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Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Orange Show Monument: A Houston Original

The Orange Show Monument, located in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, uses castaway materials to entertain visitors and pay tribute to creator Jeff McCissack's favorite food, the orange.

Postman Jeff McCissack started work on the monument in 1956 and completed it in 1979, just seven months before his death. Originally, he bought the land adjacent to his house to build a small business on, but later changed his mind for reasons that aren't completely clear.

In 1980, 22 Houston citizens formed a non-profit organization to purchase, preserve and maintain McCissack's monument for the public to be able to continue to enjoy it, and to use as a staging point for a variety of cultural activities.

You can visit the Orange Show Monument every weekend from mid-March to mid-December between 12 and 5 p.m. Weekday hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. are maintained from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

Your first reaction will likely be one of either amusement, amazement, or disbelief when you're greeted by the site of this multi-tiered structure fashioned from a variety of materials including brick, wagon wheels, colored tiles, and any number of any junk items.

Hand-crafted signs greet you at every turn. All of them bear witness to McCissack's belief that hard work, good nutrition, and lots of oranges made for a long and healthy life. Those signs are punctuated by a variety of pieces including animals, people, and familiar characters all crafted from junk.

An amphitheater crafted from, among other things, old tractor seats plays host to a variety of "off the beaten track" cultural events. Other nifty features include a wishing well, a pond, and an oasis.

No good tourist attraction would be complete without a gift shop. And, if you don't get a souvenir there, how are you ever going to explain this place to your friends?

About The Author

Fresh Houston founder Masadio Caliente invites you to visit his one-stop resource for those seeking complete information about Houston: http://www.freshhouston.com/.



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