East Downtown Houston
East Downtown Houston (EaDo) is a district in Houston, Texas, United States. The East Downtown Management District (EDMD), manages the area with offices headquartered at START Houston, a co-working space at 1121 Delano Street. The community is located east of Downtown Houston and north of Interstate 45 (Gulf Freeway). It is between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the East End district.
The Old Chinatown, an area within East Downtown bounded by U.S. Route 59, Preston Street, St. Joseph Parkway, and Dowling Street, is the older of the two Houston Chinatowns. The East Downtown Chinatown is not the same as the Chinatown in southwestern Houston.
In the 1930s many Cantonese immigrants moved to the former Houston Chinatown, then a part of the Third Ward area, from Downtown Houston in an effort to find more inexpensive land. The Cantonese opened several businesses, including grocery stores and restaurants, and held Chinese New Year celebrations. Immigrants from other East Asian countries, including Vietnam, moved into the Chinatown.
In the early 1950s the Chinese Merchants' Association moved to the southeastern edge of Downtown Houston. Many Chinese businesses moved there. The Chinatown solified as many Asian immigrants, including Viet Hoa, began moving to Houston in the 1970s. By the 1980s a theater, supermarkets, warehouses, a bank, and restaurants were located there.
By the late 1980s increasing numbers of Chinese began living in suburbs in Southwest Houston and Fort Bend County. In addition, the Chinatown was geographically hemmed in, with surrounding low income African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods and the Downtown area preventing additional growth. Two Chinese religious temples opened about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the old Chinatown in the 1990s.
In a November 28, 2002 Houston Press article John Nova Lomax described what is now known as East Downtown Houston as "a silent, godforsaken stretch of no-man's-land that's not really the Warehouse District, nor the Third Ward, nor the East End." Lomax said that he used "that bulky definition" since that by 2000, the name "Chinatown," still used in the 1980s and 1990s, "was no longer apt." The area received its current name in the late 2000s.
In 2008 the management district and its namethedistrict.com website asked for suggestions for a new name for the district. Suggestions included "the Warehouse District," referring to the abandoned warehouses, and "Saint E," after St. Emmanuel Street, a key street and the location of several bars and clubs. The district selected "EaDo," short for "East Downtown," one of the three most popular suggestions for the name of the district.
During the same year Dan Nip, a developer and East Downtown Management District board member, encouraged people to invest in the Old Chinatown area in East Downtown; if a person invests $500,000 United States dollars in the Old Chinatown and subsequently creates two jobs for ten years, he or she would become eligible for a EB-5 visa. By late 2009 the East Downtown authority began re-branding the district to reflect its current name. By 2010 a community of artists began to form in EaDo.
BBVA Compass Stadium is home for the Houston Dynamo and the Texas Southern University football team, which is on a tract of land bordered by Texas, Walker, Dowling and Hutchins in East Downtown. BBVA Compass is the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS to be located in a Downtown area. The stadium seats 22,039 and besides hosting soccer and football events will hold other events such as concerts and boxing matches.
Helen Anders of the Austin American-Statesman said that EaDo "looks like an art installation, with the steamshiplike George R. Brown Convention Center as a backdrop, skyscrapers lurking in the background and angular new condos set against low-slung warehouses, some of them still in use for industrial storage."
The Texas Guandi Temple (Traditional Chinese: 德州關帝廟, Simplified Chinese: 德州关帝庙, Pinyin: Dézhōu Guāndì Miào) is located in East Downtown. The temple was established in 1999 by a Vietnamese couple, Charles Loi Ngo and Carolyn. They decided to build a temple to Guan Yu (Guandi) after surviving an aggravated robbery, which occurred at their store in the Fifth Ward. They believed that Guandi saved their lives during the incident. The temple is open to followers of all religions, and it has perfumed halls.
