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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Sam Houston Park

 
 
Sam Houston Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, December 30, 2012
1. Sam Houston Park Marker
Inscription. Sam Houston Park began with Nathaniel Kelly Kellum's purchase of 13 acres on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou in 1844 and 1845. Here Kellum built a brick factory, a tannery and his residence. The property was later sold to Zerviah Noble, who held it until it was purchased by the City of Houston in 1899 to become the first public park so designated by the City of Houston. The two-story brick house that had been built by Kellum in 1847 became the headquarters building for the Parks Department. The Park was known as City Park until its name was officially changed to Sam Houston Park in 1903.

By 1961, the park had expanded to nearly 21 acres, including property that had formerly been the Episcopal and Masonic cemeteries, yet the popularity of the park as a leisure site had begun to wane. In 1959 almost two acres of the land at the far western edge of the park had been taken for support piers and access ramps for the Interstate 45 elevated roadway, possibly contributing to the park's decline in attractiveness to the public.

The Kellum-Noble house stood vacant on the park grounds for several years, and by 1954 the City of Houston announced plans to raze the building. A group of preservation-minded citizens banded together to save the important landmark. The resulting Harris County Heritage and Conservation Society (now
Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, December 30, 2012
2. Sam Houston Park
known as “The Heritage Society”) not only achieved the goal of stabilizing the building and opening it as a museum, but also revitalized the park by creating a home for many historic and replica structures. Other public sculptures and monuments have also found their home in the park. Sam Houston Park has once again become a popular cultural, educational and leisure site for Houston's downtown residents.
 
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15758.)
 
Location. 29° 45.576′ N, 95° 22.246′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Bagby Street and Lamar Street (Allen Parkway), on the left when traveling north on Bagby Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Houston TX 77002, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Houston City, Republic of Texas (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancient Order of Pilgrims (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sons of the Republic of Texas (about 300 feet away); San Felipe Cottage (about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Pillot House
Pillot House in Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
3. Pillot House in Sam Houston Park
The 1868 Pillot House was built by Eugene Pillot and was originally located at 1803 McKinney. This house is an example of the Eastlake Victorian style. The repetitive balusters and two dimensional cut-out ornamentation seen on the house were made possible by new machinery of the time period. Architectural enhancements such as full-length windows and wrap-around porches illustrate how residences were adapted to the harsh climate of Houston.
(about 500 feet away but has been reported missing); Julia Ideson Building (about 600 feet away); Houston Public Library (about 600 feet away); Sam Houston Park Monument (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Houston.
 
Regarding Sam Houston Park. Though tours and the museum have restricted times, the web page for the park says it's open "dawn to dusk" every day, but when we made a special trip there on December 30 every gate was locked.
 
Also see . . .  Sam Houston Park. Wikipedia (Submitted on January 1, 2013, by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.) 
 
Categories. Notable Places
 
Staiti House in Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
4. Staiti House in Sam Houston Park
Built in 1905 in the Westmoreland Addition as a speculative house it was purchased by oil pioneer Henry T. Staiti. The 17-room house included the latest features, electricity, and had professional landscaping. The house was redesigned by Alfred Finn in 1915. The house was moved into Sam Houston Park in 1986.
San Felipe Cottage in Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
5. San Felipe Cottage in Sam Houston Park
The 1868 San Felipe Cottage is an example of the vernacular architecture of Houstonís German population of the late 19th century. Originally located at 313 San Felipe Road, the structure was moved to Sam Houston Park in 1972. Primarily a repository of Texas furniture, San Felipe illustrates the cultural legacy of the German working class, one of the predominant cultural groups in Texas.
St. John Church image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
6. St. John Church
The 1891 St. John Church was built by German farmers in northwest Harris County for their Evangelical Lutheran congregation. The church is a vernacular interpretation of the Gothic Revival style of architecture from the 19th century. Elements of the Gothic Revival style are evident in the churchís arched windows and shutters. The structure was moved from its original site on Mangum Road to Sam Houston Park in 1968. The handmade cypress plank pews in the interior attest to the “can do” spirit that built this elegantly simple place of worship.
Downtown Houston from Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
7. Downtown Houston from Sam Houston Park
Yates House in Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, December 30, 2012
8. Yates House in Sam Houston Park
The park contains several historic structures. Among them the Yates House which can be seen from the fence near the marker. The reference below to Freedmen's Town refers to a section of Houston that became populated by African Americans after emancipation. The 1870 Yates House is a simplified example of the Greek Revival style, with a symmetrical, full facade first and second story porch that is supported by Tuscan columns. Originally built by Reverend Jack Yates at 1318 Andrews Street in Freedmenís Town, the structure was donated to The Heritage Society and moved to Sam Houston Park in 1994. Construction of this house a mere five years after Emancipation illustrates the indomitable spirit of a formerly enslaved population that was transitioning into a free society in Houston.
Alcove With Statue in Sam Houston Park image. Click for full size.
By Jim Evans, January 27, 2013
9. Alcove With Statue in Sam Houston Park
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 467 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   8. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas.   9. submitted on , by Jim Evans of Houston, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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