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

Benjamin Apartments

1218 Webster Street

Benjamin Apartments Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Linda Frost, Beverly McMahan, September 1, 2007
1. Benjamin Apartments Building Marker
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark; National Register of Historic Places, City of Houston Landmark.
Inscription. Completed in 1924, this apartment building is a good example of multi-family housing constructed in the south end of downtown Houston after World War I. Successful businessman Benjamin Cohen (1875-1951) hired noted Houston architect Alfred Finn to design the building. Its style is simple but reveals influences of the Arts and Crafts movement prominent at the time. Cohen and his wife, Annie (Solomon) (1875-1951), lived in one of the apartments while renting the remaining three to other prosperous Houstonians. After Cohen sold the building in 1945, it was used as a private hospital but lay vacant for much of the late 20th century. A rehabilitation project in 2000 returned the Benjamin Apartments to viable use as commercial office space. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 2001
Erected 2001 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12560.)
Location. 29° 44.79′ N, 95° 22.182′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is at the intersection of Webster Street and Caroline Street, on the right when traveling east on Webster Street. Touch for map. Nearby is (the old) San Jacinto High School (now Houston Community College). Marker is near Downtown Houston, Texas. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1218 Webster St, Houston TX 77002, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
Benjamin Apartments Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Linda Frost, Beverly McMahan, September 1, 2007
2. Benjamin Apartments Building Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Joseph Hospital (approx. 0.2 miles away); Houston Fire Station No. 7 (approx. 0.3 miles away); First United Methodist Church of Houston (approx. 0.6 miles away); First Evangelical Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); Antioch Missionary Baptist Church (approx. 0.7 miles away); League of United Latin American Citizens, Council 60 (approx. 0.7 miles away); Temple Beth Israel (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Regarding Benjamin Apartments. The Benjamin Apartments Building was built with Acme Brick and Bruce Hardwood floors. The building features mosaic tile work in the bathrooms, kitchen and entry. The building was originally designed in 1919, as a three-story, 12-apartment, L-shaped building to be located at the corner of McKinney and Hamilton Streets in Downtown Houston. In October of 1923, a contract was let out to general contractor Louis Perry to build a two-story, 4-unit rectangular building at Webster and Caroline.

The patron, Benjamin Cohen, was of German-Jewish descent. He was a prominent retailer of women's fashion wear in Houston during the first half of the 20th century.

The architect, Alfred Charles Finn (1883–1964), was born in Bellville, Texas,
Benjamin Apartments Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By Linda Frost, Beverly McMahan, September 1, 2007
3. Benjamin Apartments Building Marker
the son of Edwin E. and Bertha (Rogge) Finn. He grew up in Hempstead, where he attended public schools. In 1900 he moved to Houston and worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad as a carpenter, then as a draftsman. Between 1904 and 1913 Finn was employed by the architects Sanguinet and Staats, first in Dallas (1904–07), then in the firm's head office in Fort Worth (1907–12), and finally in its Houston office (1912–13). Finn began independent practice in Houston in 1913. His first job was to supervise construction of the Rice Hotel, designed by the St. Louis architects Mauran, Russell, and Crowell for the Houston entrepreneur, Jesse H. Jones. This began his life-long association with Jones, Houston's foremost real estate developer and builder. During the first years of his practice Finn designed a variety of building types. These included the ten-story Foster Building (1914), for newspaper publisher Marcellus E. Foster, and the adjoining Rusk Building (1916), for Jesse Jones; large houses for Sid Westheimer (1920) and Walter W. Fondren (1923) in Montrose, Earl K. Wharton in Shadyside (1920), and Sarah Brashear Jones in Courtlandt Place (1921); the Humble Oil and Refining Company's first retail service station (1918, demolished); the Melba Theater in Dallas (with W. Scott Dunne, 1921, demolished) for Jesse H. Jones and John T. Jones, and buildings in Shreveport, Wharton, Bellville, and Sealy. By the mid-1920s Finn had become Houston's leading commercial architect, producing skyscraper office buildings, hotels, retail stores, and theaters in the downtown business district.
—By Stephen Fox for The Handbook of Texas Online.
Additional keywords. Arts and Crafts, architectural movements, certified historic rehabilitation project, RTHL, National Register, city landmark, Harris County Historical Commission, Acme Bricks, Hull Historical, Depression-era, Bruce Hardwood Flooring
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceLandmarksMan-Made FeaturesNotable BuildingsNotable PersonsScience & MedicineWar, World IWar, World II
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2010, by Patrick Van Pelt of Houston, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,814 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 28, 2010, by Patrick Van Pelt of Houston, Texas. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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