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City of Katy Purchases Historic Home to Add to Parks Department, Education Space


November 4, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

The Katy City Council approved the purchase of a historical Katy home this week. The home owned by the Fussell family will serve as office space for the city’s modernizing Parks Department and further enhance previous city park space, including the addition of an education space.

Photo courtesy: The City of Katy

Historic Home Next Door to Katy Library

The Fussell home on Franz Road next to the Katy Library dates back to at least the early 1940’s according to tax records. The home is where the former first lady of Katy, Sandy Fussell Schmidt grew up.

Long-time Katy resident, Sandy Fussell Schmidt is married to former Katy Mayor (1995-2001) Hank Schmidt who owns Schmidt Funeral Home.

The Right Timing

“For several years we’ve discussed about purchasing it and now the timing finally fell into place,” says Katy Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris.

The Fussell home during the winter storm of 1955. Mrs. Schmidt is on the front porch. Photo courtesy: The City of Katy

New Space for the Parks Department

The newly Katy purchased home will serve as a new Parks Learning Center and office space for the Parks Department.

The land also comes with open-space, park equipment, legacy trees, and a parking area.

Allows for a Parking Area

“The Fussell home happens to sit by the Katy Public Library. Katy Park and Dog Park,” says Harris. “It has an area for parking, so we don’t have to take space away from the dog park to add additional parking to the area.”

Harris says that the outside of the Fussell home is in great shape and that the inside is gorgeous and recently renovated.

“This is a good deal, and everyone is very happy,” says Harris.

The City hopes to finalize plans for the space very soon.

“The parks director is already looking at the building on what needs to be done,” says Harris. “I expect we will be moving forward soon as we’re actively modernizing the parks department.”

City to Work with Groups to Preserve History

Harris says that City of Katy is working with the Fussell family, Keep Katy Beautiful, the Katy Heritage Society to work on getting pictures and to tell the story of this house.

“We are preparing to help the city in any capacity,” says Adrienne Davitz, President of The Heritage Society. “We have pulled old photos and records and are available.”

Harris says that this will also be a great space for residents who rent and use the pavilion. “We look forward to serving our citizens with this piece of Katy history,” says Harris.

Future park space by the home (already city owned.) Photo courtesy: The City of Katy.

According to Harris, the City is currently researching the history of the home but it seems that the outside is mostly original except that the porch area was added on later.

The Fussell home is located at 5402 Franz Road, next to the Katy Library.

Learn About, Tour Other Historical Katy Homes

Katyites can enjoy and learn from Katy’s rich history by touring other historical homes through the Katy Heritage Society.

Learn more about the Katy Heritage Society and how you can tour historical Katy homes at their website.


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