Heritage, 2010, Volume 1 Page: 13
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This tree-lined street borders Proctor Plaza Park, shown on the right. The park is a popular gathering place for families that live in the Norhill neighbor-
hood. Image by Stan Davis.
to homeowners and keep them updated on what is going on in our neighbor-
hood." Viula Torgerson, a PPNA board member and creator of the Facebook
page, says that this forum was a way to "foster a different kind of community
involvement." She says that even though the number of Facebook mem-
bers is relatively modest (59) at present, she still considers the endeavor a
success. "Homeowners who might not have otherwise become engaged in
issues relevant to Norhill are now, at the very least, aware of the PPNA's
efforts to protect and improve the neighborhood."
Davis is hopeful that a larger-than-normal turnout of residents at a recent
PPNA monthly meeting is a sign that this effort to solicit more involved
members is paying off. He emphasizes that an active neighborhood associa-
tion is critical to ensure that Norhill continues to maintain its 1920's heritage
well into the future. "Right now the PPNA is working to engage the city in
strengthening the protections that come with a historic district designation."
Davis points out that at present Norhill's deed restrictions tend to be more
binding than the city's current Historic Preservation Ordinance. Maverick
Welsh, a former PPNA president and a current board member of the Houston
Archaeological and Historical Commission, which oversees compliance with
the preservation ordinance, feels positive that the situation will soon change.
He says, "In the near future, Houston will be where it needs to be in regards to
historic preservation. We have a great new mayor in Annise Parker; she under-
stands the importance of saving our history." A recent one-on-one interview
with the mayor that appeared in the January 31, 2010, edition of the Houston
Chronicles Heights/ Neartown section affirms Welsh's optimism. In the article
Mayor Parker was quoted as saying:
"I am a preservationist. I live in a historic neighborhood and I live in a
national registered house, a protected city landmark house. I have long stated
that I want to see our historic districts more protected...I'm particularly con-
cerned with intact residential neighborhoods and deed-restricted neighbor-
Texas Neighborhoods Threatened
In 2006, Preservation Texas named
the historically and architecturally
significant neighborhoods of Texas
cities to its endangered list. According
to Preservation Texas, these places
were facing "a disturbing new pattern
of demolition as newcomers move in
on their own terms. New owners and
developers are demolishing existing
homes in these neighborhoods to make
way for the construction of dramatically
larger new homes on the same sites."
The preservation advocacy group went
on to say that these homes, which could
measure from 3,000 to 10,000 square
feet, overwhelm neighboring homes.
Threatened neighborhoods that were
named include Monticello and Arlington
Heights in Fort Worth; Vickery Place,
Bluff View, Lakewood Highlands, and
Old Preston Hollow in Dallas; Pemberton
Heights, Old West Austin, and Tarrytown
in Austin; and Beacon Hills, Terrell Hills,
Olmos Park, Monte Vista, and Alamo
Heights in San Antonio.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2010, Volume 1, periodical, 2010; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254216/m1/13/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.