The district has long been known for a relatively large homeless population (comparable to Skid Row, Los Angeles but on a far smaller scale). Many of the homeless in the Houston area congregate in East Downtown because of the presence of nearby agencies that provide services (which predate the current redevelopment efforts) and several groups that independently provide food, clothing, toiletries and other items on nearby vacant lots. Nearly all Houston non-profit and faith-based agencies which provide services to the homeless, including food and shelter, are located within Downtown and Midtown. A major shelter for women and children operated by Star of Hope, a faith-based agency, is located on Dowling Street, between Texas & Franklin; the agency operates a men's facility nearby on the west side of US 59, north of Minute Maid Park.
There has been some tension in recent years between developers who want to revitalize the East Downtown district with commercial and residential projects, and the homeless (and homeless service providers). Some have called for the city of Houston to restrict public sleeping on sidewalks and to regulate charitable serving of food. It remains to be seen whether or not current services to the homeless can continue in East Downtown in the face of ongoing revitalization and redevelopment efforts.
Government and infrastructure
Dodson Elementary School, in East Downtown, and Rusk Elementary School, outside of East Downtown, serve separate sections of East Downtown for elementary school. In 1995 Rusk had a student mobility rate of almost 100% because it had a very large homeless population. In 2014 the HISD school board will vote on whether to close Dodson Elementary. Terry Grier, the HISD superintendent, argued that Dodson needs to close so another school will be located there while its permanent facility is under construction.
For grades 6 through 8 Jackson Middle School serves East Downtown, Austin High School and Wheatley High School serve separate sections of East Downtown. Rusk has a science and technology magnet program for middle school students.
Prior to its closure, Anson Jones Elementary School, outside of East Downtown, served sections of East Downtown. The school, opened in 1892 with its latest campus constructed in 1966, closed in Summer 2006. E. O. Smith Education Center closed after the 2010-2011 school year; the portion of East Downtown was rezoned to Jackson.
- Rodriguez, Nestor. "Hispanic and Asian Immigration Waves in Houston." in: Chafetz, Janet Salzman and Helen Rose Ebaugh (editors). Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations. AltaMira Press, October 18, 2000. ISBN 0759117128, 9780759117129.
- Also available in: Ebaugh, Helen Rose Fuchs and Janet Saltzman Chafetz (editors). Religion and the New Immigrants: Continuities and Adaptations in Immigrant Congregations. Rowman & Littlefield, January 1, 2000. 0742503909, 9780742503908.
- "EaDo's Contact Information." East Downtown Management District. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
- "Welcome to EaDo." East Downtown Management District. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
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- Rodriguez, Lori. "Opinions vary over naming the growing Asian community on Houston's southwest side." (Archive). Alternate version without Chinatown map: "DIVERSITY DEBATE / Chinatown outgrowing name / Opinions vary over naming the growing Asian community on Houston's southwest side." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday May 9, 2007. A1.
- Rodriguez, p. 38.
- Rodriguez, p. 39.
- Rodriguez, p. 38-39.
- Lomax, John Nova. "Glamorous Youth." Houston Press. November 28, 2002. 6. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
- Lomax, John Nova. "Say Hello to EaDo." Houston Press. Thursday February 3, 2009. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
- "Name the District." East Downtown Houston. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
- "About EaDo." East Downtown Houston. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
- Anders, Helen. "Emergine EaDo: Houston's newest arts community." Austin American-Statesman. Saturday February 13, 2010. Retrieved on March 20, 2010.
- "Contact Us." Kim Sơn. Retrieved on September 1, 2012. "2001 Jefferson Houston Texas 77003 USA"
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- Chris Moran (July 14, 2011). "East Downtown wants city to ban sleeping on sidewalks". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
- Chris Moran and Safiya Ravat (March 6, 2012). "Proposed rules: safer food or criminalizing charity?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
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- Mellon, Ericka. "Grier says at least 2 schools need to close." Houston Chronicle. February 27, 2014. Retrieved on February 28, 2014.
- "Jackson Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on July 26, 2011.
- "Austin High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
- "Wheatley High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
- "Information for Thomas Rusk Elementary School." Rusk Elementary School. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
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- Home page. Anson Jones Elementary School. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
- "E.O. Smith Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
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- East Downtown Houston
- Sarnoff, Nancy. "'EaDo' pioneers hope rail, Dynamo stadium put area on track." Houston Chronicle. Saturday May 19, 2012.