Five stories that have North Texas talking: A 14-year-old is graduating from TCU; once endangered, the Statler hotel is considered a success; NorthPark’s original architect has died; and more.
Carson Huey-You won’t be able to drive himself to Texas Christian University’s graduation Saturday, but that won’t stop the 14-year-old from picking up his diploma. The physics major is the university’s youngest student ever.
He started at TCU in 2013 and quickly found a mentor in Dr. Magnus Rittby, a longtime professor, WFAA-TV reports. Rittby says Carson’s age has benefited him in their research. “Being playful is a plus. That way you can find out things that other people can't because they're too stuck in their ways.”
Carson’s mother tells KXAS-TV that he showed an interest in math at age 3. And then the attraction to quantum physics came in high school, Carson told the station. He also earned a minor in math and Chinese. "It didn't come easily. It really didn't," Carson says.
Carson will return to TCU in the fall for graduate school, and Cannon, his 11-year-old brother, will join him on campus as a freshman to study astrophysics and engineering. Watch the TCU student media interview with Carson below. [WFAA, KXAS]
- Dallas’ historic Statler Hilton Hotel has been deemed a preservation success story. The National Trust for Historic Preservation compiled a list of places that have been saved from destruction. For the past 30 years, the organization has put out an annual list of 11 “endangered” places around the country. Last October, two Texas sites made the list. Built in 1956, the Statler was vacant for years and faced threats of demolition until redevelopers launched a $175 million renovation after the hotel was listed as an endangered landmark in 2008. It reopened last year. [KERA News]
- E.G. Hamilton, the original lead architect of NorthPark Center died Monday at age 97. He received a lifetime achievement award in 2014 and celebrated the mall’s 50th anniversary the following year. Speaking about the NorthPark at the celebration, Hamilton said, “I wasn't trying to do something spectacular or attention-getting. I was trying to do something with a lasting value,” according to The Dallas Morning News. His projects included phase two of the Dallas Convention Center, the second Republic Bank Tower, modern houses throughout Dallas and more. [Art&Seek, The Dallas Morning News]
- Inspired by Finland’s longtime program, a Dallas native is giving new moms “baby boxes” to ensure safe sleeping. Starting this month, Texas moms are receiving “cardboard bassinets without legs," courtesy of Baby Box Co. Founded by Jennifer Clary and her friend, the company is working with hospitals in North Texas and across the country. The challenge in the U.S., Clary says, has been familiarizing people with the concept. The boxes provide a safer sleeping environment for babies than their parents’ bed. They’re also cheaper than a crib. Learn more in Breakthroughs. [KERA News]
- A missing tortoise at a Southlake middle school has been found safe and sound. Samson, a science class pet at Carroll Middle School, got out of a gate that accidentally was left unlatched over the weekend, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Authorities and school officials urged the community to keep their eyes peeled this week. The giant tortoise was found Wednesday about a mile away from the school at a business off State Highway 114, The Dallas Morning News reports. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News]