Marmion Park | Houston Heights | Gazebo Photography Site
The Houston Heights is such a unique and beautiful neighborhood offering so many different amenities. My husband and I recently learned more about Marmion Park which is located right along the beautiful Heights Boulevard.
According to a bronze plaque affixed to concrete Marmion Park was dedicated May 31st of 1986.
Inscribed upon the plaque is the following: “Named for James B. Marmion, Sr. the last Mayor of the Houston Heights, Marmion Park honors past and current Heights residents who have preserved our neighborhood. The Houston Heights Association which built the park, invites future residents to enjoy and expand the pride, love and work expressed here.”
A number of donor names as well as donor organizations follow this information.
Marmion Park is one of three properties owned and/or operated by the Heights Association Properties for the express intent of public enjoyment. Donovan Park is a wonderful family focused outdoor recreation and playground space. The nearby old Fire Station as well as Marmion Park can be rented for special occasions.
Many wedding ceremonies are held in Marmion Park. It is also a popular place for engagement photos. 4 hours are allotted for a fee of $300 with a $200 deposit which is very reasonable pricing. In the case of weddings no rice or birdseed may be thrown at the newly married couple. Only flowers or flower petals are allowed.
The nice thing for smaller weddings is that the gazebo can accommodate chairs for 50+ people under cover in case the day chosen suddenly sports inclement weather. The gazebo is also lighted at night. No one is allowed to stay past the hour of 9PM.
Many people know the name of the famous pioneering heart surgeon Denton Cooley. He and his operating room team accomplished the first successful human heart transplant in 1968 in the United States. A year later he implanted an artificial heart into a human. He founded the Texas Heart Institute which operates out of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the famous Texas Medical Center located in Houston, Texas.
There is a Texas Historical Commission sign in Marmion Park dedicated to his grandfather. It reads as follows:
“Daniel Denton Cooley
(April 15, 1850 – November 22, 1933)
A native of Binghamton, New York, D. D. Cooley moved to Omaha, Nebraska as a young man. In 1887 he joined the American Loan and Trust Company. The company bought a tract of land northeast of Houston in 1891 and sent Cooley and other representatives to oversee its development the following year.
As General Manager of the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, formed by American Loan and Trust in 1892, Cooley had direct input into the design of the Houston Heights Community. Known later as the “Father of the Houston Heights”, he laid out the main street, Heights Boulevard, and built his home here in 1892-93. He continued to promote real estate in the area after the company was dissolved about 1895.
The first school in the neighborhood was named for Cooley, and he was a member of the school board. After Houston Heights was incorporated in 1896, he was elected an alderman. Cooley was a respected civic and business leader, whose interests included banking, insurance, railroads, real estate, and oil.
Married to Helen Grace Winfield (1860-1916) in 1883, Cooley was the father of three sons. He died in 1933 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. The Cooley home was razed in 1965.
Here is a bit of trivia gained by reading the Heights Association Properties website. Two of the grandsons of D.D. Cooley, one of which was Doctor Denton Cooley had inherited the house and had no luck in selling it at a price of $45,000 in the latter part of 1965 which is why it was dismantled and finally demolished. The vacant lot is now the location of this fine park.
The credit for the image above is the following: MSS0248-0408, Houston Public Library, HMRC
Notice the turret on the roof of the Daniel Denton Cooley home and the top on the gazebo in this park. The designers of this Kaiser pavilion gazebo obviously tried to simulate the one that at one time crowned the Cooley home on Heights Boulevard.
Some examples of approved group activities which have taken place in this park through the years include the following:
- Valentine Weekend Adoptions with CAP + 4 other area animal welfare organizations, Feb. 8, 2011
- Free Concert by the Houston Heights Orchestra, June 30, 2012
- 11th Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt, Oct. 2, 2016
- Houston Heights Sunrise Yoga at 7AM, Nov. 12, 2016
- Houston Heights Warrior Bootcamp, a full body sculpting fitness workout, Nov. 19, 2016
- 32nd Heights Fun Run, starting & ending with a race party in the park, June 3, 2017
This little tree shaded park is a beauty. Some benches are provided but there are no picnic tables or playground equipment as are found at Donovan Park just down the street. If you are searching for just the right wedding location in a park-like setting, you might wish to call the number above listed on the sign.
For some peculiar reason despite my best efforts, the map pinpoints a location just west of this park. If you zoom in you will see the green space labeled Marmion Park just to the east. The location is at the corner of Heights Boulevard and E. 18th Street in the Houston Heights.