Poor Charlotte!

(Above Photo Credit:  Handout and Houston Chronicle)  

Step back in time to July of 1939; when our current Houston City Hall’s building construction was completed.  The construction workers made between .40 cents up to a whopping $1.85 and hour! Nylons (panty hose) went on sale for the first time…yuck!  The Wizard of Oz would be released nationally, on August 25, 1939. The average cost for a new car…$750! A new home might set ya back about $4,000! A loaf of bread about .08 cents (without a coupon or reward card!!!). Anyway…the City Hall building was built in 1939 FYI 🙂 .

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I captured this in the lobby of City Hall.  I had to giggle reading this as if you live in Houston, you know “forever” for any building seems comical as we tear them down and put something new in its place constantly!! It is pretty nevertheless and of course wasn’t what the words above meant,  🙂 – I just thought it in my head and decided to “share”.

Joseph Finger, an Austrian born architect, was awarded the contract to build City Hall despite current Mayor Fonville’s opposition as he wanted A.C. Finn, the architect of the Jefferson Davis Hospital to win the contract.

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The sick side of my sense of humor couldn’t resist posting this photo and statement!!!  (you know how we all love to clown on our politicians – but there ARE some good ones that do try)

Mayor Fonville would be the first Mayor to move into the new digs that December. He served as Houston’s Mayor 5 times but not consecutively.

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The lobby ceiling

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If you look, you will see the easel display’s that we’ll get to in a second
Source: http://www.houstontx.gov/abouthouston/cityhallhistory.html

“Daniel MacMorris of Kansas City. The mural depicts industry, culture, law and municipal administration in Houston. In one panel a man appears to be wearing a Confederate officer’s uniform under his cape. Colors of dusty pink, saffron and rosy red were used to blend with the marble and the soft lighting in the lobby. The centerpiece of the mural is a plaster relief of the Western hemisphere, with the star of Houston in the center. The relief is surrounded by the signs of the zodiac. Local artists Grace Spaulding and John and Ruth Uhler assisted in painting the mural. Herbert Schneider of Houston did the gold-leafing. The artists were paid $6,000 for their work.”IMG_5819-1

Sculpturist, Lori Betz of Porter, Texas was commissioned to create the above pieces. (Left) Augustus Allen (Right) John Kirby Allen (standing at 5’5″) in front of City Hall.  We always equate the Allen Brothers as Houston’s founding fathers due to their land purchase in 1836 to start Houston.  But where in the world is Charlotte Baldwin Allen????!!!! (I learned about Charlotte from Mr. Rosen of Houston Historical Tours).  It was supposedly Charlotte, who was unable to own property as a married woman, (the law back then), that used her money to buy the land! Poor Charlotte – she foots the bill but got no statue!

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This is in the area connecting the parking area to the City Hall Entrance
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Remember above I mentioned I would tell you about what was on the easels of the lobby of City Hall? This is what was there 🙂
I just took photos (below) of the photos displayed, but see above for the artist Amit and Naroop – The Sikh Coalition

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So there ya have it – it’s not all about politics at Houston’s City Hall 🙂 

(Above is over 28 minutes but it is fun to see what it was like back in the day)

YouTube by UH Memories “World War 2 – The University of Houston: War and Growth, 1939-1950”

Thanks to my loyal followers for always stopping by and leaving their comments!!! I appreciate each of you!!!! It keeps me going 🙂 

Many thanks,

Elizabeth and Max

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What about me??! Where’s my statue for being the cutest pup in Houston?!!

 

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Houston Underground Tunnels – My Tour With Houston Historical Tours! (Highly Recommend!)

Traveling to Houston for the first time – wonder why there aren’t more people walking around downtown??? Well, the answer most likely is that they are walking 20 feet below the sidewalks, underground in the 7 miles of underground tunnel systems – 95 city blocks!  

downtown tunnel
A More Detailed Tunnel Map
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Houston City Hall

I began my tour with Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours in front of City Hall. You truly can’t image the incredible wealth of knowledge about Houston that Mr. Rosen possesses!!! Dates, fun facts, history and humor are what made this tour absolutely SPECTACULAR and fun!!! I would HIGHLY recommend Houston Historical Tours.  (I have zero affiliation, etc. with them-just my 100% honest review)

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My fun tour group in front of the San Felipe Cottage (1868), in Sam Houston Park – no, I didn’t just see the tunnels! 🙂 but I wouldn’t want to spoil your Houston tour so not telling all I learned on the tour 🙂 – but it was a lot!! 🙂 

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See anything special about this building? I’ve gone past it so many times…it’s the giant T for Texaco!!
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The tunnels are easy to get lost in and you’ll crack up listening to more stories from Mr. Rosen! He rescued a few lost, grateful folks during our tour.
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Each tunnel segment is quite different from the next based on the time it was built and added to the tunnel system!
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It wasn’t packed with people as it was Good Friday, but pretty cool discovering underground Houston right?!
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Notice the difference in flooring and walls throughout (see above 2 for comparison)!
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If this were noon, Monday-Friday on a regular work week it would be jam packed!
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Aren’t all the different aspects of the Houston Tunnels wonderful?!

(YouTube by Fox 26 Houston)

Let’s face it…Houston is HOT – I swear it gets to 200F degrees!! Ok, I’m slightly exaggerating but 100F degrees happens plenty of times!!! I know when I worked downtown, that’s where I would be! Everything from restaurants, dry cleaners, dentist offices, shops – you name it – all can be found underground. 500+ businesses and 10 food courts await your arrival!

The tunnels were underwater due to Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 but have since had special doors, etc. installed to prevent a repeat performance.

I knew Tunnel Tours existed and reached out to Mr. Phil Stewart who is the President of the Professional Tour Guide Association of Houston and Owner of Discovery Tours. Although Mr. Stewart is not offering Tunnel Tours, he was kind enough to refer those interested to both Urban Adventures and Houston Historical Tours. I emailed both and Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours responded right away to offer his assistance in providing me photos as I can never seem to take the tour as I work during the week. As luck would have it though, I was off for Good Friday so guess what? Yes!!! I  got to take the Houston Historical Tours – Tunnel Tour!!!

In researching a little before my tour, I learned Mr. Rosen of Houston Historical Tours has been conducting tours in Houston since 1985.  He was also a Professor of History and Government with Houston Community College and has been either selected/nominated for Teacher of The Year four times! Pretty good credentials I’d say!!

Note:  If you are visiting without a tour, please be aware the tunnel system is only open Monday-Friday 6am-6pm!

Discover Houston Tours, LLC can be reached at (713) 222-9255

Houston Historical Tours at (713) 392-0867 (See their website for Monthly Specials!)   “Houston Historical Tours offers three different 2.5 hour tunnel tours that in totality cover the vast majority of the tunnels.  They range from 2.5 to 3.5 miles.  Tour A goes into several historic buildings as we see and learn about the interiors.  It has the least amount of walking.  Tour B has the most variety with sky bridges an observation deck, and the most visual stimuli of different buildings.  Tour C goes through long corridors and into hotels and businesses.  It has the most walking.”

 Every individual who prints and gives us a copy of this blog post to Houston Historical Tours will receive a:

$$$$   20% discount!!!  $$$$

 

(Courtesy of Mr. Keith Rosen of Houston Historical Tours)

Thanks for stopping by! I always love to read your comments!! I’d rate Houston Historical Tours as 5 stars easily, no question!!

Elizabeth and Best Pup in the World…Max 🙂

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I’m doing investigative research for Ma!