City of La Porte, founded in 1892 has a French meaning of the “Door.” It is named by the real estate venture group of A.M. and J.H. York, I.R. Holmes and T.W. Lee. Starting with an original population of 537, it now has 33,800 according to the U.S. Census of 2010. City of La Porte sits on the northwest shore of Trinity Bay covering 15 square miles in southeastern Harris County.
The Koppen Climate Classification is designated, Humid Subtropical Climate with an average temperature of 69 degrees. Warmest month is July with an average temperature of 83 degrees, and a highest temperature recorded at 108 degrees. Coldest month is January with an average temperature of 53 degrees, and a recorded low of only 5 degrees. La Porte has an average 79.5 days of rain with the month of December getting 7.7 days of rain, and October getting the least amount with 5.9 days of rain. An average amount of snow is 0.2”, and is most likely to occur in February.
1892 – La Porte was founded
1896 – Sylvan Grove Park was developed with bathhouses, a Victorian hotel and dance pavilion, and boating piers
1900 – Galveston Great Storm Hurricane
1901 – Texas Oil Boom started
1920 – 1930s – Sylvan Beach Amusement Park became nationally recognized destination
1943– Hurricane destroyed tourist attractions
1954 - La Porte-Baytown Tunnel opens
1956 – Sylvan Beach Pavilion opened
1963 - Johnson Space Center opened in nearby Clear Lake
1977 – Barbours Cut Terminal opened between La Porte and Morgan’s Point
1992- Bayport Terminal opened just south of La Porte
Points of Interest – Sylvan Beach Pavilion, San Jacinto Monument and Bayport Cruise Terminal
Sylvan Beach Pavilion
Sylvan Beach Pavilion, an instant classic in the La Porte community has hosted graduations, weddings, and many musical guests. It was designed by Houston-based Greacen & Brogniez. The pavilion has weathered seven hurricanes, with Hurricane Ike causing its closure. This is not the end of the story.
In 2011, Commissioner Jack Morman, Friends of Sylvan Beach Park & Pavilion have secured three separate historic designations, and made renovation a priority. It is now a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, National Historic Register by the Texas Historical Commission, and is recognized as a State Archaeological Landmark.
At present day, this gem has been restored to its mid-century glory while meeting current coastal windstorm requirements. Restoration includes replicating the original circular bar and existing hardwood floors. It is storm-ready with new sump pumps, a custom-fabricated window assembly reviewed by the Texas Historical Commission, and more. It has a fabulous expansive view of Galveston Bay.
San Jacinto Monument
Standing 570 feet tall, the San Jacinto Monument is topped by a 35-foot star. The monument is dedicated to the “Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.”
A 1,800 feet long reflecting pool extends from the front of the monument toward Buffalo Bayou, and ranges from 4 to 6 feet deep. The base of the monument houses the San Jacinto Museum of History whose collections span more than 400 years of Texas’ early history, from the Spanish conquest through 19th century Texas. It is known as the tallest stone column memorial in the world, and is 15 feet taller than the Washington Memorial in Washington, D.C. It took three years to build it – April 21, 1936 to April 21, 1939.
The 35-feet tall, nine-pointed star symbolizes the Lone Star Republic, and looks like a star from every direction. The star took 20 days to build. The monument is designated as both a State and National Historic Structure.
There is an Observation Floor rising 489 feet above the battleground where the battleground, the boardwalk and marsh can be seen on a clear day, along with the Battleship Texas, Houston Ship Channel, Buffalo Bayou and way beyond.
San Jacinto Day returns to the days of the Battle of San Jacinto with a reenactment of the battle for Texas’ freedom. Reenactors in period dress will demonstrate army camp life including weaponry, cooking and blacksmithing, and is usually held in April of every year.
Bayport Cruise Terminal
Cruising out of Port of Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal, just south of La Porte in its extra-territorial jurisdiction, Bayport Industrial District are two cruise lines: Norwegian and Princess. Both cruise lines have western Caribbean destinations for 7 and 10 days, plus other worldwide destinations including transatlantic and ports beyond. Norwegian has a 35-day Caribbean, Transatlantic, Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruise.
Architect Magazine: www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/harris-county-precinct-two-sylvan-beach-pavilion
Texas Parks & Wildlife: tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/san-jacinto-battleground/san-jacinto-battleground-state-historic-site-monument