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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

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 08, 2021:

Hi Manatita,

At least you had some fun working alongside the artist. It is amazing what they can do to the walls of a building!

manatita44 from london on August 08, 2021:

No Peggy. I'm lousy! Yet I was with an expect and so I helped a lot with scrapping and preparing the wall. Yes, it's virtual this time. My Guruji opened the Chicago one and again the one in Barcelona in 2004. A special blessing for us.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 05, 2021:

Hi Linda,

We have many pocket parks as well as the larger parks in our area. All of them provide places of respite and relaxation, even if momentarily.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 04, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is sad that the mural is gone, but at least the photos are saved! Thanks for your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 02, 2021:

How sad that the mural was destroyed. I like the term “pocket park” very much. I can think of some places in my area that could be called that.

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 02, 2021:

It's sad that Suzanne Sellers's mural art got demolished along with the building. Pocket park is a cute name, I dint know about it.. The pictures are great. Thanks Peggy for sharing this wonderful article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

Those people were far enough away from that demolished building when it imploded so they would avoid harm. They might have inhaled some dust, however, looking at that video. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 29, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

I have not seen that particular documentary but have learned that from other sources. It would not surprise me if all plants have some way of communicating with one another. As much as we think we know, there is much that we do not understand. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 29, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

I have not seen that particular documentary but have learned that from other sources. It would not surprise me if all plants have some way of communicating with one another. As much as we think we know, there is much that we do not understand. Thanks!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 29, 2021:

Hi Mary,

We have numerous murals in Houston, and some are large. This one was gigantic in scale! It was a beauty!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 29, 2021:

Hi Mary,

We have numerous murals in Houston, and some are large. This one was gigantic in scale! It was a beauty!

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 28, 2021:

Peggy

What a shame that they couldn't salvage it some how.

It's hard to believe they destroyed that building with everyone standing so close.

Those little parks probably were a place where people ate their lunch outside.

Great article.

Glen Rix from UK on July 28, 2021:

LOL.

I saw a fascinating television documentary that gave scientific proof that the roots of trees communicate with each other. It was made for British television called MY PASSION FOR TREES. it now on Netflix and other streaming services, plus youtube clips. Worth watching

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

Yes, I had heard that talking to one's plants makes them thrive. Another crazy idea is that if you have a slow-growing tree, take a hose and beat the trunk. I often wondered if neighbors viewing that would think it is a new anger management tool. Haha! I have not tried that one!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

Yes, I had heard that talking to one's plants makes them thrive. Another crazy idea is that if you have a slow-growing tree, take a hose and beat the trunk. I often wondered if neighbors viewing that would think it is a new anger management tool. Haha! I have not tried that one!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2021:

Hi Manatita,

Yes, this Suzanne Sellers mural is now gone but surely not forgotten! So you are also an artist! I looked up the Parliament of World Religions. It will be a virtual one this year, which is probably a good thing given the pandemic. I like their vision and mission statement.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2021:

Hi Vanita,

A pocket park is a rather cute name for these types of parks. I am happy to know that you enjoyed viewing this one. I am so glad that I took photos of that beautiful mural. Thanks for your virtual visit and your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2021:

Hi Lora,

Sometimes it is easier to demolish a building and rebuild from scratch than to repair it. I can only speculate that was the case. I was sad to see the mural destroyed. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 27, 2021:

I would love to see these huge murals. They add so much life to the city.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 27, 2021:

Hi Bill,

Sorry that it took so long to find this in the feed. I hope that they open ALL comments soon as they promised. Yes, our city certainly features numerous parks, in fact, more than the majority of cities! Thanks for your visit and comment.

Glen Rix from UK on July 27, 2021:

According to HRH Prince Charles, talking to plants also makes them thrive. He does it regularly. I am yet to try it!

manatita44 from london on July 27, 2021:

I liked the video on Pocket Parks. There's one near me so perhaps I'll start using the word

Charming! Suzanne Sellers mural is charming. I take that it's all lost now?

I did one with an artiste in Chicago in 1993 to Mark the centenary of the Parliament of World Religions. Look them up! Happening again very soon

Vanita Thakkar on July 27, 2021:

Hi Peggy,

You have done a commendable service by documenting the memories of the art work so well. The pictures are beautiful and your narration takes the reader right to the place being described.

It was nice to learn about small parks being called pocket parks. We have one nearby.

Thanks for sharing.

Lora Hollings on July 26, 2021:

Until I read your excellent article, Peggy, I never knew what a pocket park was. How sad that in the name of progress such a beautiful work of art was destroyed! Suzanne E. Sellers is a very gifted artist. I think Houston really lost something very valuable when they imploded that building. It was sad to hear those people cheering! What are they really cheering about? It reminds me of that song by Joni Mitchel and that lyric, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Did Bank of America have a lot to do with the destruction of this building and mural? It's a shame that they couldn't have tried to save the mural. Your article is a wonderful tribute to this beautiful creation. I'm glad that you were able to take photos of it, at least.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

I am not surprised that classical music deters vandals. Studies have proven it even makes plants like corn grow better. It is great that you helped develop a park for sensory-impaired individuals. We have some of those in portions of parks here as well. Even for sighted individuals, the scents are fantastic to enjoy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2021:

Hi Glenis,

I am not surprised that classical music deters vandals. Studies have proven it even makes plants like corn grow better. It is great that you helped develop a park for sensory-impaired individuals. We have some of those in portions of parks here as well. Even for sighted individuals, the scents are fantastic to enjoy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2021:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

We have not driven downtown in some time to see if the new building also has a pocket park. We should do that sometime! Thanks for your visit and comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

It is a shame that we lost that beautiful mural when the building was purposely imploded to make room for a new one taking its place. It is rather amazing how they can do that without harming nearby buildings. It certainly drew a crowd of people watching it happen! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 26, 2021:

Hi Rosina,

I am also glad that I had taken these photos. For people who will now never be able to view them in person, we have photo documentation. It was a beautiful little pocket park. Thanks for your comment.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 26, 2021:

I finally found this in the feed. It only took 20 hours. Grrrr! Love pocket parks. Love your city's commitment to beautiful the city.

Glen Rix from UK on July 26, 2021:

An amazing mural, though it's not really to my taste. Years ago, before I retired, I developed a project for a pocket park for sensory impaired and disabled people by the riverside in my home town. It incorporated raised beds with scented plants, and piped classical music (did you know that research conducted into piping music near walls that had been previously graffitied deterred vandals?)

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 26, 2021:

I like the term pocket park. Very cute. The mural was lovely and it's sad that it was destroyed with the building. I sure hope the idea of the pocket park returns with the new building, along with new art.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 25, 2021:

This is a well written and informative article.

I wasn’t aware of the term, pocket parks. Though, must have been to so many of them. I like to visit small recreational parks.

You have shared some wonderful details about the Mural artist, Suzanne Sellers. I loved the Muted Hues of Houston art. The implosion video, demolishing the significant mural looks disappointing.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful article.

Rosina S Khan on July 25, 2021:

I loved the mural on the Houston Club building. It is a pity it no longer exists. At least, I could view what it looked like through your splendid photos. Thanks for sharing, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2021:

Hi Pamela,

We have many such pocket parks in the Houston area. I was sad to see that beautiful mural disappear when the building was demolished, but that is the price of progress. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 25, 2021:

I didn't know about pocket parks, Peggy. Suzanne Sellers is obviously a talented artist as that mural is beautiful. This is an interesting article and I learned something new, so thank you.

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