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Voices of Burgess Hall
Oldest Standing Public Building in Independence Heights
Written by students from Hogg Middle School
You! Yeah You! Look At Me!
by Elizabeth Smith
by Karina Jimenez
so many years of service for you, now you’re just turning
your back to me. How do you think that makes me feel? I’ve
always let you sleep on me, dance on me, and watch movies
now time for you to help me stay on my feet and become once
again the famous “Burgess Hall.” After all, it is your city
and you sure don’t want people to think the worst of the
community, right? So help me just by gathering with all
of these wonderful people and giving a little bit of yourself.
I know you can do it!
are people out there who possibly think,” We should tear
down this house,” and others who say, “We should restore
it.” If you think that tearing me down is the way to go,
that’s fine, but just think about how I served you! On the
other side, if you want to help me, you’re welcome to.
think in the future of what you might turn me into. I could
be a great disco or even a flea market! Who knows? Just
come on and help me to help you.
Hall—that’s what I am known as. I am going to talk about
me. I am a house that has been located at 7322 Houston Avenue
(North Main) at least from 1928 to 2003. I have served many
people and hope to serve many more.
___ You must
be wondering why I am talking to you. The reason is that
they are thinking of tearing me down or building me up again.
I am really damaged, but it is not my fault.
When I was built, I felt very happy. The vibrations
on the wall from people dancing, children playing, and viewers
enjoying movies all kept me standing. People would actually
look at me and praise me—not like today.
Little by little people started to abandon
me, but I didn’t know why. I felt sadder and sadder day
after day. Nobody was there to take care of me. My walls
were falling apart; my grass was almost as tall as me. Since
there was nobody to take care of me, I was a mess. Everyone
was running their own businesses and didn’t have time for
me. My beautiful white colors turned into a muddy brown.
I didn’t like the feeling of being ignored.
I am a historical figure that should keep
on standing, so I’m begging you to help me be around for
your grandchildren and many generations to come. What harm
would it do to the community to help me stand up? I will
be helpful to the community and maybe even to you. You may
need a place to stay or a conference room, and you will
be welcome to come in. So what I’m basically saying is,
“What goes around comes around.” If you help me, I will
someday help you.
Burgess Hall be Saved?
by Ali Willis
I am Burgess Hall. I am 82 years old and I need to be saved.
I am deteriorating, falling apart, and I am in a very bad
shape. Why should I be saved?
1920 when I was built I was beautiful. I was a school, a
business, a movie theater, and a wonderful place to live.
But look at me now! Roaches swarm, spiders crawl, rats gnaw
at what used to be hardwood, and the termites chew and bite
me. My wires are down, my electricity no longer works, and
my love is no longer needed. “HELP with capital H-E-L-P!”
I want kids to crawl my stairs, people to watch my movies
because I want to be needed! Why doesn’t anybody care!
Some people were not happy with their business and
they left to start their own. The people decided that they
were going to build a new school and children left my love.
My movie theater was sold out by a Cinema hardly anyone
could afford. Soon everybody left. “How could they?” I asked.
“Wasn’t I good enough? Why did they leave me?” I hoped and
prayed until one man came. An unknown man came to see what
Independence Heights was all about. When he saw me, he thought
he made a mistake in address. “NO, DON’T LEAVE I SCREAMED.
He can’t hear me and it’s hopeless!’’ But I was so wrong.
An article came out about me! It stated what bad
condition I was in and the man that came really did want
to save me. Yeah! But wait a minute, is this a joke or something?
The founders did not want to waste money on an old house
that everybody left. I might be old, but I am worth it.
If the new things would not have been built, kids would
have been in my school, people would be working for me,
and tourists would watch my movies.
SEE! Just wait and see what will happen to me in
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