After more than 150 years, Preston Street Bridge, located near Sesquicentennial Park in downtown's Theater District, was formally renamed Wednesday for late U.S. Commerce Secretary, Robert A. Mosbacher, Sr.
The pedestrian bridge extends across Buffalo Bayou linking the George H.W. Bush Monument and the Baker Common. Two bronze sculptures, one of President George H. W. Bush and the other of Secretary of State James A. Baker III, face one another from opposite sides of the water.
The connection is symbolic of the close friendship the three shared throughout the years, including during their time as colleagues in the first Bush administration when Mosbacher served as U.S. Commerce Secretary.
At the ceremony led by City Councilman Robert Gallegos, the three families celebrated the memory of Mosbacher, oil mogul and chief Republican fundraiser, who is credited for laying the groundwork for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mosbacher died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.
The renaming of the bridge was championed by the Houston City Council, which voted unanimously in favor of the rededication in December 2014.
Houstonians Charles Foster, David Jones, John Williams and Jim McGrath served on the advisory board for the $450,000 public/privately funded project created by Gensler design firm. The redesign boasts two mounted bas-reliefs of Mosbacher created by Houston artist Willy Wang. The moldings hang adjacent to Wortham Theater Center alongside plaques detailing Mosbacher’s life and career.
Among those attending the invitation-only event were former President George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Susan and James A. Baker III, Rob Mosbacher, John Williams, and Shahla and Hushang Ansary.