120 Years of Sam Houston Park: 1899–2019
by Ginger Berni
The Heritage Society Tea Room
Free for members, $5 for non-members
The green space that would eventually become Sam Houston Park was originally part of the land granted by Stephen F. Austin to John Austin in 1824. It remained undeveloped until 1836 when it was sold to Augustus Allen and John Kirby Allen for the location of a new town to be named Houston. When they laid out the plan for their real estate venture, this area was outside the city limits.
In the 1890s, social reformers nationwide began to promote an idea known as the “City Beautiful” movement. Advocates of the movement sought to improve both the scenery in urban areas and the inhabitants through beautification. They believed society’s ills would be swept away as the beauty of the city would inspire civic loyalty and improve morality.
Civic minded Houstonians embraced the movement and encouraged the beautification of their city as well. In 1899, under the leadership of Mayor Sam Brashear, the city acquired land to establish its first municipal park. The park was simply named City Park until 1902 when it was changed to Sam Houston Park.
Come learn more about the development of Sam Houston Park and how it has changed over the years.