Freedmen’s Town case heard in appeals court

Three judges from the 14th Appellate Court listened to arguments that the Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition (FTPC)  brought against the City of Houston’s construction company, Conrad Constructions, Thursday, October 1 in the 1910 preserved court house at 301 Fannin. Ironically, that court house was erected during the same time that the bricks were being laid in Freedmen’s Town. The FTPC brought the charges to preserve the bricks that were purchased and laid by former slaves and their descendants on January 20 with the signing of a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the city of Houston from digging up the bricks and destroying history.

Representing, the Coalition was Attorney Bill Van Fleet. Hearing the case were three judges who presided over the appeals case in the 14th Appellate Court: Martha Hill Jameson, Sharon McCally and Ken Wise. The hearing lasted about 40 minutes with each judge questioning both attorneys with members of the Coalition looking and listening. Van Fleet told his clients that a decision can be rendered quickly or it may take up to a year to get a decision. In the meantime, Freedmen’s Town Preservation Coalition, Dorris Ellis said, “We need to raise money to continue this legal battle to preserve and protect the traditional culture property that was left for all as we try to direct the City toward a different path to provide infrastructure to the residents of Freedmen’s Town.”

The Coalition meets the third Monday of each month in Freedmen’s Town at the Rutherford B. Yates Museum. Local historians want to preserve this national designated district and locate museums that tell the story of its people.


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