Today we had our first breakfast meeting with possible stake holders. This breakfast targeted the arts community. It was a great time to share what HRCEA has been working towards and planning for the future. We had a great turn out with discussion about what could happen with the building. Stay tuned for more!
Friday Oct 21st we received an email inviting HRCEA to a press conference on Monday at the school. We had heard rumblings that something was happening but didn’t realize it would be so soon. Monday Oct 24th Mayor Parker announced that the transfer in ownership of Rufus Cage to the city would be on the City Council agenda to be voted on this week.
Council Members James Rodriguez, Melissa Noriega and Mike Sullivan were joined by State Representative Carol Alvarado and our very own HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche to make the announcement.
Today HRCEA leaders Steve Parker, Jody Gillit and Robert Gallegos went before city council to encourage other council members to support the transfer of the property.
Understandably other council members were concerned about maintaining the property and the cost of restoration. Mayor Parker made it clear that this is a non-cash transfer and that the only maintenance the city was committed to was stabilizing the roof to prevent further deterioration of the building. She went on to explain several engineers have looked at the structure and that it is in good sound condition making will be able to be restored. She went on to say that the restoration cost of the project will not be funded by the city and that it will be up to the community to provide that funds for this.
They will vote in tomorrow morning’s meeting about the transfer.
Media coverage of the press release:
Official Press Release
This has been a very exciting week for HRCEA.
Monday at the HISD public hearing there was a great turn out of over 80 people showing how much they cared about saving this building and restoring it. This sent a clear message to HISD board members that we are serious about our mission and there are more than just a handful that care.
Thursday was the official vote by HISD to approve the transfer of the building to the City of Houston. This is one of the two major milestones to protect the building and it was approved with a vote of 8-1.
Today and Tomorrow the building is open for tours to those attending the Eastwood Civic Association Historic Home Tour (noon – 5pm). HISD graciously allowed us to have it on the home tour. If you haven’t been by please go by and see it.
Great things are happening all over the East End and this is just one more!!
Attention Cage Fighters!
The HISD Board just voted and voted 8 to 1 approving the transfer of Rufus Cage over to the City of Houston.
Juliet Stipeche read a beautiful letter from Evelyn Flores who passed away in August, and who was a Cage Fighter. Evelyn Flores sent the letter to Juliet back in June supporting the saving of the Rufus Cage building. It was very emotional hearing the heartfelt letter written by our proud East End neighbor, but I’m sure she is smiling down to know that she still is protecting her beloved East End.
Thank You Juliet Stipeche for your hard work and helping us to save this beautiful building. Its been along twelve years, but the future for Rufus Cage is brighter.
Thank you all for your hard work and support!
Robert Gallegos, Chairman
October 10th there will be a public hearing held with the HISD Board. This meeting is required before the board can vote on the transfer of the building and property to the City of Houston. HRCEA is working to have a bus provide transportation for the meeting but we are still working on the details. Please try to make this meeting. It is important that we show the board that we have the support of the greater community in saving this building.
After the HISD board approves the transfer of the property to the City of Houston HRCEA will have to go before City Council to have them also approve the transfer of the property. The timing of the decision for City Council to approve this is VERY important! It is an election year and there will be two new council seats come January 2012 and possible changes. The goal of HRCEA is to have the HISD and City Council approve and transfer the title PRIOR to January 1, 2012.
We have the support of several council members but will need a majority to make this happen. Please reach out to your council members or those you associate with and express your support for saving this historic building!
Stay tuned for more information and be sure to sign up to receive emails of on going activities. Click here to open/download the flyer you can distribute.
RufusCage.com and RufusCage.org are now up and running. This site will mainly be for static information so be sure to like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter for “live” information. To receive email updates sign up for the newsletters we’ll be sending out.
- October 10th – 5:30 HISD Public Hearing
- October 13th - HISD Board Meeting