Sam Houston Park
Sam Houston Park is a proud oasis of living history and wide-open greenness amid modern monuments to corporate and civic institutions. Surrounded by the skyscrapers and freeways that typify 21st century urban life, a short walk from City Hall, the park reminds visitors to remember the gentility and nobility of the lives lived by those who built Houston and improved it through their efforts.
Mayor Sam Brashear appointed Houston's first park committee to oversee the establishment of a city park in 1899. The 20 acres chosen came to be called Sam Houston Park. It was landscaped into a Victorian wonderland, with footpaths laid out to pass by an old mill and cross a rustic bridge over a pleasant stream. The park also included a 52-year old house (Kellum-Noble House) that had long been used as a school.
By the 1950s, Houston was a much different city, and boom times meant that many fine old buildings from more genteel eras were being demolished to make way for a burgeoning commercial affluence. The threat to demolish Kellum-Noble House brought together a group of Houstonians dedicated to saving tangible connections to the vanishing past. Their efforts to save the Kellum-Noble House were successful and The Heritage Society was formed to restore and operate the house as a public museum. Since its founding, The Heritage Society has acquired, relocated to Sam Houston Park, restored, and opened nine additional historic buildings.
The result is a treasure for our city, with buildings representative of many eras, from an 1823 cabin to an 1891 church built by German and Swiss immigrants to a mansion built with all the conveniences available in 1905. The buildings tell the storiesof how diverse segments of society lived daily, from freed slaves building new lives for themselves to prosperous merchant families from Houston's early years.
Sam Houston Park is a City of Houston Protected Landmark and a State of Texas Historical Site.