Memorial, Houston

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Memorial's location, shaded in burnt orange, in Houston.[citation needed]

The Memorial area of Houston, Texas, United States is west of Downtown Houston and northwest of Uptown Houston. It is bounded on the south by Buffalo Bayou, on the east by Interstate 610, on the west by Texas State Highway 6, and extends just north of the Katy Freeway to Westview and ends at the Memorial Villages: Spring Valley Village, Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, Hilshire Village and Hunters Creek Village. These independent cities operate autonomously of Houston and have joint fire and police coverage.[citation needed] The northeast area near I-10 and Texas State Highway Beltway 8 of Memorial City is home to Memorial City Mall, the newer, more upscale Town & Country Village lifestyle center, and the mega-development project known as CityCentre, plus the emerging edge city around them.

History[edit]

In the 1930s wealthy people had large home plots. The backs of these plots had horse stables, and horseback riding was a popular activity. As time passed, the owners of the stables sold them, and many were replaced with houses.[1]

In the 1950 and 1960s, Houston was experiencing a period of suburban growth as the city expanded beyond the traditional area inside the Interstate 610 loop. After the construction of Interstate 10 through the city in 1968, the area where Memorial now resides became favorable to developers. At first, the Memorial area was sparsely populated and contained mostly empty land and farms, plus the few farm-to-market roads and thoroughfares. Development began in the late 1950s, as upper-middle-class subdivisions, mostly along the Buffalo Bayou, were built along with the accompanying government facilities (schools, police and fire services, etc.) This sudden arrival of widespread development also encouraged commercial growth along the main roads that criss-crossed the area, including the major road Memorial Drive.[citation needed]

For the next four decades, the area continued to prosper. High class development in the Memorial Villages between Beltway 8 (then known as West Belt, constructed in 1968) and Interstate 610 made the area a hotspot for public figures. Homes in the Villages now sell for upwards of one million dollars.[citation needed]

In the last two decades, the immediate area around the Interstate 10/Beltway 8 junction has suddenly become one of Houston's main edge cities, along with the Texas Medical Center, the Galleria district and the Astrodomain. Memorial City Mall, often regarded as one of the city's most prestigious shopping malls, and the Memorial Hermann Hospital center next to it, are the main landmarks of the Memorial City area. Recent skyscraper development along Interstate 10, including the notable Memorial Hermann tower next to the hospital - the city's 29th-tallest building at 500 feet - has arrived with the completion of the Katy Freeway's renovation.[citation needed]

The area gained population between 1980 and 1990.[2] In the early 1990s, one of the few remaining private stables was sold and turned into a development.[1]

Cityscape[edit]

Laura Nathan-Gardner, author of Insiders' Guide to Houston, wrote that Memorial consists of areas immediately south of Interstate 10 between Beltway 8 and the 610 Loop.[3]

In 2006 Yushan Chang, author of Newcomer's Handbook Neighborhood Guide: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin, wrote that the area "has still managed to retain its arboreal environment" even though by 2006 it was denser than previously.[1]

There are many housing styles in Memorial and development in neighborhoods is not uniform. Housing styles include Georgian-style houses, bungalows, and cottages. Some areas include townhouses and condominiums. Some subdivisions in Memorial are gated.[1]

Chang wrote that many streets "feel like winding country lanes" and follow the Buffalo Bayou's contours.[1]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Most of Memorial is located within the City of Houston, however, all of the Villages are located in Memorial and they elect their own mayors and councils and do not vote for Houston officials. Nearly all of Memorial is located in the Spring Branch Independent School District with areas west of Eldridge Road located within the boundaries of Katy Independent School District.

In 1992 Cynthia Mayer of the Philadelphia Inquirer said that Memorial, along with River Oaks and Tanglewood, was one of three of "Houston's richest, most Republican neighborhoods".[4] Memorial voters are reliably Republican and fairly conservative. In Texas, local elections are officially non-partisan, and Memorial voters usually cast most of their ballots for the more conservative candidates.[citation needed]

In the first 1991 Mayor of Houston election, Bob Lanier received more votes than any other candidate in Memorial.[5][6]

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

Harris County Precinct Three, represented by Steve Radack, includes Memorial.[7]

Memorial is part of Texas Senate Districts 7, 15 and 17, with the largest part in District 7. In the Texas House of Representatives, Memorial is included in Districts 132, 133, 136 and 138.

