Construction of Sam Houston Hall
AuthorSchlueter, Frank J.
Constructing Sam Houston Hall, commonly known as National Democratic Convention Hall. Kenneth Franzeim was the primary architect with W. A. Dowdy City Architect. Sam Houston Hall, with a seating capacity of 16,000 and six acres of floor space, was built in sixty-four working days.
In the winter of 1927 Jesse H. Jones traveled to Washington D.C. with a certified check for $200,000 to enter Houston's bid for the Democratic National Convention to be held the following summer. In what is generally recognized as a conciliatory move, the national committee accepted the city's offer. Even then the nomination of Al Smith-the Catholic, Tammany Hall-backed New York governor who aggressively opposed prohibition-seemed likely, and national party officials in the East felt the need to appease the Protestant, prohibitionist South, which had not hosted a national convention since the Civil War. The convention ran from June 26 through June 29. Al Smith received the nomination. Because of his anti-prohibition stance many anti-Smith Democrats eventually joined forces with Republicans and elected Herbert Hoover in November 1928. (From the Handbook of Texas Online.)