Restaurants donated tamales and fixings. More than 50 new members were signed up. Copies of the HHA brochure/membership application were to go out with the Heights Pages.

Congratulations to Dacapo’s, Glass Wall

My Table magazine honored two local Heights businesses on October 1 at the 10th Annual Awards for Culinary Excellence in Houston. Lisa Biggerstaff of Dacapo’s Bakery & Deli was named as Pastry Chef of the Year. Glass Wall won for Best Interior Design and as Best New Restaurant. In addition, Harris and Chris Pappas were among the five finalists for Restaurateur of the Year, and Rafael de Orbegozo of Shade was a finalist for Service Person of the Year.

Congratulations to them all!

Bronze Sponsors

The Houston Heights Association is proud to have the following Fall 2006 Bronze Sponsors:

Bike Rally Wrap-up

The first annual Heights Skate & Bike Rally should have been called the Heights Canoe and Jet-Ski Rally. The event was decimated by rain that fell most of the day. In spite of the miserable conditions, 60 riders completed the 15-mile rally course.

The “End of the Rally Ceremony” that had been planned as an outdoor event with live music was instead held indoors with a crowd of about 90 people consisting of both riders and HHA volunteers. Steve Kunkemoeller was MC for the awards and prizes ceremony.

Sheila Jackson Lee and Paul CarrSteve introduced U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, who presented Rally Chairman Paul Carr with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to the Houston Heights Association for producing the 1st Annual Heights Bicycle and Skate Rally (right). Congresswoman Lee followed the presentation with some complimentary remarks directed to members of HHA.

Steve introduced Martin Pike, the scavenger hunt chairman and judge. Martin determined that two persons tied for having found the most mystery items. As prizes, Martin presented Cheryl Brown with a gift certificate from Allied Waste for 5 front row seats to a 2007 Astros game. Gail Sabanosh received a gift certificate from Shade Restaurant for brunch for four.

Sarah BenstockSteve introduced Genie Mims, the Rally Judge. Genie presented framed “Master Bicyclist” awards to the following recipients: the youngest female finisher, 8-year old Sarah Benstock (left); the youngest male finisher, 9-year old Will Houston (below); the first finisher, Catherine Wiejaczka; and the oldest finisher, Ralph Ellis.

For the rest of the ceremony Steve, assisted by Gail Evans, drew names from two containers that held the rally cards of everyone who completed the rally. Just about all the names in the container for riders under 12 years old received prizes. Most of the adult riders who were present also received prizes.

Will HoustonThe following bicycle shops and Heights area businesses contributed prizes for the Heights Bike & Skate Rally: Allied Waste, The Big Easy, Blue Line Bike Labs, Bogart’s Spa & Salon, C & D Hardware, Cleer Photography, The Critter Sitter, The Daily Grind, Doug & Don’s Barber Shop, European Cars Limited, Grogan Building Supply, Hickory Hollow Restaurant, Houston Bicycle Company, I Cycle, Montrose Skate Shop, Shade Restaurant, Terlingua Texas Border Cafe, Torture Tours, The Urban Bicycle Gallery, Venus Hair, West End Bicycle Shop, and the Yale Grill.

David Cassidy and a group of HHA volunteers created and staffed three check point rest stops all day Sunday, in the rain.

Bicycle Rally Stats: 160 riders preregistered on-line, 21 registered on the day of the event (in the rain), and 60 riders completed the rally. Despite the deluge, the event made a modest net profit.

Donations

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

  • Lizzy Hargrove - Parks Maintenance, Boulevard & Flower Gardens
  • Brandie Jester - Flower Gardens
  • Tom & Katrina Stilwell - Holiday in the Heights
  • Mark & Melissa White - Boulevard & Flower Gardens, Graffiti Abatement

Graffiti Off?

by Paul Luccia, Heights graffiti guy

Have you noticed the sharp decrease in graffiti lately? The incidence of new and repeat graffiti is way down. Our efforts are paying off.

METRO has been extra diligent in abating all of their property twice a week as a goal. If you see graffiti on METRO property, including their signs, contact Karen Bridges at 713-615-6247 or kb01@ridemetro.org. I have reported a few locations to her and they were abated the next day.

