If the top ofÂ that pointy gazebo currently camped out atÂ theÂ about-to-open Park for Humans and DogsÂ by Glenwood Cemetery looks familiar, it’s because it’s been lurking around the Houston landscape for the last 115 years or so.Â This morningÂ Susie Tommaney inventories the history and internet loreÂ surrounding the house at 2201 Fannin St., from which aÂ cupola nicknamed the Witch’s HatÂ was plucked just before the home’s 1997 demolition.Â “Not many people realize that the cupola was saved,”Â TIRZ 13 chairÂ Claude Anello tells Swamplot, sending along the photo above of the hat’s installation, as well asÂ hisÂ accountÂ of the hat’s rediscovery, reshaping, and ground-up career-building:
“I got a call a few years ago from Carl Detering, who had stored it in his outdoor storage yard at Deteringâ€™s on Washington. He was selling the property and told me that someone needed to get it or he would be forced to throw it in the dumpster. When I went to look at it, it had basically melted,Â [and] a tree had grown up through the middle of it (removed prior to photos)Â . . .Â Several people told us that it was beyond repair, but we dismantled it, had it reconstructed, and designed the park around it. It sat on the ground for a couple of years while we dealt with issues related to park design and permitting.”
Here’s a few tree-free glamour shots ofÂ the Hat prior to thoseÂ reconstructive procedures, circaÂ late 2013:
The park opens officially next Saturday; Tommaney reports that the next-door 2411 Washington apartments have adopted the space and will maintain it.
- Houston’s Witch’s Hat Finds a New Home [Houston Press]
- Previously on Swamplot: Cemetery-Side Digging for Human and Dog Park Wrapping Up in Old Sixth Ward
Photos: Claude B. Anello (top, 3rd, 4th), Courtney Pfleger (2nd, 5th)