Designate Dr. Jenny Lind Porter’s Home A Historic Landmark by Kathleen Smith

How many Texas women teachers, writers or poets have historic landmark recognition in Austin? Or in the state of Texas?

On behalf of the Old Enfield Homeowners Association I am writing to inform you of the demolition permit application for 1715 Summit View, Case NRD-2016-0044 the home of Texas Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Jenny Lind Porter.

I am a resident and board member of the Old Enfield neighborhood. We have been lucky to have Jenny Lind Porter, Poet Laureate of Texas, as a neighbor for 35 years. We, the Old Enfield board, are seeking historic designation for her home at 1715 Summit View, 78703.

A demolition permit has been issued and the permit hearing is set for this evening. We are reaching out to possible advocates for help in getting letters or calls to the Historic Landsmarks Commission today. I apologize for the last minute nature of this letter but we were hoping for the hearing to get postponed but it has not been granted as of yet.

If possible, we would appreciate your members voices to be included in our fight to get Jenny Lind Porter and her home the historic recognition she deserves.
Below is the case number and all the email addresses of the Landmarks Committee chairs.

Thank you so much for your time and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Kathleen Smith
Old Enfield
78703

Case information to reference when writing the Commission:
1715 Summit View Place – Case NRD-2016-0044
Agenda for June 27th, 2016

Mary Galindo, Chair
bc-Mary.Galindo@austintexas.gov
David Whitworth, Vice Chair
bc-David.Whitworth@austintexas.gov
Madeline Clites
bc-Madeline.Clites@austintexas.gov
Terri Myers
bc-Terri.Myers@austintexas.gov
Tiffany Osburn
bc-Tiffany.Osburn@austintexas.gov
Arif Panju
bc-Arif.Panju@austintexas.gov
Alexander Papavasiliou
bc-Alexander.Papavasiliou@austintexas.gov
Emily Reed
bc-Emily.Reed@austintexas.gov
Blake Tollett
bc-Blake.Tollett@austintexas.gov
Michelle Trevino
bc-Michelle.Trevino@austintexas.gov
Sarah Valenzuela
bc-Sarah.Valenzuela@austintexas.gov

And copy Steve Sadowsky –
Steve Sadowsky steve.sadowsky@ci.austin.tx.us
Historic Preservation Officer
City of Austin, Texas
512-974-6454

Comment by Dr. Amos: I was not able to send a message until this morning in support of Kathleen Smith’s proposal to designate the home of my former teacher, Dr. Jenny Lind Porter, a historic landmark. I’m urging other former students and also those who support the leadership role countless women have assumed yesterday, today, and tomorrow to do the same. Kathleen’s message was a comment on a post about Dr. Porter. My message to the commission is below:

Dear Mary Galindo and Steve Sadowsky,

I’m writing the Historic Landmarks Commission to support historic designation of the home of Dr. Jenny Lind Porter, Poet Laureate of Texas, the address of which is 1715 Summit View, 78703 in the Old Enfield neighborhood. I was notified on June 27, 2016 that her home is slated to be demolished. I realize the hearing about that issue has already been held and I’m too late.

I was one of Dr. Porter’s students at what is now Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Texas in the mid-1970s. She was a remarkable teacher and I have no idea why there is this issue about her home being demolished. In fact, I had no idea whether she was alive or dead until April of 2014 when the I queried the Austin Poets Society about whether or not the Jenny Lind Porter Scholarship is named for her. In fact it is and that’s how I found her address.

Because I was told that Dr. Porter, for all her legendary literary scholarship, is not “digitally literate” and does not own a computer, I wrote a letter to her at the address above in April of 2014 thanking her for everything she had done for me. I write a blog called The Practical Psychosomaticist and you can see what I’ve written about her by simply typing her name in the search field. I suppose I’ll never know whether she received it.

My best memories of Dr. Porter are contained in my blog post, Nearly Naked Admiration, link https://thepracticalpsychosomaticist.com/2013/06/14/nearly-naked-admiration/

Thank you for your attention.

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