Downtown Post Office Buyer Revealed; New Katy Shoppes; HPD’s House-Sitting Service


Photo of burned house on Taylor Ct., Fifth Ward: o texano via Swamplot Flickr Pool


22 Comment

  • I was about the get really mad at them renaming Reagan High School . But then I realized its not named after Ronald Reagan (Praise be His name), but John H. Reagan, postmaster general for the Confederate States of American during the civil war. Now I’m even more angry! How dare they!

  • RE: Gentrification Of Houston’s Third Ward: A Threat To Its African American Culture?
    I’m a bit perplexed by this article. Culture is not stagnant and is in constant change. How does one prevent culture change? Even in isolation culture would change albeit more slowly but it still will change over time. Now if the issue is about displacement then the city and/or African American groups need to organize and address that be it through subsidized housing or some other method to slow displacement. I say slow because you can never eliminate displacement entirely. All neighborhoods change and culture is in constant change!

  • Look, flying a confederate battle flag on government land is ridiculous for state government or any government for that matter. It belongs in a museum IMHO. If ppl want to fly it, fine. I’m not the thought police. But be prepared for others to ostracize you and people think you’re stupid (b/c most likely you are).
    Now that being said, I think we as a society need to think long and hard b/f we start to white wash history and just start renaming everything that was named after someone who was part of the confederacy.
    Case in point: John Henninger Reagan. Look him up. Was he part of the confederate cabinet? Yes. He was Post Master General (and actually good at it) as well as being Secretary of the Treasury. But he was also a US congressman from Texas before and AFTER the war. He was a senator for two years AFTER the war. He also the founder of the Texas State Historical Society.
    Does the fact that he was part of the confederacy negate his other attributes and accomplishments? Does UT need to take the statue of him down from the campus? Does the state complex need to rename their building after him? Does having things named after him start a constructive and introspective dialogue in which we are forced to look at both good and bad aspects of our history?

  • Re: Post Office Site: This site will play a key role in determining if Houston will ever see commuter rail. See the H-GAC Houston Intermodal Terminal Access Study

    Due to its proximity to existing rail and alternative transportation infrastructure, the post office site is the most logical and fiscally possible option for the downtown location of an intermodal transit center with commuter rail. The success of commuter rail in the region depends on making a downtown connection. Without a downtown connection, commuter rail ridership, specifically along the US290 corridor, will most likely produce only a quarter of the ridership. Transit oriented development with an integrated intermodal transit center isn’t only preferred, its necessary. Imagine how much of a walker’s paradise this area could become with TOD on the Post Office site and in Hardy Yards.

    Hopefully Frank can work something out. I’m sure front door access to an intermodal transit center might be a good selling point to future tenants.

  • Re: Reagan High School. I agree with most of what DNAguy stated. The Confederate Battle Flag has long been appropriated by racist groups in the South to be a symbol of their views towards minorities. That’s why there is an issue with flying it on government flagpoles.
    The naming of the school most likely had little to do with sending a message of hate to the Black community. Did the man have views that wouldn’t jibe with 21st century Houston? Probably. But very few people would think of segregation and racism when they drive by that school. I’d even wager there’s a fair number of people who drive by there and think of the 40th President of the United States.

  • I see the HISD PC brigade is looking for things to get “offended” over again. Ridiculous.

  • Thank goodness Sam Houston did not support the Confederacy or we would have to change the name of the city. But then again, he was governor of a state that had slavery. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh shit.

  • One could take the view that the Confederate flag symbolizes slavery, just as the Nazi flag symbolizes genocide. If one equates genocide with slavery (as I’m sure many do), then demonizing the Confederate flag to same extent as the Nazi flag makes sense. (Hammer and Sickle is OK, though).

  • George Washington owned slaves. We should change the names of all streets, schools, etc named after him and tear down all of the monuments of him.
    Can we please also erase all the names off the declaration of independence who owned slaves?
    Tongue in cheek above, but come on. as DNA guy says, his involvement in the Confederacy was not what this guy should be remembered for, and probably not what he would have wanted to be remembered for. Not that wikipedia is a compelling source, but judging his whole life on his short time working for the confederacy is hardly fair for all of his accomplishments during the rest of his tenure as a public official.

  • HISD can celebrate the renaming of this school with a giant book burning.

  • If they change the name to Ronald W. Reagan High School I MIGHT consider it. Other than that, forget it.

  • i would have just one small request, can we please re-name anything and everything that has ever been named after a politician, thanks.

  • I am not for cleansing the south of everything and anything that has anything to do with the civil war. However, naming Reagan High School after a former official of the Confederacy was probably not a coincidence. Race relations in Houston were very tense in the 1920s after the Houston mutiny and riot of 1917. In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan and their message of white superiority became very popular in Houston. The 1920s also saw a surge in the African American population in Houston (rural migration), causing the City to open Yates High School as the second “blacks only” high school in Houston. In the mid 1920s, the Texas Legislature passed a number of Jim Crow laws, including requiring racial segregation in 1925. Reagan High School opened in 1926 as an all white segregated school. Given the racial climate at the time, I think that it was not a matter of pride in “southern heritage” that caused city officials to name it after a figure of the Confederacy. The naming was intended to send a message to the black community that even though the South lost the war, the “white” south would never give in to integration.

