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Former Suzanne Sellers Mural on the Houston Club Building Memorialized

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Cameron Pocket Park Photo

Cameron Pocket Park Photo

Pocket Parks

Have you ever heard of pocket parks? A pocket park is a tiny space compared to other spacious recreational areas. Think of it in terms of a pocket, often a fractional piece of a more substantial garment like a suit jacket, pants, or dress. It may be small but still has value.

The Cameron/JPMorgan Chase Park qualified as such. This park was a small downtown Houston urban space dedicated in the year 2001. Suzanne E. Sellers painted a gorgeous mural on the side of the Houston Club Building, which no longer exists.

The design of this tiny park was for people of Houston or visitors who happened to be in the downtown area and who might have wished to enjoy some outdoor air and inviting space in which to spend a few moments or linger a while longer.

Cameron pocket park mural

Cameron pocket park mural

Muted Hues of Houston by Suzanne Sellers

Suzanne Sellers is a talented artist who got her undergraduate degree in art education at Southwest Texas State University. She went on to acquire her master's degree in art at the University of Houston.

Muted Hues of Houston was the title of this mural, which showcased different historical images of Houston. The large painting covering 4000 square feet of painted space and measuring 40 by 95 feet was on one corner of the Houston Club Building.

Sellers is also the creator of other types of art, in addition to her murals. They include paintings, tiles, and mixed media. Her works of art are in public as well as private collections.

This charming pocket park was at the intersection of Milam and Capitol streets. An inscribed plaque stated that the Cameron/JPMorgan Chase Park was privately owned and provided for people to enjoy.

Use of the park was not allowed at night, and therefore no sleeping or camping was allowed. Listed rules on the plaque also forbid the use of alcoholic beverages on the premises, smoking, skateboarding, bicycling, or skating. People were to stay out of the fountains.

Some charming artwork by Houston children was attached to the side of the building. A Miro sculpture is across the street from the pocket park. All-in-all, it was such a beautiful setting!

Downtown Oasis

The Cameron/JPMorgan Chase Park was a refreshing oasis in the heart of downtown Houston. I would imagine that many people who work downtown happily used the space to eat a bite of lunch. Perhaps they relaxed after work before commuting home at night.

I took these photos some time ago on a quiet weekend when the downtown streets were not abuzz with activity as they would be during the regular Monday through Friday work hours (before Covid-19 changed many people's work habits after impacting lives around the world).

It was a beautiful shaded little park with quite a few wrought iron tables and chairs. The sounds of the splashing water added an excellent ambient noise that was relaxing. Birds were chirping and flitting from one tree to the next.

One last look at the Suzanne E. Sellers mural on the Houston Club Building that no longer exists.

One last look at the Suzanne E. Sellers mural on the Houston Club Building that no longer exists.

Update

The 18 stories Houston Club Building that had this mural by Suzanne E. Sellers was imploded for the sake of progress. In its place is a new 35 stories building dedicated primarily to office space. Capitol Tower (a.k.a. Bank of America Tower) is the new name.

I am so happy that I got to take these photos and record them for historical purposes. The Houston Club, which is a private club, has been relocated as of January 2013 into a new location in One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston.

The address where the Houston Club Building used to stand and where Capitol Tower now takes its place is 811 Rusk, Houston, Texas 77002.

You can watch the implosion of the old building in the video below.

I felt saddened and confused to discover my favorite mural gone, but also hopeful that another one may be in the works. Street art is mysterious and impermanent like that. It can appear or disappear overnight. Murals like these are at risk of desecration, transformation, erasure. Someone's gonna piss on it, draw a mustache on it, tag it. The weather's going to make it fade. That's part of the beauty, I think. Murals have value without being precious.

— Emily Raboteau

Sources:

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Peggy Woods

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