Houston 101: Will Hogg, Houston's Forgotten, Eccentric and Downright Badass Philanthropist

What better time than Memorial Day to remember Will Hogg, the man who founded Memorial Park?

If that (and the Arboretum) was all Will Hogg gave Houston, that would rank as one of the grandest local legacies anyone has ever achieved. But Will Hogg did so much more.

He founded and developed River Oaks and built Bayou Bend, now an outpost of the Museum of Fine Arts, which he also helped found. He made the real estate deal that left us today with Bayou Place, City Hall, the downtown public library, Jones Hall and Jones Plaza, the Hobby Center, hell, the entire Theater District. Will Hogg also spearheaded the foundation of the local YWCA and as if all of that was not enough, the pretty little Heights-area neighborhood Norhill was another of his creations.

And today, Will Hogg is all but forgotten. No prominent Houston parks, buildings or other institutions bear his name. (Hogg Middle School honors his father.) While that great Houstonian Tila Tequila does apparently merit a quite extensive Wikipedia entry, Will Hogg has none. Is that where we are as a people today?

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax