Thursday, July 25, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Wortham Fountain, Tower, and Mausoleum, Houston, Texas

Wortham Mausoleum, Magnolia Cemetery, Houston, Texas
Photo courtesy Julie Karen Hancock (Cooper) Jackson
Above is a photograph I took of the Gus S. Wortham Memorial Fountain (better known as the Dandelion Fountain) and the American General Life Insurance Company building at 2727 Allen Parkway in Houston, Texas - today known as the Wortham Tower.

My father, Frederick Henry Pape, worked for the American General Life Insurance Company in this building from approximately 1965 (when the building was completed) through 1985 (when he was transferred to the Dallas area).  The fountain was constructed in 1978.

I worked here two summers as well - 1975 and 1976.  The first year, I was a mail clerk with the data processing department - but I was also taught how to code new insurance policies for keypunching (and, in fact, developed a little how-to manual for future employees).

American General was founded by Houston philanthropist and civic leader Gus Wortham in 1926.  Wortham died on September 1, 1976, and is buried next door to the Wortham Tower in the historic Magnolia Cemetery,   Dad told me the story that Wortham picked the spot for his mausoleum to give him a view of the company he founded.  I remember being able to see the cemetery from Dad's office.

The black-and-white photograph was taken by me in the autumn of 1981, when I was taking Art 365, Still Photography, at Corpus Christi State University, to refresh my darkroom skills for my new job with the Information Services office of the City of Corpus Christi.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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