Eighth San Jacinto Historic District gateway monument unveiled in Baytown
This September, the city of Baytown held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a monumental gateway anchoring the western entrance to the city. Present were Baytown Mayor Steven Don Carlos, several members of city council, Chad Burke, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region, and representatives from TxDOT and the City Parks Board.
This monument is part of the larger “Gateways” project of the San Jacinto Historic District, conceived as a regional themed beautification project designed to highlight the rich historic assets of the 11-city district and to visually demark the entrance to each city. The first gateway was erected in La Porte in 2008. Since then, seven more have been completed; bringing the total completed to 8 out of 10 committed.
Each gateway is architecturally unique, featuring elements that symbolize the particular history or character of the participating city — yet all are unified through the inclusion of the star of San Jacinto somewhere in the design.
Baytown’s monument, located at I-10 near Spur 330, stands just shy of 43 feet tall and features a steel oil derrick atop a stone pedestal. A blue three dimensional nine point star that can be illuminated at night comfortably crowns the monument.
The image of the derrick is inextricably tied to the city and harkens back to the prosperous days of the Texas Oil Boom when derricks lined Goose Creek after the Tabbs Bay oil strike. Baytown is the site of the first offshore drilling in the state of Texas (second in the nation).
Baytown’s gateway was made possible in part by a $73,000 grant from the Economic Alliance Houston Port Region and a $25,000 grant from Houston Galveston Area Council. The positive response has prompted the city to include a line item on their 2014 budget to erect a second gateway at the north base of the Fred Hartman Bridge.
Deer Park, currently in the engineering phase, will be the next city to construct their gateway, followed by Galena Park in the future.
For more information about the San Jacinto Historic District and to see more information about the Gateway projects, please visit: www.sjthd.org.