In This Issue
|Newsletter of the Houston Heights Association|
|Volume Thirty-Five, Number Eleven, November 2009|
|Click here for the print-format PDF version.|
|Click here for back issues.|
|Click here to return to main HHA site.|
Holiday Home Tour Update
A Spirited Tour Even Scrooge Wouldn’t Miss
“Just hear those sleigh bells ringing and jing ting tingaling too…” yes, the holiday season is here which means the Holiday Home Tour is right around the corner! What better way to get in the holiday spirit than to visit all seven unique and beautiful homes right here in the Heights? The Heights is going to be hopping the first weekend in December, and you won’t want to be the only one who missed it!
This year’s Heights tour is easier than ever to attend, with shuttles available both Friday and Saturday with the main stop at the Heights Fire Station at 12th Street and Yale, and interim stops at each home. This year Regions Bank on 11th Street near Yale has also offered its lot as convenient parking to the Fire Station. If you choose to drive, three of the homes are grouped together so just park your car - preferably outside of the shuttle route - and enjoy the short walk between them. The shuttle map is available online so you can start mapping your route now. Home descriptions and pictures appear in the print and PDF editions of this issue; they are also available online here.
Get your tickets today online or stop by one of the local businesses and make your purchases in advance. This year, tickets are available at Another Place in Time, Buchanan’s, Eclectic Home, Koelsch Gallery, and Waldo’s, so you have plenty of opportunity to get in some holiday shopping, take a coffee break, and be ready for the Tour all at once. Tickets are $17 in advance for all seven houses or $20 late purchase (or $5 per house at the door), so get them early. Bundles of 10 tickets are available online for $150.
Stop by the Fire Station at 12th Street and Yale to support the Heights Women’s Club, who will be selling drinks, snacks, and hand-made crafts. [See article below.] In addition, the Library is offering some great extras with a marionette puppet performance of “The Night Before Christmas” Friday evening and Santa visiting on Saturday afternoon.
Remember, too, that the weekend is also home to Mistletoe Madness as well as the monthly First Saturday events, so there really is no excuse for humbugging it through December 4 or 5. Bring your friends, catch the tour and some bites at our many local eateries (they seem to be springing up by the day), and just generally remember why the Heights is simply the best place to live and celebrate the holidays!
What You Can Expect to See
This is a banner year with more homes than ever given we just couldn’t narrow it down further. Each of this year’s seven homes brings to life the charm and character that the Heights is known for. New construction, restored, and vintage homes, all of which will be in holiday dress, getting you ready for the season - this Tour has it all, and it’s waiting for you!
So mark your calendars today, buy your tickets now, and pump up your bicycle tires or choose your carpool buddies or hop the shuttle. It’s time to celebrate our fantastic community!
Holiday Tour Patron Party
You are invited to become a Patron of the Holiday Home Tour. Your Patronage includes a special tour preview and access to our Patron Party on Thursday, December 3. Enjoy a preview of select Home Tour homes open from 6:00 to 8:00 PM followed by a private reception at the beautiful home of Mrs. Patti Worthington, 1135 Heights Boulevard from 7:30 to 10:00 PM.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of HHA’s Holiday Home Tour, Patrons of the Holiday Home Tour are invited to a special evening of Yuletide cheer with preview access to many of the Home Tour homes as well as a special private reception at the home of Mrs. Patti Worthington, one of the most spectacular homes in the Heights. Mistletoe Munchies will be provided by the Heights restaurants listed below and Christmas Ale poured by St. Arnold’s Brewery.
Jingle Bells: $100 - 1 ticket to Patron Party, 1 ticket to Holiday Home Tour, and a patron gift from Jubilee.
Sleigh Bells: $250 - 2 tickets to Patron Party, 4 tickets to the Holiday Home Tour, 2 patron gifts from Jubilee, and a copy of Images of America: Houston Heights by Anne Sloan.
Silver Bells: $500 - 4 tickets to Patron Party, 8 tickets to the Holiday Home Tour, 4 patron gifts from Jubilee, a copy of Images of America: Houston Heights by Anne Sloan and Images of America postcards, and special recognition at the Patron Party.
