While we don’t yet know all about Ima Hogg’s adventures in Germany, we know what her elder brother was up to, and we shall not see his like again. Who in his right mind would seriously argue for a “fool-proof and sensible city zoning plan” in Houston? Will Hogg, that’s who--in 1927. And that was when Houston had only 250,000 people. But we remained, then as now, resistant to any zoning plan, sensible or not.
Will did what he could on his own. He bought land just northwest of downtown’s business district for $260,000, because he thought we needed a civic center. He then persuaded the city to purchase the land and pay for it with a bond issue. That area is now occupied by City Hall, the Jesse H. Jones Center for the Performing Arts, Wortham Center, Hobby Center, and the Houston Public Library. Largely because of Will Hogg, we have Memorial Park, one of the largest city parks in the nation. Will named it to honor Houston soldiers who died in World War I. With his brother Mike and his old UT chum Hugh Potter, Will bought land 3 miles out in the country, west of downtown. That would become River Oaks.
More about that later.