Postcards from Texas
KTBU-TV to Feature Segments on Houston Heights Revitalization, Houston’s Italian Restaurateurs, and Historic Galveston Bathhouses
Houston, TX — October 1, 2009 — KTBU-TV, Channel 55 in Houston, is unveiling its latest episode of Postcards from Texas, an ambitious weekly series that is a first-of-its-kind project for the Houston region. This episode contains a segment exploring the dramatic revitalization of the Houston Heights, a historic upscale neighborhood planned in the 1890s that lost favor as Houstonians moved to the city’s booming suburbs in the mid-20th century. Property values plummeted as developers subdivided Victorian mansions and cheap apartment buildings popped up in many blocks. Local businesses struggled to keep afloat and everyone agreed that drastic measures were necessary to save the neighborhood from further decline. The Houston Heights Association formed in 1973 to bring the neighborhood back from the brink and, with the help of several preservation-minded urban pioneers and local businesses, the Houston Heights gradually began to thrive. This episode also features Galveston’s bath house boom of the late 1800s and early 1900s, as well as a feature on Houston’s own Italian restaurateurs. The latter segment will follow well-known Houston families as they immigrated to the U.S. in search of economic opportunity and settled in Houston as truck farmers and proprietors of small grocery stores to developing their own restaurants. The program debuts on Sunday, October 11, at 4PM. The episode will rerun the following Friday, October 16, at 1:30 p.m..
The show includes several web elements such as additional video content, comprehensive links pages to all historical entities in the region, a “where to learn more” section on each story, and historical events listings. These elements are available now at http://www.houstons55.com/postcards-from-texas.
Topics on Postcards from Texas range from those which mirror current events, such as the 1940s campaign to save the Battleship Texas or the story of Mexican immigration to Houston, to pure nostalgia, like browsing Main Street’s department store windows and all you can eat seafood at the San Jacinto Inn.
Postcards from Texas has actively sought the involvement of every museum, archive, and historical society in the area. Show producer, Mike Vance, elaborates: “We’ve done a huge amount of pre-production and outreach to make sure that the show reflects the diversity of our area: ethnically, economically and geographically. We want everyone to find something of interest in each episode. We truly think this will be both educational and fun.” The Postcards from Texas crew is indebted to the Crosby Historical Society and the Crosby Branch library for research assistance for this episode.
Among those partnering with KTBU-TV on Postcards from Texas is Houston Arts and Media, a local non-profit which works to educate Houstonians about their history. HAM is reachable at www.houstonartsandmedia.org .