Space is limited so BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE NOW! Please contact HHA web site for more information. or visit the
At press time, Restaurant Donors included Berryhill in the Heights, Big Mamou, Candelari’s, DaCapo’s, El Tiempo, Ibiza, Pizzitola’s, Rainbow Lodge, Shade, Stella Sola, and Textile Restaurant.
Heights Woman’s Club Holiday Fundraiser
The Heights Woman’s Club will have a Holiday fundraising event at the Heights Fire Station on Saturday, December 5 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. Light refreshments will be sold to tide over famished tour-goers. In addition, the Woman’s Club quilt will be on display, a unique collection of handmade craft items created by club members will be available for sale, and individually created holiday wreaths will be displayed and for sale as well.
Plan to come before the Home Tour begins to have some tea, sandwiches and cookies, do some early Holiday shopping, purchase raffle tickets for the quilt, find the perfect wreath to adorn your door for the holiday season, as well as learning more about one of Houston’s oldest women’s clubs still in existence.
Heights Holiday Hayrides Return
The hay wagon will be available again this year for Xmas lights/caroling rides through the Heights. The hayrides are another fun function of the Houston Heights Association. The wagon is available for Heights groups and HHA members. There is no charge, but you do have to make a reservation.
Berryhill’s on E. 11th is providing the hay again this year. On December 5, there will be hayrides every 40 minutes, starting at 5:00 PM from Berryhill’s.
The wagon can carry up to 30 persons. To schedule a ride between December 1 and 22, contact Paul Carr at 713-869-0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Several dates have already been reserved.
General Meeting: Shop Local
The program for the November 9 Heights Association General Meeting will be “Know Your Local Businesses.” The meeting, which will begin at 7:00 PM, will showcase businesses located in your neighborhood, Houston Heights.
This event is a great opportunity for residents of our neighborhood as well as from surrounding areas to learn about businesses in the Heights. Guests will be able to talk with business owners and learn about the products and services they have for sale. It is also an opportunity for local businesses to show the community all that they have to offer.
Come and show your support for local businesses by attending this exciting and informative event at The Historic Fire Station at 12th & Yale. Plus, you could win FUN door prizes donated by participating local businesses.
If you would like to participate and showcase your business, please e-mail Margarete at .
Constable Patrol Recruiting On West Side
The Houston Heights west side constable program is now open for registration. The west side area will be roughly between W. 20th on the north, Yale St. on the east, White Oak Dr. on the south, and N. Shepherd Dr. on the west.
The initial patrol will be eight hours/day, five days/week to be determined by the Constable’s office as the highest crime time for that particular patrol area. Our program would begin on January 1, 2010.
To initiate the Constable Program on the Westside, a minimum of 300 people must register and pay a $255 annual fee. The deadline is November 15, 2009.
You can pay online with a credit card or you can mail a $255 check payable to “Houston Heights Association - West Side” with the form supplied in the print and PDF editions of this issue to Houston Heights Association, PO Box 70735, Houston, TX 77270-0735. All payments must include service address, phone number, and email address.
If we do not collect from the minimum 300 participants, all monies will be refunded. If you pay by credit card, an $8 processing fee will be deducted from your refund (leaving $247).
We will need your help signing up the 300 subscribers, so please let us know if you are willing to talk to your neighbors. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tracy Englet at or 713-301-3296.
More information .
Director Election Schedule
Five of the fifteen positions on the HHA Board of Directors will be filled by election this month. These five positions are opening due to normal expiration of terms. The five nominees receiving the highest numbers of votes will fill the three-year terms.
The remaining schedule for the election will be as follows, in accordance with the By-Laws and Policies of the Association:
• By November 7 at the close of the post office, ballots returned by mail must be received with control numbers intact.
• November 9, 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. The results will also be published in the December newsletter.
HHA Is Now On Facebook
You can now follow the Houston Heights Association on Facebook. At posting time, we had over 440 fans. Visit and join them.
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 28 and in the Newsletter.
A copy of the nominations form and instruction sheet is included in the print edition of this issue. It is also available online .
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following 2009 Platinum sponsors:
Spotlight on Heights Business Member: Design & Inspiration
We continue with the newsletter feature “Spotlight on Heights Business Member” -- this month spotlighting Design & Inspiration. You may have noticed that recent newsletter issues have been focusing on a local business. These businesses are drawn from business cards collected at the Houston Heights Association Business Mixer. Stay tuned for the next Quarterly mixer in January.
