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Thomas E. Bell

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  1. You have all filled this old Houstonian's heart with joy. And yes, the next time I come, I will visit the old terminal. It's roof was caving in last time I was in it. Also, given my current job, I may be able to help find some exhibits for the museum. I will get to work on that. Does anyone know who the contact is at the museum? Also, it crossed my mind, what with the film business picking up in Houston (or so I hear up in this cold, hard city), methinks that terminal would make a perfect spot for a period airport location. Thanks to you both for giving me this information. So a building can be saved in Houston! That alone is enough for celebration. Best wishes, T.E. Bell
  2. I am one of those hundreds (thousands?) of Houston artists, in my case a playwright/novelist, who unfortunately like all the others had to flee a city that has no use for its prodigious homegrown talent. Having got that jab in, now to the point: Something like 20 years ago, when I was the aviation writer for the Chronicle, I was given a tip that the Houston Department of Aviation, with the blessing of the FAA, was planning to put the wrecking ball to the beautiful, though decaying, Art Deco/Streamline Moderne edifice that was the old air terminal at Hobby, dating back to the mid-1930s. The building was/is a stunning example of its kind, and the idea of knocking it down unthinkable. So I used the power of my position to do a Sunday feature on the old building, and the plans to level it, and we got a small but powerful grassroots group going to save the terminal (by coincidence, not long after I moved to NYC, a similar fight was successfully waged to save the seaplane terminal at La Guardia, which was built in the same style at the same time). Preservation groups have to keep an eye on the Federal Aviation Administration, because none of these beautiful buildings can, in most cases, be destroyed without their blessing, which is always forthcoming. Anyway, can someone fill this transplanted and homesick Houstonian in on what happened to "my" terminal and, since I think I saw it while taxiing in to Hobby last month, how it was saved and what is being done with it? I miss all you Houstonians, T.E. "Tom" Bell New York City
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