Houston Historic Heights…

historic houston heights neighborhood

You are viewing just a glimpse of the HISTORIC HOUSTON HEIGHTS district.

Tarzan and I decided to take a tour of this eclectic neighborhood that we have heard SOO much about.

It did NOT disappoint my friends. Our mouths were open the whole time, I can’t even count how many times I said, “Honey, I would LOVE to live here…smile.

One thing I was disappointed with myself…I didn’t capture any of the craftsman bungalows…sigh.  I think the Victorian homes with their grand scale kept my attention a little too much.

Here is a little history…

Houston Heights roughly encompasses the area between Studewood and N Durham. On the south it is bordered by I-10, and to the north it goes to the 610 N Loop.

1891 Oscar Martin Cooley and investors formed the Omaha and South Texas Land Company. It purchased 1756 acres of land that would become Houston Heights. It was one of the first “suburbs” of Houston; a streetcar community of the “dense” urban center. It was called Heights because it was around 30 feet higher than the swampy, mosquito laden area around Allen’s Landing.

The first home built by the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, in 1893, was the Cooley home (pictured top right hand corner of photo collage) at 1802 Boulevard. Today, it is still standing and occupied by Circa Real Estate Company.

The Heights declined after WWII and continued its slide until the 1970′s. It was still considered a low income area when remodeling of these cool old homes started. The homes were cheap, and the land could hardly be given away until the 1980′s when renovation began in earnest.

Houston Heights is not uniform. Because it was once incorporated, it had its own shopping areas (i.e. the funky/cool shops along 19th St), its own industrial areas (an old steel plant was just demolished last year), lots of warehouses, etc. Everything you would expect from a small, early 1900′s town. These “good, bad and ugly” parts can still be seen, but not nearly as noticeable as a few years ago. The Heights is one of the hottest neighborhoods around, and the industrial relics are fast disappearing.

Walking through the Heights now is still like walking back in time. Lots of 1890′s Victorians and the newer (1910-1930′s) Craftsman bungalows.

All of these old homes had the popular cupola of the period and the gabled roof to top off the elegant decoration. The Mills home was possibly the most pretentious, highly decorative with its intricate “gingerbread” fretwork. One pictures lace curtains, the tea cozy, and the tray for calling cards as setting the tone for early Boulevard society.

The Heights today is booming. It is one of the hottest areas for real estate in the city. New construction is everywhere. Renovations are again strong after having died out for a while. The renovations are not for the timid or cash-strapped though. It takes a lot of money to play this game now, and you had better know what you are doing and have good subcontractors from what I hear.

The Heights is a premier neighborhood now! It is no longer just for people seeking a charming, eclectic area.

It is the place to be! Oh be still my heart…

As we strolled along, we found some other delights that I will be sharing in future posts.

Want a little more visual delight? Check out Kathrine Hepburn’s Estate click here.

Did you enjoy the Historic Heights Collage?


Linky Fun…Little by Little


46 thoughts on “Houston Historic Heights…

  1. Pingback: The Sculptures of Heights Boulevard… | Pride in Photos

  2. I’m with Laurie on this one! I adore the beautiful architecture of the old houses, but I surely would hate to have to paint them. I’ve tried several times to get my hubby to give in to me and let us buy one of the older 1800’s houses here, but alas…. he is too practical. (Ha) With siting the wiring needs, insulation, ya da ya da…. But they ARE beautiful 😀 Thanks for the pictures as I’ve never been there myself. 😀

  3. Wow I would love to have one of those gorgeous homes!! Fantastic pics!! In the meantime I will just keep improving on my house!! Tee hee! Have a wonderful weekend my blog BFF!! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  4. LOVE old houses like these — and you’ve captured them so well, Laurie! Are you going to go back for the Craftsman homes? They are my all-time favorite house architectue.

  5. You are finding such great places to see in Houston. I’m going to have to add Houston as a place to visit.
    I’m so glad that these old homes are being re-done. Simply gorgeous! They remind me of the homes on Cape May, NJ.
    Wonderful post; enjoyed the history!

  6. How they loved to embellish ! Don’t suppose they are reading by gaslight now though 😉
    Super pictures Laurie .. you really do find some places for us to enjoy !

  7. Oh, I just love these houses Laurie and wouldn’t mind living in one myself! Great history and stunning captures as always. 😀 ♥ Hugs ♥

  8. These are some lovely old houses and I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that we also have some on Main Street Middletown. I might try to take a few pictures to send you, however, they won’t be as nice as yours.

  9. I’d take any one of them! I love old, charming homes like these. We have a similar little town near us and I drool over the homes.

  10. I absolutely adore these old vintage style homes! We have a few of them here in our small town and they just have so much character! Great captures!

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