Park Memorial Condos, New Apartments Built on Top of Old Rice Military Cemetery

Spooked former residents looking for some sort of larger, more mystical explanation for the disastrous end of the Park Memorial Condos at 5292 Memorial Dr. now have confirmation of a first-class backstory to hang their storytelling hats on. A little late for Halloween, a medical examiner has determined that the human remains discovered this summer during the condos’ demolition — and the preparation of the site for its replacement, the Park Memorial Apartments — belong to bodies interred at a cemetery that once graced the site. That would be the Crooms Cemetery, Preservation Houston’s David Bush tells teevee reporter Deborah Wrigley. The African-American burial ground was named after Felix Crooms (who scored nearby Crooms St. as well), was in operation from approximately 1917 to 1937, and also served as the final resting place for members of St. Luke’s Missionary Baptist Church.


By 1980, a whitewashed title — and an apparently incomplete buried-body-removal workflow — somehow allowed the property to become a portion of the site of the Park Memorial Condominiums in Rice Military. Now that the messy ownership battles, the lawsuits, and the crumbling vacant buildings have been cleared, former residents and neighbors may start to imagine that it was the ghosts of these twice-buried bodies that ultimately sent the park-like complex at the corner of Detering and Memorial to hell in a handbasket. A representative of JLB Partners, the developer currently building a less park-like 372-unit multi-story apartment building and 7-level parking garage on the cleared site, says the cemetery didn’t come up in the company’s archeological survey of the site.

Photos: Matt Sampsell/News 92 FM (top), David P. Ward (middle), HAR (Park Memorial Condos)

12 Comment

  • I guess at the end, Finger couldn’t make the numbers work so he sold it to JLB who thought they could.

  • After extended negotiations, Finger never bought the property. The condo owners sold the property directly to JLB.

  • And the once-lovely grounds that embraced the natural contour of the bayou terrain are now fated to be towers of concrete and a retention ditch.

  • Housing on a the site of an old graveyard. Wasnt this the premise of Poltergeist?

  • Uh oh. A former cemetery. Yikes. If I were the developer I’d have the whole site cleansed of “restless” spirits,ASAP. Never know what those dead people may do to the property.See: ‘Poltergeist’. Just saying.

  • Something always seemed wrong with that location, now I know what it was. Eery even when I toured a condo which was pretty nice back in 2005-2006 something seemed off/odd.

  • Why am I not surprised? It’s not like there are any other cemeterys on the bayou.

  • if you dig deep enough everything dead is in the ground or water that’s what nature/biology/planets do

  • As a former owner of a condo in Park Memorial (just a few feet south of the slab where the bones were found), I hate to break it to you hopeful readers, but there was not even remotely anything spooky or creepy that occurred on the grounds during the 5 years I lived there. There simply wasn’t anything going on…paranormal or otherwise.


  • Once again THC isn’t doing their job or they would have researched there had been a cemetery on the property and stopped construction until the bodies were reburied at another location. Yet another location that THC shows their incompetence doing their job of protecting historic sites.

  • I KNEW IT! I lived in one of the condos for 8 years and I swore I would hear things. :(
    I loved my condo and was sad to have to leave. I guess if I knew then what I know now, would I have stayed. HECK YEA!!! Perfect location!

  • Reminds me a bit of the old Poltergeist movie script…