Angela DeWree is principal of two companies: Design & Inspiration and Props2go. Angela, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area of California, moved to Houston with her father’s oil company transfer. Interestingly, the date of Angela’s move to Houston involved many seven’s - she moved here on 7/7/77, also her birthday. Angela has family who live north of town. Prior to settling in the Heights, Angela lived in the museum district and Montrose.
Angela moved to the Heights fifteen years ago. She was driving around, not really thinking about the Heights, when she drove down Arlington Street and saw the house that became her own. Her parents and grandparents had lived in bungalows in California, so she was attracted to this Arlington bungalow. The attraction of the Heights is the authenticity of the old houses and trees for this ‘tree hugger.’ Angela took it as a sign that this house was meant to be hers when she closed on her birthday and found a key left beside the sink on a key ring bearing the name Shirley, also her mom’s name.
Angela’s first Houston Heights Association contacts were Chris Silkwood, Julie Pettit, and Kelly Simmons. For those of you involved with the Boulevard Reforestation Project, you’ll remember Angela’s sign that measured the fundraising progress, which was located at 11th Street and Heights Boulevard. Through Julie and Kelly, Angela was recruited to help with spring and holiday tour collateral and to run for the Heights Association Board of Directors, where Angela currently serves. The acquisition of 1414 Ashland began Angela’s involvement with the tree counting projects.
Angela career includes Neiman Marcus in the Fashion Office and Visual Manager in Houston, Dallas, and Bal Harbour; Marshall Fields as Visual Manager of the Texas Division; and Tootsies’ Creative Director for 10 years. Angela’s event work has taken her throughout Asia creating galas and holiday décor for Hyatt Asia Pacific, grand openings for luxury clients across the country, and parties galore for art groups & museums. In 1995 she opened her own business. That is why she was perfectly suited for decking out the former Kaplan’s-Ben Hur with the mannequins for the 2006 Spring Tour Candlelight Dinner. Some Heightsites got a laugh when they saw the dusty mannequins being ‘bathed’ at the power car wash prior to ‘dressing’ for the event. You can see one of those Kaplan’s mannequins in the Karen Derr office today.
Away from work, Angela enjoys meeting friends for Friday night dinner and Sunday morning breakfast. The same Friday night dinner group has gathered for the last twenty years at Goode Company Taqueria. The Sunday morning breakfast group meets weekly at Harry’s.
As for Angela’s pets, they include Kitty DeWree, an 18-year old half-Siamese, half-tabby and finches. Angela acquired the finches after a Gala Party where they were placed in a wonderful Asian birdcage collection to decorate the venue. Following the fundraiser, Angela adopted all of the finches.
Next time you need advertising, merchandising or displays, please support Heights business member Angela DeWree and her company Design & Inspiration. If you’re a business member, remember to check the calendar for the next Houston Heights Association Business Mixer and come and meet Angela and other business members at the meeting.
Bicycle Rally Wrap-Up
The 2009 Heights Bicycle Rally had some problems.
Problem #1: The City of Houston canceled the opening of the MKT Hike & Bike Trail. This was to be the first event of Biketoberfest.
Problem #2: A detour had to be put into the rally route because of the unfinished bridge over White Oak Bayou.
Problem #3: “RAIN!”
In spite of these problems, 224 riders registered for the rally and 159 rode in the rain.
The awards ceremony at the end-of-rally party opened with Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee presenting Rally Chairman Paul Carr with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition to the Houston Heights Association for the 4th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally and Scavenger Hunt.
Addie Spicer, Heights resident and HHA member, was awarded a major prize for being the only rider to locate all the mystery sights and locations on the scavenger hunt. The team of Jim & Donna Bennett tied with Brian Tamplen for 2nd place in the scavenger hunt. All the riders under 12 years old were awarded prizes. Over a dozen riders won valuable prizes provided by area merchants.
