Best Statue Houston 2003 - Angel Gabriel
This is one of the strangest statues in town. The life-size angel itself isn't that odd. But if you walk a little closer, you'll see a plaque that says the limestone for the statue's pedestal was taken from room 301 of Brackenridge Hall, the now-demolished University of Texas dormitory where "The Eyes of Texas" was written. (Former cemetery owner Thomas C. Hall lived in room 301 with John Lang Sinclair, the student who wrote the song.) The lyrics about not being able to escape the eyes of Texas until Gabriel blows his horn are inscribed on the back of the pedestal. According to TexasExes.org, Hall was walking to class one day in 1902 when he saw prohibitionist Carrie Nation threatening to break the windows of a bar; he persuaded her to speak about temperance on campus instead. To quiet the crowd that had gathered, university president William Prather admonished: "Remember, young men, wherever you are, and wherever you may be, the eyes of Texas are upon you. You are expected to uphold her tradition and not act as hoodlums and cheer this poor deluded woman." The song was written. And years later, the statue of the angel Gabriel was erected.