Sam Houston Park
Under the supervision of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Sam Houston Park welcomes the public to enjoy its grounds. The park operates from sunrise to sunset, providing a serene oasis amidst the modern landscapes of corporate and civic institutions. Located a short walk from City Hall and surrounded by towering skyscrapers and busy highways, Sam Houston Park serves as a reminder of the grace and significance of those who shaped and improved Houston through their endeavors.
In 1899, Mayor Sam Brashear appointed Houston’s first park committee with the objective of establishing a city park. The chosen site, spanning 20 acres, became known as Sam Houston Park. The park was meticulously landscaped into a Victorian paradise, featuring winding footpaths that led past an old mill and a picturesque stream, complete with a rustic bridge. One notable structure within the park was the Kellum-Noble House, a 52-year-old building that had previously served as a school.
As Houston underwent significant changes in the 1950s, marked by rapid growth and the demolition of many historic buildings, the Kellum-Noble House faced the threat of destruction. In response, a group of passionate Houstonians came together to preserve tangible links to the city’s vanishing past. Their efforts to save the Kellum-Noble House proved successful, leading to the formation of The Heritage Society, dedicated to the restoration and operation of the house as a public museum. Since its establishment, The Heritage Society has acquired, relocated, restored, and opened nine additional historic buildings within Sam Houston Park.
The result is a cherished treasure for the city, showcasing a diverse collection of buildings representing various eras. From an 1823 cabin to an 1891 church constructed by German and Swiss immigrants, and even a mansion featuring the modern conveniences of 1905, each structure tells a unique story about the daily lives of different segments of society. Visitors can explore the narratives of freed slaves forging new paths, as well as prosperous merchant families who thrived during Houston’s early years.
Sam Houston Park holds the distinction of being a City of Houston Protected Landmark and a State of Texas Historical Site. It stands as a testament to Houston’s rich history and serves as a valuable educational and cultural resource for all who visit.