I know you are actively involved in the efforts to save the River Oaks Theatre and Bookstop aka Alabama Theatre. I have signed the petition and have written letters to Barnes and Noble and Weingarten Realty and have purchased a t-shirt. But I feel as though I could be doing more. I am a lawyer here in Houston with a firm that is located in the Galleria area. If there is anything I can do to assist you and your committee in its efforts, please let me know. I would gladly join a protest group, make phone calls, or whatever. Houston has done such a terrible job of preserving its history and we just can't let "progress" destroy what little is left of our history. As a native Houstonian, it saddens me greatly that developers are chipping away at what little is left of our history.
And ... from the bottom of my heart ... thank you so much for everything that you do for our city and for the community. You are a
champion of the people and this city. Thank you for that.
Margaret J. Graeff
Tribble, Ross & Wagner
3050 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 1350 > Houston, Texas 77056
Dear Ms. Farb,
I am so grateful for and appreciative of your efforts to save the shopping center. I am a native Houstonian, born and raised in Montrose. My friends and I took our nickels to the Tower theater on Saturday mornings to go to the Popeye Club movie. It and the Alabama no longer show movies but, at least, still exist. The River Oaks theater is the only active movie theater of the three left. I live in River oaks Gardens condominiums. I walk out my gate, go around the corner to the theater, and I'm nine years old again. I'd love to keep that experience.
I know you are aware of the sense of community that exists around the center. My neighbors and I hang out at Starbucks and Marble Slab so we get to observe the crowds that pour out of the theater on Friday and Saturday nights, window shop, and filter into the restaurants and other places for refreshment. The theater is the draw from which the other businesses benefit.
I realize that, as a publicly held company, Weingarten Realty's interest is the bottom line. I'd like to convince them that tearing the shopping center down is a bad business decision. In the first place, people patronize the stores in the center precisely because they are unique in appearance as well as content. In the second place, new businesses come to cities that offer cultural amenities to their employees. New business has a beneficial effect for real estate, i.e. Weingarten Realty
When I was a little girl, I went with my mother to the Weingarten's store on Richmond . The old store building now houses the Menil's Dan Flavin exhibit. Maybe as a last resort, you could convince the Menil Foundation to buy the shopping center as a work of art?
Again, thanks for your efforts. Many of us appreciate them.
Dear John and Carolyn,
The magnificent collection of pictures and articles, together with the DVD and beautifully framed photo, will be cherished by us forever.
Most of all, we will treasure the memory of both of you and all the other wonderful people we met at the fabulous UNICEF dinner. We were truly honored to be part of the great event.
Again, all our blessing to you both on your wonderful work. We can think of no nobler cause.
Most sincerely, and with much love from Elizabeth and me.
From Kelly Dietrich, Development Director, United Cerebral Palsy
Hope all is well with you and yours. I wanted to commend you on your efforts through the “Playgrounds Without Limits” Project. Working with the children that United Cerebal Palsy does (from mostly lower income households), we know first hand how important and necessary this work is.
United Cerebal Palsy of Greater Houston's mission is to serve individuals with all types of disabilities. We offer eight programs at little or no cost assisting children and adults with disabilities and their families. As you can imagine we have a great need to provide ‘respite' to the parents of our clients and two of our programs have grown out of that need: UCP's Day Camps and Family Day Out weekend program both offered in Houston, Montgomery and Ft. Bend Counties. Both programs rely heavily on outdoor activities. Having had our camps and Family Day Outs at the Multi-Service Center on West Gray and various other donated locations for the past ten years, we truly understand the need for accessible play areas.
It is shocking that as large a community as Houston is – the playgrounds are not accessible or readily available. Imagine being a parent and not being able to take your child to the neighborhood playground just because the sidewalk wouldn't accommodate his wheelchair or there wasn't any safety to the swings. We KNOW that play is a fundamental right of childhood. We also know that through play, children with disabilities or without learn to discover, interact with, and manipulate their world. The best result, for children with disabilities is their attempts to experiment with their own capabilities and the resulting sense of purpose and identity enabling them to work on the skills needed to build a more satisfying and independent life. And playing on a playground right next to a child without a disability - with accessible playgrounds, imagine what we could do!
We have always been very appreciative of your efforts for UCP and the disability community and although we can not offer monetary support, we would like to offer our assistance through volunteering in any form you may need. If you would like we would be happy to create a link from our website which has a considerable amount of traffic as well as include information in our newsletter. Please let me know. Look forward to hearing from you.