Memorial is in Texas's 7th congressional district and Republican John Culberson is the representative.[8]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Pupils in the Memorial area primarily attend schools in the Spring Branch Independent School District. The Houston Independent School District does not serve residents in Memorial. Students in the western end of the Memorial area attend Katy ISD schools.

In 2006 Yushan Chang wrote that "Memorial is known for the good public schools at the elementary and secondary level. Many have been rated exemplary, the highest state rating, and several are nationally recognized."[1]

Pre-kindergarten and elementary school[edit]

For pre-kindergarten all residents are assigned to the Wildcat Way School in Memorial.[9] Zoned elementary schools in the Memorial area in Houston include Meadow Wood, Nottingham, Rummel Creek, Thornwood, Wilchester. In addition, sections are, in separate attendance zones, served by Bunker Hill Elementary School and Frostwood Elementary School in the City of Bunker Hill Village, as well as Memorial Drive Elementary School in City of Piney Point VillageHunters Creek Elementary in Hunters Creek and close in Memorial up to 610 .[10] The district also operates Bendwood Campus Elementary School, a special needs school, in the Memorial area.[11]

Middle school[edit]

Major middle schools in Memorial include Memorial Middle School and Spring Forest Middle School. In addition Spring Branch Middle School in the City of Hedwig Village serve sections of Memorial.[12]

On February 23, 2009, the school board of SBISD approved the design for the addition and renovation to Memorial Middle. Ambrose, McEnany and House Architects designed this addition and renovation, and it was scheduled to cost $11.5 million.[13]

High schools[edit]

Memorial High School in Hedwig Village serves the eastern portion of the Memorial area, while Stratford High School in Memorial serves the western portion of the Memorial area.[14] Westchester Academy for International Studies is a Spring Branch Independent School District charter magnet school catering to students in 6th through 12th grade throughout the entire school district.

Memorial Private High School, a private 6-12 school, is located in Memorial.

Public libraries[edit]

Kendall Library

Memorial is served by the Kendall Library of Houston Public Library and the Spring Branch Memorial Branch of Harris County Public Library (the Spring Branch Memorial Branch is in Hedwig Village).

By December 2009 the former Kendall facility was for sale.[15] The branch relocated to a newly built facility along Eldridge Parkway in the Energy Corridor management district.

Shopping[edit]

The upscale and revived Memorial City Mall is located in the area. The area is also served by the Town and Country Village and adjacent CityCentre lifestyle center that are sought to replace the now defunct Town & Country Mall.

Media[edit]

  • The Memorial Buzz is a monthly magazine mailed free of charge to all residents. The Memorial Buzz is about people, products and services in the community.
  • The Houston Chronicle is the area regional newspaper.
  • The Memorial Examiner is a local newspaper distributed in the community.

Services[edit]

The United States Postal Service operates the Memorial Park Post Office at 10505 Town and Country Way, near Memorial City, 77024. Of more recent construction is the Fleetwood Post Office, found at 315 Addicks Howell Road, 77079.[16][17]

Culture[edit]

Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press said that "Memorial is still in many ways a sweetly sleepy suburb" despite the construction of CityCentre and expansion and redevelopment at Memorial City Mall.[18] In terms of the neighborhood culture and the restaurants in the Memorial area Shilcutt said "[b]ut sleepy doesn't necessarily mean boring. And suburb doesn't mean chain restaurants and bland food."[18]

Neighborhoods[edit]

Nottingham Forest[edit]

Nottingham Forest (29°46′1.95″N 95°36′54.16″W / 29.7672083°N 95.6150444°W / 29.7672083; -95.6150444 and 29°45′59.3346″N 95°35′52.512″W / 29.766481833°N 95.59792000°W / 29.766481833; -95.59792000) is a subdivision (the combined name of two middle-class neighborhoods, Nottingham Forest and Nottingham Forest VIII) located on the far west side of Houston, Texas, south of Interstate 10 and west of Beltway 8. They are both bordered by Memorial Drive to the north and the Buffalo Bayou to the south and west.

The two are members of a group of neighborhoods and apartment complexes that sprung up in the 1960s in west Houston. Much like many other neighborhoods in the surrounding area, they are populated by numerous clapboard and brick one- and two-story houses shaded by what once was thick oak forest.