The event raised $2,500.00 for the HHA Boulevard Beautification Fund. The event would not have been possible without the small cadre of HHA volunteers who worked on it and the support of the following businesses:
Spanish Flowers Restaurant, Berryhill’s, Big Mamou, Shade Restaurant, Java Java, Colina’s Restaurant, Hickory Hollow, Onion Creek, Cedar Creek, Grogan Building Supply, Artisan Wedding Cakes, I Cycle Bike Shop, Urban Bicycle Gallery, Blue Line Bicycle Lab, West End Bicycles, Houston Bicycle Company, Waldo’s Coffee Shop, Davis Hardware, and Venus Hair. Please show your appreciation by patronizing these businesses.
A group of Immanuel Lutheran students led by Ms. Cathleen Chevallier validated the riders’ rally cards at the midway checkpoint. Richard Hunt and members of Mosaic provided water to the riders at the checkpoint.
Thanks to special prize donors Kelly Simmons and Keith Crane. The music for the end-of-rally party was provided by “Big Al Bettis’s Blues Band” accompanied by famous Heights resident musician Dr. Rocket.
[Thanks also to Rally Chairman Paul Carr for creating the event and for organizing it again this year! -Editor]
The next Houston Heights Association Restoration/Historical Committee meeting will be held at 1648 Harvard on Thursday, November 19, from 7:30 to 9:30 PM. This home is a fine example of a Queen Anne Victorian rendition home painted with colors researched and applied from that period. Though it was built in 1991 by a pioneer of the Heights neighborhood revival, this “painted lady” does complement other beautiful original vintage homes nearby, and it is representative of what the Houston Heights was at one time. Intricate trim and woodwork utilize seven distinct paint colors. Reproduction stained glass, period lighting, inlaid floors, and carved mantels add distinct touches to this home. In keeping with the holiday season, this home will have multiple Christmas trees for all to see. Another unique feature to be seen is the New Orleans-style brick courtyard including flagstone and gas lamps with a fireplace.
This meeting will highlight an unusual example of a reproduction home in the Houston Heights. Overall, meeting attendees will see first hand what beauty and character can be achieved in the Heights historic neighborhood using modern construction techniques. For those interested in seeing one of the beautiful reproduction homes of the Height era, this meeting will be a must. Also, for those wanting to talk with a couple who brought their memories of Louisiana living into their backyard courtyard, this will be a most enjoyable evening.
The Houston Heights Restoration/Historical Committee meetings are open to the public quarterly to learn about history and restoration in keeping with the appreciation of the historic nature of the Houston Heights. Please let Committee Chairman Dean Swanson know if you have a restoration project, historical structure under restoration, or historical information or photos pertaining to the Heights to share at future meetings. Dean can be contacted at or 713-880-2832.
Education Committee Welcomes Principals
The September meeting of the HHA Education Committee has become an annual event that many local educators wouldn’t miss. Principals and administrators from the Heights area are treated to a relaxing social time with colleagues and committee members as a way to honor them for their dedication and hard work throughout the school year.
This year, the Education Committee would like to thank G Gallery on 11th Street and artist Wayne Gilbert for hosting the event and providing many “conversational” pieces of artwork.
During the event, a special presentation was made. Two “Exemplary” banners were awarded to the Houston Heights Learning Academy (a charter school) and Field Elementary for their recent TEA rating. Shown with the new banners are HHLA Principal Yvette East, co-Chair Stephanie Babb, Field Principal John Hendrickson and Sheila Tybor, former co-Chair and event coordinator. Congratulations to two more shining examples in education!
The HHA Education Committee includes educators, community members, and PTA/PTO parents who have an interest in improving the quality of education in the local schools, both public and private. The committee meets every fourth Monday at 6:30 PM and welcomes new members. For meeting location, please contact Stephanie Babb, Emily Cole, or Karen Derr, who serve as co-chairs for this school year ().
The Houston Heights Association gratefully acknowledges the support of the following Fall 2009 Bronze Sponsors:
Third Annual Victorian Holiday Tea
The Houston Heights Woman’s Club proudly announces the dates and time for the third annual Victorian Holiday Tea. This year’s Co-Chairs are Rosina Chevalier and Melvalene Cohen. The tea will held on Sunday, December 13, in the clubhouse located at 1846 Harvard from 3:00 till 5:00 PM.
