Houston arm of national advocacy group fundraises to restore historic Midtown outpost

The League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60 building was once considered the organization's U.S. headquarters. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
The League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60 building was once considered the organization's U.S. headquarters. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

The League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60 building was once considered the organization's U.S. headquarters. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Ray Valdez (left) and Jesus Davila are leading the effort to restore the LULAC Council 60 building in Midtown. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
An unassuming building with a gutted interior at the border of Montrose and Midtown was once a key piece in the U.S. civil rights movement.

Known as the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 60, the building is the birthplace of local and federal legislation aimed at leveling the playing field for Latinos in Houston and beyond.

One lawsuit filed by the organization led to the end of segregation for Mexican American students in Texas. Members in Houston also launched the “Little School of the 400,” a dual-language prekindergarten program that would later become a national model for early childhood education.

Since 2013, however, the building has stood vacant.

“It’s so important that we have a [historic] designation to it just to amplify the importance of the history in this building,” said Robert Gallegos, a Houston City Council member and LULAC member.


Current LULAC members, including Gallegos and former Council Member Gracie Saenz, still meet at various locations throughout the city. A fundraising effort launched in March aims to restore the clubhouse so it can serve again as a meeting place not just for LULAC, but also other community-based organizations, LULAC member Jesus Davila said.

“There’s a spirit and core of Montrose and Midtown with a lot of community groups and a lot of politicians and thoughtful leaders,” Davila said. “But there is a need for space. It makes sense to make [the clubhouse] that again because ... it was a think tank for community activation.”

After the building was damaged during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017, a $140,000 grant from the financial services company American Express funded renovations to keep the structure standing. Davila and LULAC member Ray Valdez said they are working to raise $500,000 to restore the building to historic standards and make it functional for gatherings.

In addition to seeking grants, LULAC leaders established a GoFundMe campaign, and with each contribution, no matter the amount, donors will get their name placed on the clubhouse wall, Davila said.

“This is a community advocacy hub historically, and we’re trying to be reflective of that,” Davila said. “Every dollar counts.”

LULAC Council 60

3004 Bagby St., Houston

832-289-8311

www.lulac.org

Graphics by Anya Gallant/Community Impact Newspaper
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

Artist Joni Zavitsanos is looking to bring faces to the names of those who died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic with her exhibit that will be on display through Jan. 31. (Courtesy Joni Zavitsanos)
Commemorative COVID-19 exhibit opens at The Health Museum

Houston-area residents who died as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are being memorialized in a new exhibit now on display at John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Science in Houston.

From left: Laura Ryan, Eliza Paul and Craig Raborn discuss the future of the Texas Department of Transportation. (Sierra Rozen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Department of Transportation discusses I-45 expansion, vehicle fatalities at annual event

The Texas Department of Transportation held its fifth annual State of TxDOT event Oct. 21 to discuss the I-45 expansion, plans for the future and safety issues facing Texans.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

Winter Wanderland is coming soon to downtown Houston’s Bagby Street corridor. (Courtesy Houston Downtown Management District)
New downtown holiday attraction coming soon to Bagby Street corridor

Winter Wanderland will comprise more than 100,000 LED lights installed between Lamar and Franklin streets.

Heather Lagrone, Adrienne Holloway, Luis Guajardo, Maya Ford and Charleen Jones sit onstage while Holloway introduces the audience to the Harris County Housing Needs Assessment study on Oct. 19. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute housing survey results reveal Harris County's needs

To meet the need for additional, more affordable housing for only 20% of the 500,000 cost-burdened residents, 8,174 housing units would need to be added annually through 2031, according to the study.

Construction on Hawthorne and Woodhead streets is slated to kick off in the first quarter of 2022 and is expected to last about nine months. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montrose Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone targeting early 2022 to begin improvements on Hawthorne, Woodhead streets

The project is being designed to convert the corridors into "neighborhood safe streets," a designation that officials said involves making streets safe for all modes of transportation, including cars, pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.

Want to know more about new businesses coming to the Katy area? Below you can find details on the five latest commercial projects filed in Katy. (Courtesy Canva)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Read the latest top news about restaurants, businesses and other commercial projects that are coming soon or now open

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 19.

Harris County Commissioners Court's revised redistricting map as of Aug. 31. (Screenshot courtesy Harris County Commissioners Court)
Harris County Commissioners Court to take public comments on redistricting Oct. 21

The meeting will be held at the Harris County Commissioners Court, located at 1001 Preston St., Ste. 934, Houston, at 4 p.m.