Houston History Mystery #1: The case of the missing murals
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These murals hung in the Southern Pacific Depot's main waiting room. The top shows Gen. Sam Houston entering the town of Houston in 1837. The bottom represents Stephen F. Austin and Baron Bastrop with a group of Texas colonists in 1823 with the State House in the background.
The paintings were done by John McQuarrie of San Francisco. According to the Houston Chronicle, the paintings were 17 feet wide and 16 feet tall. They were painted on heavy canvas and cemented to an area provided for them on the station walls.
In 1960, as the wrecking ball tore down the station, the Houston Chronicle reported the paintings would be stored until a suitable place could be found for them to hang again. Soon, they ended up under the care of the Texas National Guard and were moved to the Gen. John A. Hulen Armory off OST.
What happened to the murals after that is anyone's guess. The armory was sold to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in the 1990s.
In 2000, I checked with the Texas National Guard to see what happened to the murals, but, sadly, no one knew.
Labels: Houston History Mystery