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Marmion Park in the Houston Heights: Gazebo Photography Site

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Marmion Park in the Houston Heights

Marmion Park in the Houston Heights

Marmion Park

My husband and I recently learned more about this pretty park, located right along the beautiful Heights Boulevard. Houston Heights is a unique and beautiful neighborhood offering so many different amenities.

The dedication of Marmion Park took place on May 31st, 1986. Inscribed upon the plate is the following:

“Named for James B. Marmion, Sr. the last Mayor of the Houston Heights, Marmion Park honors past and current Heights residents who have preserved our neighborhood. The Houston Heights Association, which built the park, invites future residents to enjoy and expand the pride, love, and work expressed here.”

Several donor names, as well as donor organizations, follow this information.

Marmion Park Plaque

Marmion Park Plaque

Heights Association Properties

Marmion Park is one of three properties owned and operated by the Heights Association Properties for the express intent of public enjoyment. One of the three properties, Donovan Park, is a beautiful family-focused outdoor recreation and playground space. The other one is the nearby old Fire Station. All three of these sites are available to rent for special occasions.

For smaller weddings, the gazebo structure can accommodate chairs for 50+ people if the day of choice suddenly has rainy weather. The pavilion has lights on at night. Everyone has to leave by 9 PM at the latest.


There is a Texas Historical Commission sign in Marmion Park. It reads as follows:

“Daniel Denton Cooley

(April 15, 1850 – November 22, 1933)

A native of Binghamton, New York, D. D. Cooley moved to Omaha, Nebraska as a young man. In 1887 he joined the American Loan and Trust Company. The company bought a tract of land northeast of Houston in 1891 and sent Cooley and other representatives to oversee its development the following year.

As General Manager of the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, formed by American Loan and Trust in 1892, Cooley had direct input into the design of the Houston Heights Community. Known later as the “Father of the Houston Heights,” he laid out the main street, Heights Boulevard, and built his home here in 1892-93. He continued to promote real estate in the area after the company was dissolved about 1895.

The first school in the neighborhood was named for Cooley, and he was a member of the school board. After Houston Heights was incorporated in 1896, he was elected an alderman. Cooley was a respected civic and business leader, whose interests included banking, insurance, railroads, real estate, and oil.

Married to Helen Grace Winfield (1860-1916) in 1883, Cooley was the father of three sons. He died in 1933 and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. The Cooley home was razed in 1965.


Daniel Denton Cooley house and garden, 1802 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008

Daniel Denton Cooley house and garden, 1802 Heights Boulevard, Houston, TX 77008

House near the park on Heights Boulevard with a turret almost identical to the one on the Cooley home

House near the park on Heights Boulevard with a turret almost identical to the one on the Cooley home

Cooley Homesite Now a Park

Many people know the name of the famous pioneering heart surgeon Denton Cooley. He was a grandson of D.D. Cooley.

Dr. Cooley and his operating room team accomplished the first successful human heart transplant in 1968 in the United States. A year later, he implanted an artificial heart into a human. He founded the Texas Heart Institute, which operates out of St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the famous Texas Medical Center located in Houston, Texas.

Here is a bit of trivia that I read from the Heights Association Properties website: Two of the grandsons of D.D. Cooley, one of which was Doctor Denton Cooley, inherited the house and had no luck in selling it for $45,000 in the latter part of 1965. That is why it was torn down and demolished. The vacant lot is now the location of this magnificent park.

Notice the turret on the roof of the Daniel Denton Cooley home above. Then look at the top of the gazebo in this park below. The designers of this Kaiser pavilion gazebo tried to simulate the turret that at one time crowned the Cooley home on Heights Boulevard.

Marmion Park Gazebo

Marmion Park Gazebo

Group Activities in Marmion Park

Some examples of approved group activities that have taken place in this park through the years include the following:

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  • Valentine Weekend Adoptions with CAP, plus Other Animal Welfare Organizations
  • Annual Heights Bicycle Rally & Scavenger Hunt
  • Houston Heights Sunrise Yoga
  • Heights Warrior Bootcamp (a Full-body Sculpting Fitness Workout)
  • Annual Heights Fun Run (Starting & Ending with a Race Party in the Park)
  • Movie Nights
  • Fall Concert Series, etc.
Marmion Park Sign

Marmion Park Sign

Location of Marmion Park

This little tree-shaded park is a beauty. Some benches are here, but there are no picnic tables or playground equipment like at Donovan Park just down the street. If you are searching for the right wedding location in a park-like setting, you might wish to call the number above listed on the sign.

The location is at the corner of Heights Boulevard @ E. 18th Street, Houston, Texas 77008.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 17, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

I am pleased that you enjoyed learning about Marmion Park. As to our weather, the cool fronts have not cooled us off as much as they have in your area. We were 2 degrees from hitting our all-time high yesterday. We will appreciate cooler days ahead. Take care, and stay safe!

C E Clark from North Texas on September 16, 2020:

Your photos are exceptional as usual, and one can't help but want to visit because you make it look so inviting. Posting this to AH & FB.

Hope you are getting the cooler weather early like we are up here. Stay safe!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 15, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

I use a digital camera. My older one was a Panasonic, but somehow the lens got scratched. Now I use a Canon and am very happy with it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 13, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Yes, sites like this are perfect for photo opportunities!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 13, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

Yes, Dr. DeBakey and Dr. Cooley both did heart transplants in Houston when it was an innovative operation at the time.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 13, 2020:

The Cooley family is quite amazing. The park is lovely and I think a nice place for a wedding. Your pictures are beautiful, as always. I love the picture of the ceiling in the gazebo. I am not sure what type of camera you use but your pictures are great, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 13, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I think that many of the old-time parks, particularly in small towns, had gazebos or some type of stage for group gatherings. I agree with you that it somehow seems to fit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, that gazebo is the perfect setting for photo opportunities for weddings and other events.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2020:

Hi Ann,

If that house was still standing, it would be worth a small fortune today in that area of our city. It looked beautiful.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 11, 2020:

Absolutely beautiful! That is a perfect wedding spot! We have a gazebo and architectural structures (not as fancy as those pictured here) that are about a mile from us and there are many brides and prom couples taking photos. It’s a perfect backdrop.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 11, 2020:

This is another beautiful park in Houston. The scheduled activities are also an attraction. I think many people probably take advantage of this beautiful park. It is interesting that Dr. Cooley actually did heart transplants in Houston. I did not know that.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 11, 2020:

We have a gazebo in our downtown Sylvester Park. There is something classic about a gazebo, like they belong, like they should be in a park for all to enjoy, you know? Something very American about them.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 11, 2020:

I can understand why this park is used as a wedding venue. Your photos are first class.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 11, 2020:

What a shame that the old house was torn down! However, the park which replaced it is beautiful, so that's the positive aspect. Interesting article with lots of history too, Peggy.


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