Peter Brown fights for better streets around the Menil

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Last week, the Chron ran a This Week story about how Menil officials and Councilman Peter Brown want the City of Houston to repair the streets around the museum:

The city of Houston is working on patching up the pothole-filled streets surrounding the Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross, while museum officials and Peter Brown, an at-large city council member, are seeking a longer-term fix.

The Menil and Brown’s office said they believe repairing the streets around the facility is important because of what the museum does for Houston’s image. Streets affected are Branard, Mandell, Sul Ross and Yupon.

“We appreciate the positive attention the Menil receives for its art collection,” said Jonathan Fong, Brown’s personal assistant. “(But) if people can’t get down those streets, then they’re not going to go.”

Said Vance Muse, the Menil’s communications director, “The Menil gets a whole lot of visitors from out of the city and out of state and we want them to get the best possible view of the city.”

Muse said the museum began complaining to various city departments about six months ago at the beginning of its 20th anniversary year about the surrounding streets.


Wes Johnson, spokesman for the Public Works, explained the financial situation.

“All the money is committed for a certain period of time,” Johnson said. “You can’t just suddenly start reworking streets — it’s not that easy to do. In the meantime, we send people out to do some patchwork.”

We imagine if Mayor White really WANTED those streets fixed, he’d find a way to make it happen.

By the way, as a commenter on the Chron story pointed out, Councilman Brown is somewhat connected to the Menil Collection by marriage — his wife is Anne Schlumberger. Perhaps that should have been disclosed?

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.