The high tea will feature a general theme of imaginatively decorated tables. Each table will be lovingly arranged by a club member with her own china, silver, crystal, linens, flowers, and creative flair. Members enjoy dressing in Victorian costume complete with hats to keep the mood festive and fun. Anyone attending is encouraged to dress up too if you wish.
Most of you who have attended this event in the past know you can expect elegant buffet items such as tea sandwiches, ladyfingers, scones, and cookies. Proceeds from the tea go directly to the general maintenance and upkeep of the Historic Heights building where the club meets.
This year, reservations will be available ONLY by RSVP with your check made payable to Houston Heights Woman’s Club. No phone or email reservations can be accepted this year. Please mail your check with the name(s) of the attendee(s) to HHWC Holiday Tea, Post Office Box 7782 Houston Texas 77270-7782. The cost is $20 for HHWC members and $25 for non-members.
RSVP by December 9. For more information, contact Melvalene Cohen at 281-685-8444 or Rosina Chevalier at 713- 636-9819.
Hamilton Looking For Some Real Men
Hamilton Middle School has been selected to participate in the Houston Real Men Read program this year. They are looking for men who can volunteer to commit to reading and discussing a book in a 7th grade class for 1 hour each month. Readings will take place on the second Thursday of each month from 9:00 to 10:00 AM beginning on November 12. All materials and discussion questions will be given to the volunteers in advance.
The fundamental principles of the program are: Reading is fun! The community cares! A commitment to education can ensure success.
Hamilton staff members look forward to working with the community on this project. Please email Mrs. Christy Leflar at if you are interested in volunteering.
Our thanks to the following donors for their support.
Keith Crane & Kelly Simmons - Graffiti Abatement
Eileen Donaghy & Mary Stuart - Parks
Anna & Brad Eastman
Eileen Donaghy & Mary Stuart - Parks
April & Randy Johnson - Flower Gardens
Greg & Kim Kolanowski - Bicycle Rally
Jim & Doris Murdock - Land Use
Trudy Nelson - Graffiti Abatement
Please welcome the following new or returning members to the Houston Heights Association.
Recycling Dates Rejoining Garbage Pickup
The City of Houston Solid Waste Department has announced that curbside recycling in the Heights and Heights II areas will move to Thursdays starting in November. Most of the HHA coverage area is on the “Thursday B” schedule, which starts on November 12. Our calendar listings now show the new common dates in our area.
Calendar of Events for November-December 2009
HHA headquarters: The Fire Station is on the corner of Yale and 12th Streets.
Every Wednesday and Saturday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Historic Houston’s salvage warehouse is open. Call 713-522-0542 or visit their web site .
Every Monday, 7:30 to 10:00 PM, Houston International Folk Dancers introductory lessons at Oddfellows Hall, 115 E. 14th.
November 3, 6:30 PM, First Methodist Houston presents a community meeting with Dr. John Cisneros, Central Region Director of Houston Independent School District at their historic sanctuary at the corner of Main and Clay. Dr. Cisneros will provide a report card on our schools and help us better understand the many educational opportunities within HISD. Free childcare and parking available.
November 13-15, St. Andrew’s in the Heights at 1819 Heights Blvd. presents Mark Twain and the Laughing River, a one-man musical show by Jim Post. See for more information.
November 16, 7:00 PM, Houston Choral Showcase will hold an open rehearsal at Zion Lutheran Church, 3606 Beauchamp, giving a sneak preview of the December 13 “Let’s Have a Christmas Celebration” holiday show.
At The Fire Station
Every second Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 PM, and every fourth Monday, 8:00 AM to noon, the City Council District H Satellite Office is open.
February 28, 2010, Awards Dinner
April 9-11, Spring Home Tour
June 5, Heights Fun Run
October 3, Bicycle Rally
December 3-4, Holiday Home Tour
Copyright and Submissions
The Heights is published monthly by the Houston Heights Association. Its purpose is to acknowledge achievements and to inform HHA members of events.
Copyright 2009, 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
Amy Brroks, Paul Carr, Diane Easley, Tracy Englet, Lauriel Hindman, Irene Nava, Margarete Sanchez, Katrina Stilwell, Marianne Sulser, Dean Swanson, Lanna vonBaden.