The more eyes we have reporting graffiti to METRO and 311, the better. To date, the Heights Anti-Graffiti Squad has abated over 1,100 locations, saving the city tens of thousands of tax dollars and making our neighborhood a much nicer place to live.

New Members

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

  • Terry Andrews & Jeri Nordbrock
  • Andrea Armstrong
  • Jan & John Bloom
  • Rie Congelio
  • Mary & Ralph Ellis
  • Diana Galindo & Peter Weidler
  • Jennifer Garfield
  • Lizzy Hargrove
  • Kelly Hawkins
  • Brandie Jester
  • Scott & Lisa Kelly
  • Patrick & Kristin Kemp
  • Jacquelyn Kinsbury
  • Mike & Robyn Newburn
  • James & Michele Rooney
  • Tom & Katrina Stilwell
  • Randi & Cory Wolskij

Can You Host A Singer?

A request from Opera in the Heights

Here’s an opportunity to help one of our cultural gems.

Opera in the Heights (at 1703 Heights Blvd) has grown significantly in audience size and singer quality in the last few years. We now have a wonderful program that everyone in Houston, but especially in the Heights, can be proud of. As we’ve recruited more singers from out of town, particularly the New York area, we find we need to find more volunteers to house these singers, who stay for about 5 weeks. This is a great opportunity to get to know some wonderful young artists (and play an important part in the advancement of their career).

Most out-of-towners will not have a car when they come to sing. Housing in the Heights is especially appreciated since singers can then walk or bicycle to the opera house. Of course, we’re thrilled with accommodations in any part of town. If you have a garage apartment or a spare room and would like to become an opera insider, please contact Bill Haase at 713-942-9044 or haasewil@swbell.net.

Go Green Houston Rally for America Recycles Day on November 15

Houston Recycles logoThe City of Houston is sponsoring the Go Green Houston Rally on America Recycles Day. The Go Green Houston Rally will highlight traditional and non-traditional recycling opportunities. It will be a fun and festive venue as local high school bands and Radio Disney (including their radio personalities and interactive children’s activities) encourage Houstonians to recycle.

The City is asking Houstonians to GO GREEN by wearing green clothing and bringing gently used eyeglasses, clothing, and/or baby items, as well as non-perishable food items to benefit non-profit organizations that reduce, reuse, or recycle materials.

Mark your calendar: November 15, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, at the Reflection Pool area of City Hall’s Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. For more information, call 3-1-1, the City’s Customer Service Hotline or go to www.gogreenhouston.org.

PIP Meetings Merged, Moved

The Houston Police Department has merged the Heights and Montrose area Positive Interaction Program (PIP) meetings. The meetings will now be held at the Houston Police Officer’s Union building at 1602 State Street at 7:00 PM on the fourth Wednesday of each month. The merger was first reported in an article by Tom Manning in the October 19 issue of The Houston Chronicle (section Z10, page 3) and confirmed by city-wide PIP Coordinator James Sobota.

The program holds monthly PIP meetings featuring speakers from different divisions (Burglary and Theft, Homicide, K-9, Helicopters, etc.) explaining how their division operates. This is done so citizens will know what to expect, should they ever need the police.

The Heights and Montrose programs were chosen for this merger because the areas are close together, are in the same HPD division, and share common issues such as graffiti problems, according to Officer Sobota. The Chronicle article reported that the merger would allow more senior officers to attend the meeting while saving personnel time overall.

Due to the holiday season, there will be no regular November or December PIP meetings. Meetings will resume on January 24.

For more information about the Positive Interaction Program, please visit http://www.houstontx.gov/police/pip.htm.

Going, Going, Gone!

Do you own a copy of Houston Heights 1891-1991: A Historical Portrait and Contemporary Perspective? Do you want to buy one? Better hurry!

This soft-cover, black and white photo book contains a 100-year snapshot of Houston’s first planned community. 70 photographs track Houston Heights’ development and growth (1890s-1920s), boom (1920s-1950s), decline (1960s-1970s), and revitalization (1980s-present). 22 photographs by Heights photographers offer a unique contemporary perspective on the neighborhood.

