Planned 10-Week Dowling St. Name Change Kicks Off Tomorrow

Rendering of Emancipation Park, Dowling St., Third Ward, Houston

Houston Planning Commission chief of staff Brian Crimmins announced yesterday that tomorrow will be the day a proposed name change of Dowling St. is announced to those with property along the road. The planned timeline for a few public meetings and some comment-taking stretches over the course of the next few months, with the if-everything-goes-as-planned rededication date of the street as Emancipation Ave. set for Sunday, November 6. The proposed change would mark the second de-Dowling in Houston this year, following the shifting of Dowling Middle School’s allegiance over to Audrey H. Lawson as part of HISD’s lawsuit-inspiring Confederate expulsion.

Rendering of under-renovation Emancipation Park at 3018 Dowling St.: Phil Frelon

Emancipation Anticipation

15 Comment

  • I am supportive of this effort, but wondering why public notice should only include abutting property owners? There are far more stakeholders in a street name, especially a street that is a primary corridor for the area.

  • When I was an undergrad at UH, we joked that “Emancipation Park” was the place to go if one wanted to be emancipated from one’s wallet, car, or other valuables. I hope that this isn’t the case today.
    And, I’m sure a street name change will fix it right up. Send the bill to HISD: they have money to burn. (sarcasm)

  • I can see renaming this street “Emancipation” would actually hurt the prospect of redevelopment in the area, but perhaps that is the idea of the 3rd Ward leaders?

    By constantly reminding people of an event, of which no one alive today even experienced, you only psychologically cripple them as it only perpetuates the idea of a belief in a second class citizenry. “Downing” perhaps should be renamed, but bury the memory of “Emancipation” along with the skeletons of the past.

  • According WR’s reasoning, we need to stop celebrating Independence Day because it’s psychologically crippling.

  • WR that’ll never happen. It would destroy the permanent victim class of people that leaders of “underpriveledged” areas need to stay in power. Usually if there’s a problem to solve there’s good money to be made by prolonging it…

  • @Madame DeFarge I visited this park often in summers 2012 and 2013 for an adult kickball league. There were break-ins to cars. Mostly smash and grabs.

  • If not for the existing street in Cottage Grove, Dowling could simply be re-named Darling, which is how the old folks pronounce the name anyway.

  • It’s sad we have ignorant commenters about the past and just because it doesn’t reflect their winning American past experience, they want to believe something like emancipation shouldn’t be reflected, especially in an area that has more to do with that past than even the street that’s been named Dowling. You want to know why there’s division in this country, the people that want to just because they’ve lived in their own world, wanting to ignore anybody else’s American experience for theirs only and the way they only want to see it.

  • “…wanting to ignore anybody else’s American experience for theirs only …”

    Name the person in the Third Ward living today that has experienced emancipation (other than by their parents). The experience by any person today doesn’t exist.

  • It’s sad how much money (and votes) are involved with keeping a whole segment of society down or in the shadows.

  • No one even knows who this people are until they are told who they are and why they should be mad about it. Lee, and maybe Jackson, are the only exceptions and can we just say those streets/schools are named after the great Shelia Jackson-Lee and then everyone will be happy, No?

  • With SJL, we could squeeze out three new street names: Shelia, Jackson, and Lee! Hmm, wait, I guess “Lee” and “Jackson” could be subject to being misunderstood. Never mind, just move right along.

  • Some very uninformed comments here. Dowling St was purposely named after a very racist local bartender as in insult to the community that built Emancipation Park. It was insulting then and it is now.
    I live on Dowling and I have no problem with the name change.

  • @ Crankyoldcoot: THANK YOU!

  • It could be Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan Ave since the HISD magnet is a block away. The traffic generated by that school to that neighborhood is fueling revitalization.