OR HOW TO AVOID 1HE
• i •
priced drinks and a good view of the city.
On the plaza in front of the Central
Public Library (corner of Bagby and Mc-
Kinney) stands Claes Oldenburg's Geometric Mouse. A few years back, an anonymous donor offered the piece to the city,
whereupon City Council demonstrated that
it is not only gynephobic and homophobic,
but esthetophobic as well by declining the
gift. Local art people began an intensive
lobbying effort which eventually changed
Council's collective mind. After the new
vote, one councilmember, a former major
league ballplayer, observed, "Those folks
convinced me that Oldenburg is a real pro,
and that's what Houston needs more of."
Inside the library is an exhibit about women architects.
Architecturally, history hardly began
here until 1900; but just across the street
from the library, in Sam Houston Park, the
city has carefully preserved a half dozen
19th century houses in various styles.
If you go there, you will be struck again
by how clean we make our history around
here. Hovering in the background of the
park we have a fine old chunk of 19th
century monumentality: a large, naked,
winged male figure known locally as (what
else?) the Spirit of the Confederacy.
To get away from the madcap com-
merciality of downtown try Buffalo Bayou
Park, a green strip some two miles long
which starts just west of Sam Houston
Park. Also, in front of City Hall, at the
corner of Smith and Walker, you will find
Martha Hermann Square Park, a popular
luncheon spot. George Hermann donated
the land to the city in 1910, with the stipulation that anyone who wished to do so
should be allowed to spend the night in
the park, undisturbed by the police. But
ingenious officials got around that by installing a sprinkler system.
City Hall is also the site of the recent battle royal between Mayor Fred Hofheinz and City Council concerning the city
office of Women's Advocate. One of Hof-
heinz's early achievements following his
election in 1973 was to create the position
of Women's Advocate, fulfilling a promise
he had made to the Harris County Women's Political Caucus. Poppy Northcutt
served as advocate for two years. Her successor is Nikki Van Hightower. Houston's
Oldenburg's Geometric Mouse in front of
the Central Public Library
Other downtown points of interest:
The Antioch Baptist Church (corner
of Robin and Shaw, two blocks west of the
Hyatt), Houston's oldest black church,
dating from 1874.
Christ Church Cathedral (corner of
Fannin and Texas), the oldest church in
Houston Center (corner of Fannin
and Walker)-the beginnings are already up
of this massive example of compensatory
urban reflex. It is a futuristic complex of
high-rises apparently designed to show
the Rockefellers how it should be done.
La Carafe (813 Congress), the oldest
surviving Houston building, now a bar.
South of downtown you will find the
Rothko Chapel with Mark Rothko's last
paintings, a series of enormous, somber
canvases. Located at the corner of Sul
Ross and Yupon, the chapel is open daily
from noon to eight and provides an extraordinary place of peace and solitude to
escape the confusion of the city. In front
of the chapel you will see Barnet Newman's Broken Obelisk.
You might as well drop in at Neiman-
Marcus (corner of Post Oak and Westheimer) and stroll into the adjacent shopping center, the Galleria. The best thing
that N-M does is gift-wrap. The best way to
approach the Galleria is to see it as a giant,
four-level-mall-with-ice-rink, air conditioned gift-wrap. For what it's worth, it was inspired by the 19th century mall of the
same name in Milan.
For a fast trip into the bizarrely
quaint, you might try walking through the
Rice University (6100 South Main) campus. The style of the original buildings
(dating from the teens of this century)
The easy way!
1 Houston in brief
2 Houston and Astrodome
3 NASA—LBJ Space Center
4 Galveston Isle
5 Historic San Jacinto
Battleground, Port of Houston
6 Evening Shopping Tour
7 Evening Escapade—
Night life tour of Houston
contact your Hotel Bell Captain
for tickets and reservations
IN APPRECIATION OF JUST A FEW OF THE WOMEN
WHO HA VE HAD A DEEP PERSONAL IMPACT ON OUR DE VELOPMENT.
IF YOU COULD KNOW THEM AS WE HAVE,
YOUR LIVES WOULD BE GREATLY ENRICHED.
B. J. Walker
Dr. Carol Weiner
own Anita Bryant, one Geneva Kirk
Brooks, in union with various other minds
around the city, a few months ago convinced the all-male Council that Van High-
tower should go. The Council went so far
as to abolish the position of Women's
Advocate, whereupon the mayor promptly
re-appointed Van Hightower as Affirmative
Action Specialist in the mayor's office, so
that she could continue the work she had
In 1972 the old Rice Hotel (corner
of Main and Texas) was the site of trr fL*i
national women's political convention
since Seneca Falls. One may savor the neat
historical irony in the fact that that event
occurred on the very spot where stood the
first capital of the Republic of Texas, an
entity which was surely one of your more
rabidly patriarchal political undertakings
of recent centuries.
might most discreetly be referred to as
extravagantly "Mediterranean." Rice, a
rich, private institution of peculiar sexual
orientation (one female for each two
males), exists here instead of New Jersey
because, surprisingly, Texas 19th century
law was less sexist than New York law of
the same period.
Difficult to find but worth the effort
is Bayou Bend (at No. 1 Westcott), the
mansion of the Hogg family. Jim Hogg was
a governor of Texas in the 1920s. His
daughter named (believe it or not) Ima
Hogg, who died only recently, was one of
Houston's outstanding patrons of the arts.
In the visual arts, her primary gift to the
city was the family home, filled with room
after room of period furnishings of the last
(Continued on page 34)
DAILY BREAKTHROUGH NOVEMBER 18, 1977 PAGE 31