Mayor's Office

Press Release

Distinguished author, historian and noted preservationist receives Mayor's award for outstanding efforts in historic preservation



Betty Trapp Chapman

Betty Trapp Chapman

May 17, 2011 -- Betty Trapp Chapman, the immediate past chair of the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission and a noted author and historian received the Mayor's Citizen Award for Historic Preservation Tuesday, May 17, 2011.


The award is presented for outstanding efforts in historic preservation and is awarded during May, National Historic Preservation Month. "Betty has been a passionate leader in helping Houstonians and visitors to our City realize the importance of and the value in preserving Houston's important historic architecture, buildings and sites," said Mayor Annise Parker. "She understands that planning for our future involves preserving our past."


In addition to her work as a successful author and lecturer, Betty served as Historian for the Texas Avenue Historic Marker Project resulting in the placement of 60 markers telling the history of this important street and chaired a task force on Houston history, a two year initiative that resulted in programs and projects to educate Houstonians on the importance and economic value of their history. Two of her most recent accomplishments include helping to strengthen Houston's historic preservation ordinance and the launch of an educational website,


"I am very honored to receive the Mayor's Award for Historic Preservation," said Betty Chapman. "My passion for 25 years has been to bring our city's history to the forefront so that all Houstonians can take pride in the place where they live. Preserving our built environment is an important part of capturing that past while saving it for future generations to enjoy."


Betty Trapp Chapman, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, received her B.A. degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, and has done additional studies in history at the University of Houston. She has spent the past twenty-five years researching, teaching, and writing about the history of Houston. Mrs. Chapman has written a weekly column, "Houston Heritage," for the Houston Business Journal since 1993 and her other published works include Houston Then and Now (1993), Two-Minute Histories of Houston (1995), Historic Houston (1997), Houston Women: Invisible Threads in the Tapestry (2000), 100 Years 100 Stories: The Houston Public Library 1904-2004 (2004) and Historic Photos of Houston (2007). Her most recent book, Rough Road to Justice: The Journey of Women Lawyers in Texas, was published in 2008 by the State Bar of Texas. A frequent lecturer for Rice University's School of Continuing Studies, she has also served as consultant for a variety of historical projects in the city including the placement of 60 historic markers along Texas Avenue. She has served on the boards of The Heritage Society, the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, and the Houston History Association. She is the immediate past chair of the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission.