City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
The blueprints in Coulson Toughs hands

Featured Article

The Dedication of A Legacy

Introducing a new Bronze Sculpture honoring Coulson Tough

On a glorious December morning a quiet crowd gathered at Coulson Tough Elementary School to honor a Woodlands visionary, developer, planner and architect. The late Coulson Tough, whose birthday coincided with this day of dedication, worked closely with George Mitchell, he led the way with the introduction of public art in our community, resulting in what is now one of the largest outdoor sculpture programs in the country, this latest addition is a sculpture of the man himself, appropriately positioned at the entrance to his namesake school.

Coulson Tough Elementary School Principal Christy Julien reminisced about how Mr. Tough would regularly greet the children coming to school and how he would take time to read to them. There are still recordings of him reading stories in the school library.

The sculpture, created by Houston artist Bridgette Mongeon, is an interactive life-size bronze featuring Coulson Tough seated on a bench. Designing the sculpture from photographs, Mongeon said she got to know Mr. Tough through the love of his family and was able to realize his energy whilst working on the piece.  It’s a symbolic work with details you see when you look closely, “I hope to continue to educate with this sculpture, I hope to come to the school and talk to the kids about writing and art, and science, technology, engineering and math” Mongeon said.  Students can create their own art in the form of brass rubbings from the blueprints he holds in his hands, highlighting prolific buildings he designed such as The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, The Woodlands Waterway Hotel & Convention Center, The Tremont House Hotel and The San Luis Resort, Spa & Conference Center.  His favorite sculpture in The Woodlands - The Dreamer by David Phelps, is also featured.

“His life is put together with the symbolism in the statue” stated son Bruce Tough “he loved building things, he loved creating things, this is a jewel in the crown for him, and being part of The Woodlands and building a city in the forest. He loved education and this is a testament to him”.  “I want to thank Howard Hughes for this recognition of my father,” he explained -  “The naming of Coulson Tough Elementary was my father’s greatest honor.”

“We are proud to embody Mitchell’s legacy and reflect his commitment to education with a new sculpture of one of his most trusted advisors and past leader of our company, Coulson Tough— a sculpture that adds another inspiring and meaningful piece to our acclaimed collection of public art,” said Jim Carman, President, Houston Region for Howard Hughes. 

The Woodlands is home to over 90 pieces of public art to date.

 “Art changes the way people feel, you can see it with your soul”, said Dr. Curtis Null, Conroe ISD Superintendent. “We give great thanks to the visionaries who designed and developed this area. Coulson Tough had an impact on not just The Woodlands, but on all of Conroe ISD. We are thankful to be able to honor him and are grateful to Howard Hughes for extending his legacy.” “Every student will remember Coulson along the way”.

The six-foot-wide sculpture is designed so you can sit beside him, I couldn’t help but notice how many people naturally held his hand when they did.  

  • So many people naturally held Coulsons hand
  • Sterling Ridge Village Association present a check to Coulson Tough Elementary School
  • Dr Curtis Null, Bruce Tough, Artist Bridgette Mongeon Jim Carman and Christy Julien with the new sculpture
  • The sculpture unveiled, son Bruce Tough seated beside his fathers sculpture
  • Bruce Tough with the sculpture of his father, Coulson Tough
  • The blueprints in Coulson Toughs hands
  • The Tough Family with the sculpture of Coulson Tough
  • Coulson Tough

“His life is put together with the symbolism in the statue” - son Bruce Tough