Oak Forest, Houston

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Coordinates: 29°49′41″N 95°25′31″W / 29.82806°N 95.42528°W / 29.82806; -95.42528

Oak Forest marker
Oak Forest Branch Houston Public Library

Oak Forest is a large residential community in northwest Houston, Texas, United States. Oak Forest is the third largest group of subdivisions in Harris County (behind Kingwood and Sharpstown).[1]

History[edit]

Oak Forest was established in 1947 by Oak Forest Realty Corporation, owned by Frank Sharp, a developer who would later establish Sharpstown. Oak Forest Realty Corporation built houses only in Section 1 (Golf Dr to Oak Forest Dr, and Du Barry Ln to W 43rd St). Sharp would later develop the neighborhood for 17 additional sections by building streets and installing utility lines, but left the home construction to other contractors.[citation needed]

The first house, which served as a sales office, was built at the corner of Golf and Fisher Dr. Almost all of the first houses were sold to World War II veterans for $8,000-$10,000. One of the original homeowners, Ruth Metzger, bought her house in April 1947, when it was only a slab and still lived there through 2008.[citation needed]

Many of the original settlers moved from rural areas west of Houston and were of Polish Texan and Czech Texan origins.[2]

Originally, there was no telephone service. If a homeowner needed to place a call, they had to use one in the construction shack on the corner of Wakefield and Kinley Lane or one in the house of Frank Sharp’s niece on Wakefield. Telephone service finally arrived in the middle of 1948.[citation needed]

Sufficient acreage in Oak Forest was set aside for churches, parks and schools. Areas were also reserved for commercial development and this accounts for the many grocery stores, cleaners, service stations, etc., which are located along W. 43rd St. between Ella Blvd. and Oak Forest Dr.

When it was first established, Oak Forest was a golf course and a part of the Aldine Independent School District. The land was ceded to Houston ISD. The original Oak Forest Elementary was built in 1951, followed by Black Junior High School in 1958 and construction on Waltrip High School began in 1959 with the first classes held in the fall of 1960. Stevens Elementary was added as the area grew beyond the capacity of one elementary school.

Oak Forest was originally an unincorporated area in Harris County. It was annexed by the City of Houston about 1949. Sixty years later, there are 5,523 homes in Oak Forest with a population of over 23,000. Oak Forest is the third largest area after the annexation of Kingwood.[citation needed]

From 2005 to 2011 the number of house sales in Oak Forest increased by an annual average of 5.8%.[3]

In February 2009 some Oak Forest residents reported increased burglaries and thefts.[4]

In 2010 the Houston Press ranked Oak Forest one of the "The Five Most Underrated Neighborhoods In Houston."[5] 226 house sales occurred during that year.[3]

In 2011 Jason Light, the owner of the real estate firm Light Group, was quoted in the Houston Chronicle referring to Oak Forest as the "new West University".[3] Marlene Casares, a woman quoted in the same article, called Oak Forest as "like a little mini Bellaire, but with better prices."[3]

By 2013 many families were moving into Oak Forest and nearby Garden Oaks.[6]

Cityscape[edit]

Oak Forest is in northwest Houston, outside of,[5] and north of the 610 Loop and east of U.S. Route 290.[6] It is located near West 43rd Street,[3] and is between T. C. Jester and Interstate 45.[7] Richard Connelly of the Houston Press said "Oak Forest itself is a less prominent little sister to Garden Oaks" and that "Oak Forest offers everything Garden Oaks does, more or less, but at cheaper prices."[5] Connelly added that if the 610 Loop experiences heavy traffic in its mainlanes, "there are plenty of alternative ways to get home."[5] In 2011 Mel Reyna, the owner of the real estate firm Reyna Realty Group, said that Oak Forest has a relatively central location in the Houston area and large lots, and that Oak Forest is relatively affordable.[3]

As of 2011 Oak Forest has 5,480 houses. The original houses are 1950s style houses. In 2005 the median housing price per square foot was $104 ($125.58 when adjusted for inflation). In 2010 it was $138 ($149.25 when adjusted for inflation). As of 2011 housing prices for new houses range from $550,000 ($576605.03 considering inflation) to $700,000 ($733860.95 considering inflation), and housing prices for remodeled houses range from $200,000 ($209674.56 considering inflation) to $300,000 ($314511.83 considering inflation).[3]

As of 2011 many homeowners tore down the original houses to build new 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) houses. Jason Light of the real estate firm Light Group said that he had seen old houses torn down for larger new ones beginning in 2005, that few teardowns occurred during the Great Recession, but that around 2011 teardowns were beginning to reoccur. Light said that other families instead choose to remodel their older houses.[3]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Almost all of Oak Forest is located in Houston City Council District C.[8][9] A small portion is in council district A.[10][9]

The Houston Fire Department operates Station 13 Oak Forest at 2215 West 43rd Street; Station 13 is part of Fire District 31.[11]

Houston Fire Station 13, 1976
Fire Station 13, 1950

The area is within the Houston Police Department's North Patrol Division with headquarters at 9455 West Montgomery Road. The Near North Storefront is located at 1335 West 43rd Street.[12][13]

County, federal, and state representation[edit]

Oak Forest is within Harris County Precinct 4.[14] Harris County Hospital District operates the Northwest Health Center at 1100 West 34th Street.[15]

The United States Postal Service Oak Forest Post Office is located at 2499 Judiway Street.[16]

As of 2011 a proposed U.S. Congressional district would put Oak Forest in the same district as Rye, Texas.[17]