  • Gentrification, or ‘clean up’ or ‘improvement’ of a property often comes with higher prices for homes which comes with a higher average income. So yes, when a property is improved, and prices are raised, people with lower income are pushed out.
    The solution is obvious: Don’t improve the area and prices will not increase. Or, better yet, make the area worse and prices will actually go down! Anyone think that is a good idea? Of course not.
    And “blacks” are not pushed out. Lower income people are pushed out. What’s to stop higher income blacks from pushing out lower income whites? Nothing.

    Is this a race issue? NO. Is it a class issue? Sure.
    (yes I realize that most of the lower income people moving out are darker complexion than the people moving in. But that has to do with statistical differences in income based on a million different things that are not relevant to this discussion)

  • “What’s to stop higher income blacks from pushing out lower income whites? Nothing.”
    I just want to repeat the above as further evidence of white people losing their damn minds.

  • @Cody “What’s to stop higher income blacks from pushing out lower income whites? Nothing.
    Is this a race issue? NO. Is it a class issue? Sure.”

    Actually, it’s exactly racism that prevents higher income blacks from pushing out lower incomes whites. It’s 100% a race issue. Banks routinely and systematically gave worse loans to black people almost regardless of income.

  • OldSchool – So white segregationists wanted to send a message to Houston’s blacks, and to do so, they named a high school after the Confederate… postmaster? What message does that send? There are numerous Texans who had military roles in the Confederacy that would have been a more effective choice – Dick Dowling, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, John Bell Hood, etc. Why pick a postmaster? How many people would have even gotten the reference?

  • @Cody: Gentrification, on balance, is not a bad thing. It brings with it improved schools, safer streets, less urban blight, improved parks and public assets like libraries…. It also brings more diversity, and density, too. The only real downside, and it is a doozy, is that poorer residents are often displaced, and that’s what’s happening in the Third Ward.
    I’ve said time and time again – but nobody’s listening – that instead of avoiding neighborhood improvements, we should confront the problem of displacement. Some areas are experimenting with land banks for this purpose: they buy pieces of land in rapidly gentrifying areas, lease the land to poor homeowners at a loss, and thereby allow those residents to stay. Another thought could be to target areas ripe for gentrification with tax credited housing – not only to jump start redevelopment in the area but also to lock-in affordable housing. A third idea could be to give low-income homeowners property tax relief the way we do for senior citizens. But instead of working on these ideas, we’re locked in arguments over gentrification. Neighborhood improvements are constantly blocked by the “improvement means gentrification and gentrification is bad” attitude.

  • @Mike: The reference is pretty easy to get when in 1925 the Texas legislature passes Jim Crow laws segregating schools in Texas and immediately thereafter Houston chooses to name its two new white only high schools and one new middle school after Confederate figures (Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Reagan) . It was also no coincidence that following the Brown v Board of Education ruling, Houston named three schools after Confederate figures (Albert Johnson, Robert E. Lee and Dick Dowling) during a very bitter struggle against desegregation.

  • As best I recall, the American history course at Lee was supposed to go through the Civil War the first semester; then pick up and run through the fascinating present the second semester. Whether due to our indifferent quality as scholars, or the teacher’s disorganization, I’m pretty sure we bogged down before the Mexican War (evidence this was the case: the subject was wholly novel to me when I read Stephen Woodworth’s “Manifest Destinies” a few years ago). After the break, we brightly forged on with Reconstruction, having skipped the Civil War entirely. (Again, the Second World War a distant chapter never to be reached. Thank heavens for Hogan’s Heroes and the frequent late-night movie appearance of “Tora!Tora!Tora!” or I would have entered college ignorant even of the combatants.)
    Which is to say, unless instruction has very much improved, I doubt kids are in much psychological danger from the name of their school. And indeed, in the current education climate, if it does feed grievance, is it not doing its job admirably?

  • There is way too much pissing and moaning about “gentrification”. It will happen no matter what. It could be tamed a bit if someone steps up as ZAW has suggested. End of story!

    Confederacy issue… I have no connection to anything Confederate, I grew up in the North and definitely no ties to anything Aryan what so ever. But all this talk of changing school names and erasing every trace of the Confederacy is akin to Romans, Greeks or others conquering lands then eliminating every trace of the conquered cultures by killing the elders and educators or destroying their art and language. I support removal of the confederacy flag form government property just as removal of the ten commandment and such. But to erase history is absurd no mater how vile it is. We can’t learn form history if it is gone.

  • Thank the real estate bubble for all the gentrification.

    And the South will rise again.