History[edit]

The two neighborhoods were simultaneously developed in the late 1960s. The area was mainly grassland and wood, with little commercial development.[19] Interstate 10 had recently been built north of the area, attracting westward suburban growth.

Looking east on Chadbourne Drive in Nottingham Forest VII, 2006

The neighborhoods have seen numerous tropical storms, including Hurricane Alicia (1983), Tropical Storm Allison (2001), Hurricane Rita (2005) and Hurricane Ike (2008). None of these storms have had a severe impact beyond downed trees and power lines.

In 2006, the Houston Chronicle listed Nottingham Forest as a slightly higher-priced subdivision in the west Houston superneighborhood (outside Beltway 8),[20] with the most expensive home listed at approximately $425,000 USD. Unlike the rest of the city, in 2007 Nottingham Forest (along with the rest of the Memorial area) reported an 8% increase in home sales, one of only seven areas in Houston to report a sales increase.[21] The poor performance in the Houston housing market has been caused by the subprime mortgage crisis.

Nottingham Forest was the childhood home of comedian Bill Hicks.[22] Hicks jokingly referred to the neighborhood as a "strict Southern Baptist ozone".[23][24]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Chang, Yushan. Newcomer's Handbook Neighborhood Guide: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. First Books, 2006. ISBN 0912301708, 9780912301709. p. 145.
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Census tracks rapid growth of suburbia." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 10, 1991. Section A, Page 1.
  3. ^ Nathan-Gardner, Laura. Insiders' Guide to Houston. Globe Pequot, November 10, 2009. ISBN 0762758376, 9780762758371. p. 8.
  4. ^ Mayer, Cynthia. "In Houston, Where Bush Still Drops In." Philadelphia Inquirer. August 18, 1992. 2. Retrieved on October 13, 2012.
  5. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Saying goodbye, with no regrets." Houston Chronicle. Saturday November 9, 1991. A31.
  6. ^ Bernstein, Alan and Jim Simmon. "Black vote went solidly for Turner/Whitmire failed to produce split." Houston Chronicle. Thursday November 7, 1991. A21.
  7. ^ "Precinct Maps : Precinct 3." Harris County. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  8. ^ "Congressional District 7." National Atlas of the United States.
  9. ^ "Early Childhood." Spring Branch Independent School District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Elementary School Boundaries." Spring Branch Independent School District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  11. ^ "About Bendwood Elementary." Bendwood Elementary School. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  12. ^ "Middle School Boundaries." Spring Branch Independent School District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  13. ^ Baird, Annette. "Spring Branch ISD unveils early college program." Houston Chronicle. March 3, 2009. Retrieved on May 12, 2014.
  14. ^ "High School Boundaries." Spring Branch Independent School District. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  15. ^ Sarnoff, Nancy. "Lakewood may buy former Compaq Center." Houston Chronicle. December 3, 2009. Retrieved on December 4, 2009.
  16. ^ "About the District." Memorial City District. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
  17. ^ "Post Office Location - MEMORIAL PARK." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 11, 2009.
  18. ^ a b Shilcutt, Katharine. "The 10 Best Places to Eat in Memorial." Houston Press. Thursday December 3, 2009. Retrieved on July 25, 2012.
  19. ^ Richard West (April 1975). "Texas Monthly Reporter". Texas Monthly. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  20. ^ Houston Chronicle HomeFront
  21. ^ The Houston Chronicle, March 19, 2008. Page D1, "Real Estate" section.
  22. ^ "Bill Hicks Biography, Bio, Tour Dates". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  23. ^ Paul Outhwaite, author of One Consciousness – an Analysis of Bill Hicks’ Comedy. "Bill Hicks Biography". Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  24. ^ Cynthia True. American Scream: The Bill Hicks Story. Retrieved 2010-09-25. 
  25. ^ Rogers, Brian. "Jurors hear details of accused former doctor's wealth." Houston Chronicle. Thursday September 15, 2011. Retrieved on November 20, 2011.
  26. ^ Moreno, Jenalia. "Taqueria Arandas founder's daughter, 24, is boss." Houston Chronicle. December 3, 2006. Retrieved on March 31, 2014.

See also[edit]