Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Houston Club-- Soon to be Demolished

If you read the news, you probably saw that The Houston Club is getting ready to be demolished.  They auctioned off most of the items that remained at the club on January 12.  Unfortunately, due to asbestos, some of the fixtures were pulled from the auction.

I was lucky enough to be there and win several items.  One of the coolest is the following:

Bronze plaque from the old Houston Club Building, for the Ben Love Suite. The Houston Club Building at 811 Rusk is currently being emptied to be imploded, and the Houston Club closed on January 1, 2013 at the end of the New Year Party. The plaque measures 16 x 24 inches.

The plaque reads:
We gratefully acknowledge the contributors
whose generosity made possible
The Ben Love Suite

Joan & Stanford Alexander
Beverly & Dan Arnold
The Honorable & Mrs. James A. Baker, III
Mrs. Lloyd M. Benson
The President & Mrs. George Bush
Brenda & John H. Duncan, Sr.
The Honorable & Mrs Charles W. Duncan, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Peter J. Fluor
The Honorable & Mrs. John L. Hill, Jr.
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald D. Hines
Carrie & Howard W. Horne
Mr. & Mrs. David B. Jones
Mrs. William S. (Jeanie) Kilroy
Bruce LaBoon
Cynthia & George P. Mitchell
The Honorable & Mrs. Robert A. Mosbacher
Kay M. Ostead
John & Bain Pearson Pitts
Ed & Ellen Randall
Lynda & David M. Underwood
Gene & Astrid Van Dyke

Some History:

Benton F. Love led Texas Commerce Bank to prominence and became a fixture in Houston civic and philanthropic circles. Love spent 22 years at Texas Commerce, most of them as president of the bank or its parent company, Texas Commerce Bancshares. He helped revolutionize Texas banking with modern business practices that emphasized aggressive sales and marketing. Under his guidance, Texas Commerce Bancshares expanded until it became the state's second-largest lending institution. After mergers with other banks, TCB became JPMorgan Chase, now the largest bank in Texas. Love was involved in scores of civic and charitable activities. He was the first chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership, which arose from the merger of the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council in 1989, and spearheaded bond projects and infrastructure initiatives.

The Houston Club was a private social club located in Houston, Texas, and was housed in the 811 Rusk Street building in Downtown Houston. The club members were a part of Houston's business, civic, cultural, and financial communities. Members included business leaders, cultural leaders, consuls general, doctors, entrepreneurs, governors, mayors, and presidents. Notable members included former President of the United States George H. W. Bush and James Baker. Maggie Galehouse of the Houston Chronicle said "In its heyday - the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s - the Houston Club was the power broker club in the city." The Houston Club is now closed and the club membership was merged with the Plaza Club, which is a part of ClubCorp. The closing and demolition of The Houston Club is seen as loosing a part of Texas history by many.

Available in the shop or on eBay. This great historical item is only $500.

I also have plates, and numerous posters, some of which were hand made, for specific events that were held at The Houston Club, lockers from the gym, etc.  The lockers are wood and will be broken into 2 or 3 locker units, and will have the original locks and keys.  The only modification that will be done to the lockers is to touch up paint on them or to do repairs.  

The Houston Club was very exclusive, and with the merger of memberships with the Club Corp Houston Downtown Plaza Club (which will be called The Houston Club), membership will not be as exclusive. 

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