With fewer than 100 copies of this wonderful photo book remaining, we anticipate being sold out by the end of the year. Don’t miss this opportunity to have this book in your collection. Also, it makes a delightful holiday gift to friends, neighbors, or customers. The price is only $12.00 (includes shipping). You may order online here.

Studewood Ribbon Cutting

It’s official: the Studewood project is over, and the street is open from White Oak to 20th. On the morning of October 21, City Councilmember Adrian Garcia, representatives from State Representative Jessica Farrar’s office and the Texas Department of Transportation, and various neighbors and business owners met at the corner of Studewood and 11th for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Studewood ribbon cutting

Rose Garden

by Cynthia Corn Parker

Dutchmen's Pipevine before PolydamusDutchmen's Pipevine after PolydamusThese before and after pictures shown of the Dutchmen’s Pipevine, a host plant for the Polydamus Butterfly, are from my garden. I counted twenty caterpillars on the decimated Pipevine, which will recover its leaves. I have also planted one in the Rose Garden to lure the Polydamus to join the butterfly show of Sulfurs, Monarchs, Spicebush, and Gulf Fritillary for your enjoyment.

Polydamus butterflyThe Polydamus is difficult to photograph because it flutters constantly. The one pictured had just hatched and was drying its wings. Look for a black butterfly with gold dots along the wings that is in constant motion.

Calendar of Events for November-December 2006

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

 

1

HHA Historic District Task Force, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

2

3

4

Heights 1st Sat.

5

6

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

7

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

8

9

10

Deadline for December issue

11

Veteran’s Day

12

13 - recycling

HHA General Meeting "Native Plants." 7:00 PM, Fire Station

14

15

America Recycles Day

16

17

18

19

20

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

21

22

no PIP meeting until January

23

Thanksgiving

24

25

26

27 - recycling

HHA Education Committee, 7:00 PM, Fire Station

28

HHA Crime & Security, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

29

30

December 1

Holiday Home Tour & Market

2

Heights 1st Sat

Holiday Home Tour & Market

3

4

HHA Land Use, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

5

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

6

7

8

Deadline for January issue

9

Lights In The Heights, Euclid & Byrne, Woodland Heights

10

11 - recycling

HHA General Meeting, 7:00 PM, Fire Station

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

HHA Board Meeting, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

19

HHA Crime & Security, 6:30 PM, Fire Station

20

21

22

23

24

Christmas Eve

25

Christmas Day

26

27 - recycling

28

29

30

31

New Year’s Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Community Calendar

Events planned by other community organizations.

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

Saturday, November 4 and 18, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site for more information.

November 9-11 and 16-18, Opera in the Heights presents Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio at Lambert Hall, 1703 Heights Blvd. For more information or tickets, visit www.operaintheheights.org or call 713-861-5303.

Thursday, November 16, 9th Annual John Granato Celebrity Golf Classic benefitting United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston. Tee-off Dinner and Auction the evening before. For more information, call 713-838-9050.

At The Fire Station

Public events being held by other organizations at the Heights Fire Station

November 18-19, “Antiques In The Heights” 24th Fall Antiques Show and Sale presented by R & F Antiques. 50 local and out-of-town dealers will display their goods of dazzling jewelry, sparkling glassware, vintage linens, pottery, collectible toys, also fine and country American and Continental antique furniture. Admission is $5.00. Refreshments available through Carter & Cooley Deli. For more information, call Jennifer Baroski at 713-861-7750 or visit www.randfantiques.com.

Future History

December 11-13, Holiday Food Baskets

February 25, Awards Dinner

April 13-15, Spring Home Tour

June 3, Fun Run

October 21, Bicycle/Skate Rally

November 30 - December 1, Holiday Home Tour

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

Copyright 2006, the Houston Heights Association and/or the authors unless otherwise noted.

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

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

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

Staff and Contributors

Editor: Mark R. Williamson

Assistant Editor: Kathleen S. Williamson

November contributors:

David Beale, Sharie Beale, Janet Buchheit, Paul Carr, Janice Evans-Davis, Susan Love Fitts, Lauriel Hindman, Paul Luccia, Genie Mims, Taylor Moore, Cynthia Corn Parker, Jim Potter, Dean Swanson, Sheila Tybor.