Thursday, September 28, 2017

Those Places / Treasure Chest Thursday: 1959 Houston Directory; Sam Houston Park

photo courtesy Bill R. Hill

This isn't really my treasure - my high school friend Bill posted this photo on Facebook.  He found this 1959 Houston directory among his mother's things after she passed away three and a half years ago - you can see names and numbers scribbled on the cover.  Of course Bill is now getting requests from his friends who grew up in Houston to look up their parents' old phone numbers.

In 1959, my parents, Fred & Gerrie Pape, were living with me and my sister Karen at 7913 Cedel Drive in the Spring Branch area of Houston.  Bill says our phone number listed in the book was HOmestead 8-6002.  The Homestead exchange definitely rings a bell with me.  I was age 7 when we moved away from this house to 8015 Sharpview in Houston, where I memorized our number: PRescott 4-5681, later PR4-5681, later 774-5681.

Of the cover photo, Bill notes that "the predominate building on the far left is City Hall; in the center is the Bank of the Southwest. Both these buildings are still standing but cannot be seen from this vantage point with all the construction since."  (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)  He originally thought the photo was taken looking east on Allen Parkway, just east of Waugh Drive.

However, the statue on the left in the photo caught my eye - it's not in the Allen Parkway / Waugh vicinity today, so I was wondering if it had been moved.  After a little research, I figured out that this is actually the Spirit of the Confederacy statue in Sam Houston Park.  

Souvenir Folder of Houston, Texas - Confederacy Monument in Sam Houston Park, Houston, Texas, [1912-1924], Historic Texas Postcards, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 27, 2017,

The bronze statue on a pedestal of rough-hewn granite was sculpted by Italian immigrant Louis Amateis (who also did the Brownie statue at the Houston Zoo). It was dedicated in January 1908. A 1912 postcard shows it to be even higher above the road level then than it was on the cover of the 1959 directory.  It is still in the same spot, albeit lower (or perhaps earth has been mounded up around it), and more surrounded by trees, so it is hardly visible from this same vantage point, where Allen Parkway enters the downtown area just west of the park and splits into Lamar and Dallas streets.

 Spirit of the Confederacy, Sam Houston Park [6 January 2013, cropped] / Brian Reading - Own work / CC BY-SA 3.0

© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

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