The creation of the Houston Heights World War II Memorial Plaza and Freedom Walk

Many lndividuals contributed to the ultimate success in the creation of the Houston Heights World War II Memorial Plaza and Freedom Walk. As a matter of personal privilege, and at the risk of leaving some unrecognized, we have chosen to honor them, in no particular order, with these personal remarks.

Lamar Good served as the original Association President. He met with the Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce (GHACC) board. varlous City of Houston departments. the Houston Heights Association (HHA) board and other interested parties in the Assosiation’s early planning years. His leadership created a firm foundation for our successful endeavors.

Norman Adams, Jack Fields and Mike Skowronek. of the GHACC, provided intelligent and persuasive guidance as that organization of community leaders “took us under their wing.”

Paul Carr and Walter Workman lent their support to gain HHA’s endorsement of our pro­ject. Carvel Glenn took the rough drawing by Lars Bang of an idea by the then Parks & Recreation Director, Bill Smith (drawn on the back of a napkin at the Yale Grill), for the floor emblem and the pylon, to create the basic design that was adopted by the association.

Council persons Felix Fraga and Helen Huey gave valued counsel and advice in navigating the various channels necessary to obtain the approval of the appropriate City of Houston departments.

The Municipal Art Commission’s Artie Lee Hinds, Drucie Chase and Pam lngersoll provided leadership in that organization’s processing of its approval for site on city property, the Heights esplanade.

jesse Gonzalez, John English, Richard Moore and Al Landeche, of SpawGlass Construc­tion Corporation, flawlessly delivered the completed memorial in five weeks to meet the dedication deadline. Not only did they beat the three-month forecast for completion, but came in almost $20,000 under budget.  Conrad Walton, of DCW Architects, produced the plans and specifications from the design concept by Carvel Glenn.

Clayton Lee (Mr. Houston Heights), the board’s president at the time of the dedication. was a one-man cheer leader and fund-raiser extraordinaire.

Nellie Betz, “Birdie” Good, Frances Wren Anderton and Billy lindley did much of the research to identify veterans to be recognized by the memorial.

Leonard  Ball, the Association Treasurer. had the vision to recognize the men and women of the Greater Houscon Heights area with the memorial.

Association  chairpersons Art Bleimeyer, Charlie lnglis, Elmer Telge, Kennon Rawls and Evelyn Donaldson Parker gave excellent leadership to the work of their committees in fulfilling their responsibilities.

Jimmy Franks; Lloyd Betz, Tony Wenzel, Mary Aline Earhart Austin, Richard and Irma Jenke, James Hodges, Jack Woodyard, Fred Huebner, O.J. Bischoff, Billie Buntin Whitefield, Harold Clark, Owen Young, Julian Philips and Don Henderson all provided advice and leadership in very many ways to bring our plans to fruition. Julian H. Philips. Lt. Col AGC, Retired and graduate of Milby, was Past President of the 36th Division Association. Julian provided guidance in matters relating to memorials. His experience in establishing memorials throughout Europe, recognizing the contribution of men from the “Fighting Thirty-Sixth” and their valiant service there, was most helpful. He also aided our research in assuring that all of his “boys” from the greater Heights area were recognized on the panels.

And flnally, we would be remiss if we did noc include, Lucille Aldridge Musgrove, Reagan class of 1942, whose advice “around the office” and assistance in filing the mountain of correspondence and other clerical duties in connection with our various mailings, made the duties of association Secretary, R. G. Musgrove much easier than would otherwise be the case..

Don Henderson