Marcellus E. Foster, a former Houston Post reporter, created the Houston Chronicle in 1901 using Spindletop investment returns. A controversial figure in his day due to his vocal anti-KKK position, he led the Chronicle due major success during his quarter-century leadership reign.
In 1926, he sold the company to Houston politician and entrepreneur, Jesse H. Jones for a whopping $300,000 ($5 million today). The Houston Chronicle remained in the Jones family even after Jesse’s death in 1956, with ownership passing to his nephew, John T. Jones.
John T. Jones remained at the helm until 1965, when internal and external politics resulted in leadership changes that he did not agree with. As a result, he stepped down.
J. Howard Creekmore, President of the Chronicle’s parent company, took over until 1987, when the Hearst Corporation purchased the company.
106 years in downtown Houston
Constructed in 1910 on the site of the Shearn Memorial Church, the Houston Chronicle headquarters remained at the NW corner of Texas and Travis streets for over 100 years.
The headquarters was originally comprised of the following buildings:
- the main 10-story building (1910)
- the Majestic Theatre (1910)
- Chamber of Commerce building (1918)
The western edge of the Chronicle building can be seen on the far right
This 3-building complex grew into a sprawling campus that eventually encompassed the entire block. During the 1960s, the campus was wrapped in a modern, uniform facade that drastically changed the appearance.
Sadly, the original campus was demolished in 2016 and the Houston Chronicle moved their headquarters to 4747 SW Freeway. The block is now occupied by the Texas Tower.