Cullen Clinic named Protected Landmark with PH assistance

The historic Cullen Clinic at 7703 Cullen Boulevard is among the buildings City Council has designated landmarks and protected landmarks. At the request of the clinic building's owner, Preservation Houston staff conducted the research, writing and photography for the application that resulted in protected status. The clinic building was deemed significant for its original owners, architect and as a visible reminder of the cultural and ethnic diversity of Houston and Texas.

Cullen Clinic (1965, John S. Chase) /  photo by David Bush

Cullen Clinic (1965, John S. Chase) / photo by David Bush

The building was designed in 1965 by John S. Chase (1925-2012), the first black student to enroll in the University of Texas School of Architecture and the first licensed African-American architect in the state. It is located in the Sunnyside neighborhood, one of six historically African-American communities established outside Houston between the two world wars.

The clinic's original owners were Zeb F. Poindexter, Jr., DDS (1929-2012) and Cecil G. Harold, MD (1931- ). Poindexter was one of the first two black students to register at the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston and the first African American to graduate from the UT School of Dentistry. Zeb F. Poindexter III, his son, continues to own and operate the clinic as Poindexter Dental, Inc.

Dr. Harold previously served as general surgeon at Riverside General Hospital and was later appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe to the Texas Coordinating Commission for State Health and Welfare Services. He eventually became the physician and unpaid manager for legendary blues singer Sam "Lightnin" Hopkins(1911-1982).

Preservation Houston also assisted in the landmark designation of the Thomas J. Donoghue House at 17 Courtlandt Place (1915-16, Warren & Wetmore). In addition, City Council designated the Alley Theater, 615 Texas (1968, Ulrich Franzen & Associates), and the former East End State Bank, 4215 Leeland (1946, Tom Tellepsen), as protected landmarks, and the Hulsey-Davis House, 1216 Wrightwood (1910), as a landmark.