Monday, July 28, 2008

Steamboat House Sesquicentennial

The Steamboat House, that strangely-shaped former residence located on the grounds of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, celebrates its sesquicentennial year in 2008. Constructed in 1858 on a tract of land east of Oakwood Cemetery, the house was named "Buena Vista" by its creator but became known as "the Steamboat House" because of its unusual design evoked the image of a double-decker steamboat. Sam Houston moved to the residence in 1862 and died there in July of the following year. After a series of owners, renovations, and an eventual relocation to the museum grounds, the building was presented to the state on March 2, 1936 - Texas Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Today@Sam: The Building Rises

Work continues on the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, which will be the largest classroom and laboratory facility at Sam Houston State University when completed in November. The project is now estimated to be 70 percent complete (photo credit: SHSU).

Friday, July 18, 2008

New Hotels Could Be on The Horizon

Today's Item reports on possible new business coming to Huntsville:
Two new hotel developments could be a step closer to reality in Huntsville if the proposed projects find favor among the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone board of directors on Monday.

Proposals for a Hampton Inn and Marriott Hotel project will be presented by Glenn Isbell, special projects director for the City of Huntsville.

The SHSU campus is mentioned, specifically:
Similar projects were proposed to TIRZ earlier this year, including a Hampton Inn & Suites north of Raven Nest Golf Course and on the south side of Smither Road west of Interstate 45.

Buffalo Lodging LLC of Arlington proposed a four-story building, consisting of 93 units, along with an indoor pool and spa and 1,000 square feet of meeting space. Construction square footage totaled approximately 60,000 square feet, and the estimated appraised value for the hotel was $5 million.

Another proposal from K Partners Hospitality Group of San Antonio was discussed by TIRZ for two hotels and a conference center on 13.28 acres of land east of Interstate 45 that housed the Sam Houston State University Agriculture Center. The deal that was projected to be finalized in December 2007 did not materialize.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today@Sam: Exhibit Shows History Of 19th Century Homes

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum will tour some of Walker and Montgomery counties’ prime real estate during the 1800s with a photo exhibit beginning July 17.

Mudcats and Dogtrots: Historic Log Buildings in Walker and Montgomery Counties,” includes approximately 45 pictures, that will be on display through Aug. 31 in the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center.

Taken by museum curator of exhibits David Wight and borrowed from Walker County Treasures, the photographs highlight the structural details of houses that were once so common they weren’t carefully documented, Wight said.

These structural details include not only differences in the way cabins were “notched” and whether round or square logs were used, but also how the fireplaces were built—with mudcats, a special kind of mud—and the dogtrots, the open but covered central breezeway that separated two “pens” or “cribs.”

“Many dogtrot log houses evolved from a single log structure; as the family expanded, a second crib was added,” according to Gordon Echols’s book “Early Texas Architecture.” “The name dog run is derived from the fact that the family dogs found the shade and the breeze during the summer as comfortable as did the residents.”

Inside the Bear Bend Hunting Lodge, built in 1850, where Gen. Sam Houston often stayed while hunting.

While some of the pictures in the exhibit date back to around 1896, many of the cabins that are part of the exhibit are dated as early as the 1830s, according to museum director Patrick Nolan.

Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.

The Walker Education Center is located at 1409 19th St.

For more information, visit the Sam Houston Memorial Museum online.