Education[edit]

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Frank Black Middle School
Oak Forest Elementary School

Oak Forest's public schools are operated by Houston Independent School District. The community is divided between Trustee District I and Trustee District VII.[18]

Elementary schools that serve Oak Forest include:[9]

In 2011 Jason Light of the real estate firm Light Group said many families were moving into Oak Forest and building new houses since Oak Forest Elementary "is a top-rated school."[3]

Parts of Oak Forest in the east are served by Frank Black Middle School,[25] while parts of Oak Forest in the west are served by Clifton Middle School.[26]

Parts of Oak Forest in the east are served by Waltrip High School,[27] while parts of Oak Forest in the west are served by Scarborough High School.[28]

Private schools[edit]

St. Rose of Lima Catholic School is affiliated with the church of the same name. In 2014 John Nova Lomax of Houstonia wrote that it "was the neighborhood focal point, and still is, some say."[2]

Public libraries[edit]

Houston Public Library operates the Oak Forest Neighborhood Library at 1349 West 43rd Street and the Collier Regional Library at 6200 Pinemont Drive.[29][30]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Oak Forest Park

Candlelight Community Center and Park is at 1520 Candlelight. It has an indoor gymnasium, a playground, a lighted sports field, and a .45 mile hike and bicycle trail.[31] Oak Forest Park is located at 2100 Judiway.[32] T.C. Jester Park is located at 4201 TC Jester, West.[32]

The Northwest Branch YMCA is the closest YMCA to Oak Forest.[citation needed]

Crime[edit]

In 2013, Casey Michel of the Houston Press said "And until recently, [Oak Forest] had been one of the more placid" communities in Houston.[7]

Jennifer Latson of the Houston Chronicle said that the murder of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peña in 1993 "shook" Oak Forest "to its foundation." T.C. Jester Park has a memorial to the girls.[33] In addition Waltrip High School has a memorial to the girls, as they were students at the school.[34]

In 2013 there had been a string of "driveway holdups" and the Houston Police Department asked Oak Forest residents to not venture outside during night hours.[7] In response, the Armed Citizen Project, a nonprofit organization based in Houston, gave free shotguns to residents.[35]

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home." Oak Forest Homeowners Association. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Lomax, John Nova. "Is Oak Forest the Friendliest Neighborhood in Houston?" Houstonia. April 7, 2014. Retrieved on June 2, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kaplan, David. "Oak Forest: 'The new West University'." Houston Chronicle. April 11, 2011. Retrieved on March 28, 2013.
  4. ^ Dobbyn, Christine. "Oak Forest neighborhood on crime alert." KTRK-TV. Wednesday February 11, 2009. Retrieved on March 6, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Connelly, Richard. "The Five Most Underrated Neighborhoods In Houston." Houston Press. Friday August 13, 2010. Retrieved on November 3, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Shilcutt, Katharine. "Eat, Play, Love." Houston Press. February 7, 2013. 3. Retrieved on March 28, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Michel, Casey. "Purportedly Nonpartisan Houston Nonprofit Seeks to Arm Neighborhoods, Observe Effects." Houston Press. Tuesday June 11, 2013. Retrieved on June 12, 2013.
  8. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District C." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c "Oak Forest Section Map." Oak Forest. Retrieved on June 16, 2009.
  10. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District A." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "Fire Stations." City of Houston. Retrieved on March 6, 2009.
  12. ^ City of Houston - Police Department - North Patrol Division. Retrieved on April 29, 2007.
  13. ^ "VOLUNTEER INITIATIVES PROGRAM - Citizens Offering Police Support." City of Houston. Retrieved on September 23, 2008.
  14. ^ "Parks Map." Harris County Precinct 4. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  15. ^ "Northwest Health Center." Harris County Hospital District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  16. ^ "Post Office Location - OAK FOREST." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  17. ^ Connelly, Richard. "Hey Oak Forest: Get Ready to Share Your U.S. Rep with the Piney Woods." (Archive) Houston Press. Wednesday June 11, 2011. Retrieved on August 11, 2013.
  18. ^ "Trustee Districts Map." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  19. ^ "Oak Forest Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  20. ^ "Garden Oaks Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  21. ^ "Kate Smith Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  22. ^ "Stevens Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  23. ^ "Benbrook Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  24. ^ "Wainwright Elementary Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  25. ^ "Black Middle Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  26. ^ "Clifton Middle Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  27. ^ "Waltrip High School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  28. ^ "Scarborough High School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District
  29. ^ "Oak Forest Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  30. ^ "Collier Regional Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  31. ^ "Candlelight Community Center." City of Houston. Retrieved on July 20, 2009.
  32. ^ a b "Our Parks O-Z." City of Houston. Retrieved on July 20, 2009.
  33. ^ Latson, Jennifer. "Somber tribute held to the teen victims." Houston Chronicle. August 6, 2008. Retrieved on March 7, 2010.
  34. ^ "In Memory of Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman - 1993." (Archive) Waltrip High School. Retrieved on March 6, 2010.
  35. ^ "Free gun initiative begins in Houston neighborhood." Associated Press at USA Today. June 8, 2013. Retrieved on June 12, 2013.
  36. ^ Mathieu, Jennifer. "Miss Pop Rocks: We Need a Patrick Swayze High School…NOW!" Houston Press. Friday August 17, 2007. Retrieved on December 13, 2010.
  37. ^ CBS/AP. "Actor Patrick Swayze Dies at 57." CBS. September 14, 2009. Retrieved on October 21, 2009.

External links[edit]