25 Years of Elmore PR: 1997

2017 is a big year for Elmore Public Relations—we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary! For the past 25 years, our agency has been working with numerous clients to help them achieve their goals, or as we say – connecting strategy, expertise and results. Each week we’re highlighting a year of Elmore PR.

For 1996, we took a look at how technology has changed the way we work.  This week, we’re looking to 1997, which marked the beginning of The Cotswold Project. This project was significant for the revitalization and beautification of the streets in downtown Houston.


The year was 1997 – gas was averaging $1.22 per gallon; Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State in U.S. history; and Internet Explorer 4 and Titanic made their big debut.

The Cotswold Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and beautification of public spaces, announced The Cotswold Project in 1997. Houston’s business and civic leaders were looking to enhance the look and usability of Downtown Houston’s most significant historical areas. The project focused on a 90-block area of northern downtown and through the project, connected Minute Maid Park, the Market Square Historic District, the Theater District, Buffalo Bayou and the Harris County courthouse. The project was turned over to the city in 1998, which became responsible for the management of it with support from the newly established Downtown Management District.

Some of the main facets of the project included the creation of fountains, integrating public art, adding parking, building wider sidewalks and the planting of trees. The Cotswold Project was a three phase plan and was completed in 2006.

In June 2003, we joined downtown dignitaries, including Bob Eury, executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District and Mayor Lee P. Brown, in celebrating the opening of eight fountains on Preston Street. The opening of the fountains came at a pivotal time in Houston, when the city was a few months away from hosting Super Bowl 38 and the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Bob Eury, executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District, makes opening remarks at the event in June 2003.

At the event, downtown civic and business leaders gathered to commemorate the opening of the fountains. As a special treat, the Boy Scouts from Troop 924 and Pack 1942 from Gallegos Elementary School provided an 8-squirt salute, with each squirt representing each of the eight fountains built through the Cotswold Project.

The water guns were used to commemorate the opening of the eight fountains.

The Cotswold Project was one of the many efforts designed to revitalize Downtown Houston in an effort to not only attract more companies, but to attract more visitors looking for a place to play. Other initiatives that Elmore PR assisted with include the Downtown Development Framework Plan and Make Main Street Happen. Stay tuned as next week—we look back at the opening of the historic Rice Hotel!

Local Boy Scouts celebrated the opening of the eight fountains through an eight-squirt salute.

Photos by Thomas R. Dubrock.