Clayton Garwood, Susan

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Main contributors
Center for Public History, University of Houston; University of Houston Libraries, University of Houston
This is an oral history interview with Susan Clayton Garwood conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Susan Clayton Garwood, the great-granddaughter of Houston cotton magnate, William Lockhart Clayton, (1880-1966) begins by discussing her childhood memories of Will Clayton and the numerous dinners at Clayton House, 5300 Caroline, in Houston. She also discusses her father, former Texas Supreme Court justice, Wilmer St. John Garwood, Jr. and her visits to Austin with her grandfather, Wilmer St. John Garwood, Sr., also, a Texas Supreme Court justice. The interview explores her early interest in Houston architectural perseveration, based on her experience with her inherited estate, the Clayton summer home in River Oaks, a miniature Mount Vernon, designed by Birdsall Briscoe. Her love of the property infused her with a lifelong passion for preservation. This later led her to try thwarting the demolition of a Birdsall Briscoe-designed home in her neighborhood, which had ties to her family. That effort, which was caught on camera by local news station, Channel 13, however, sparked her interest and drive to renovate Clayton House, in a three-year, multi-million-dollar private/public project that resulted in its restoration. In her quest to restore the gardens, which comprise a sizeable portion of the estate‟s block-wide lot, Susan Clayton Garwood researched the types of plants used in 1917 and likely flourished on the grounds when the home was built. The reintroduction of period fauna served as a capstone to the project‟s years-long restoration. Today, the home is part of the Houston Public Library‟s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. Garwood continues to visit the garden and plant flowers, demonstrating her dedication to the home she knew as a child. Interviewer: Alex Colvin.
Politics and government; Clayton, Will; Clayton Garwood, Susan
Houston, Texas
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted


University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
Houston History Archives
Oral Histories from the Houston History Project
Other Identifier
Preservation Location: ark:/84475/pm2081wf33j
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