Sharpstown, Houston

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A sign in a median indicating Sharpstown

Sharpstown is a master-planned community in Greater Sharpstown, Southwest Houston, Texas, USA.[1] It was one of the first communities to be built as a master-planned, automobile centered community and the first in Houston. Frank Sharp (1906–1993), the developer of the subdivision, made provisions not only for homes but also for schools, shopping and recreation areas. While this model has been duplicated countless times in the past fifty years, at the time it was quite revolutionary, attracting national media attention. The development was dedicated on March 13, 1955.

Overview[edit]

Sharpstown
PlazAmericas (formerly Sharpstown Center and Sharpstown Mall)

The residential architecture in Sharpstown consists of post–World War II bungalows, modern and traditional homes. The materials used in building these homes were of sound quality and have withstood the wear and tear of the baby boomer generation as well as the test of time.

Robindell, a small neighborhood within Sharpstown is built of homes similar to that of Memorial Bend. Robindell also has an L-shaped neighborhood swimming pool. The first pool manager was a neighbor, J.W. Puryear. College men from Georgetown University were recruited to take lifeguarding jobs at the pool each summer. The lifeguards trained the neighborhood children to be racing swimmers and took many ribbons at Houston swimming competitions.

History[edit]

Sharp donated a 300-foot-wide strip of land through the development to the state of Texas for construction of the Southwest Freeway (U.S. Highway 59). This routing ensured easy access from Downtown Houston to homes in the neighborhood, as well as to PlazAmericas (formerly Sharpstown Mall and Sharpstown Center) (1961), Houston's first air-conditioned, enclosed shopping mall.

From the 1980 U.S. Census to the 1990 Census, many African-Americans left traditional African-American neighborhoods and entered parts of Southwest Houston such as Sharpstown. The Hispanic population increased by an amount between 1,000 and 3,500 per square mile. Many Asian-Americans also moved into the Sharpstown area, creating one of the largest concentrations of Asian-Americans in Houston. Glenda Kay Joe, an Asian community leader, said in a 1991 Houston Chronicle article that the Sharpstown Civic Association and the Southwest Advocate newspaper opposed Asian-American settlement in Sharpstown. According to Joe, once Sharpstown residents became accustomed with Asian immigrants, the opposition disappeared.[2]

Sharpstown was affected by the Sharpstown scandal. The scandal combined with a set of apartment complexes that became run-down ensured that Sharpstown became a neighborhood surrounded by crime by the mid-to-late 1990s.[citation needed] A 1992 Houston Chronicle article described Sharpstown as "a racially mixed neighborhood with a strong Vietnamese community."[3]

With Sharpstown's close-in location, there is renewed interest in revitalizing the neighborhood. In 2005, median home prices in Sharpstown had roughly doubled since 2000.[citation needed]

The City of Houston instituted the current nine city council districts in 1979. Sharpstown has been districted in District F since 1980. District councilmembers elected to the Houston City Council have been past presidents of the Sharpstown Civic Association - John Goodner (1980–1993), Ray Driscoll (1994–1999), Mark Ellis (2000–2003), M.J. Khan (2004–2010), and Aloysius Hoang (2010/11 - prior to the City of Houston redistricting). As of 2011, Sharpstown was redistricted into District J where Mike Laster is the newly elected councilmember.

In a 2007 Houston Press article journalist John Nova Lomax said "residential Sharpstown never changes" and that "the houses are still decent and the apartments still rotten."[4]

In 2010 Mary Ellen Carrol, an artist, announced plans to rotate a derelict house at 6513 Sharpview by 180 degrees, and therefore rotate the house's lot, to illustrate how Sharpstown has changed as it matured.[5]

During the same year the Houston Press named Sharpstown the 2010 "Best Hidden Neighborhood." The Houston Press stated that Sharpstown "is less a "hidden" neighborhood than it is one that's undervalued and underrated."[6]

Cityscape[edit]

Sharpstown has a lot of mid-century style houses on large lots.[6]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Fire Station 51 Sharpstown

The Houston Fire Department operates the Fire Station 51 Sharpstown along Bellaire Boulevard, a part of Fire District 68.[7] Station 51 opened in 1962. Since then it had two facelifts and a renovation in the financial year of 1999.[8]

Fire Station 51, 1976

After the 2012 redristricting process, Sharpstown is split between Texas's 7th congressional district and Texas's 9th congressional district

The neighborhood is served by two Houston Police Department patrol divisions. Areas north and west of U.S. Route 59 are served by the Midwest Patrol Division. Areas south and east of U.S. 59 are served by the Fondren Patrol Division.[9] The portion that is now in the Midwest Patrol Division was formerly in the Westside Patrol Division.[10] At one time the police department operated the Sharpstown-area police storefront at Bellaire Boulevard at Rogerdale.[11]

Houston City Council District J now covers Sharpstown.[12] District J was created to allow Hispanics to more easily elect representatives who cater to them.[13] Robert Jara, a political consultant of the group Campaign Strategies, drew the boundaries of District J in order to ensure that Sharpstown and Gulfton were together in one area. That way, the Hispanic residents could lobby for influence with their city council representative, whether he or she is of Hispanic origin or not.[14] City Council District F previously covered Sharpstown. As of 2008 M. J. Khan represented the district.[15][16][17]

In 1989, during a city council race, many in Sharpstown voted for Jim Westmoreland for an at-large position. In one precinct 68.5 percent of the voting residents voted for him. Westmoreland drew controversy after reports of a joke that was characterized as "racist" spread. Westmoreland was defeated in that race. In a 1989 Houston Chronicle article, Nancy Palm, a Republican Party activist from western Houston, said that the residents who voted for Westmoreland had social ties with them and did not see the controversy as significant.[18] In the first 1991 Mayor of Houston election most Sharpstown voters voted for Bob Lanier.[19][20] By December 3, 1991, increases in crime and changes of demographics in southwestern Houston neighborhoods lead to many challengers desiring to fill the city council seat of District F.[21] In 2005 Khan promoted an anti-graffiti campaign in Sharpstown and other communities in his district.[22]

Culture, parks, and recreation[edit]

The city operates Sharpstown Park and the Sharpstown Golf Course along Bellaire Boulevard. The city operates the Sharpstown Green Park at 6300 Sharpview Drive.[23] The city operates the Sharpstown Community Center at 6600 Harbor Town Drive.[24]

Sharpstown Park Golf Course is located in Sharpstown.[25] In 2003 Wendy Grossman of the Houston Press said that the course "looks like a rundown city park with yellow paint chipping off the curb." The course has an on-site pro shop and an on-site restaurant behind the shop. An employee in the on-site pro shop stated that Sharpstown Park Golf Course was the flattest course in the city.[26]

The golf course first opened in the 1950s as the Sharpstown Country Club Golf Course. At the time it housed fifty sand traps, five lakes, and a special kind of grass. The lakes had bass and perch. In 1964 the $50,000 Houston Golf Classic was at the golf course. In 1976, the owners of the course had not made a payment on their $5 million mortgage in five years, leading to the course's closure. The City of Houston proceeded to buy about two-thirds of the course two years later; real estate developers bought the rest of the course. The course is the home course of the Lee High School golf team; the school is about 4 miles (6.4 km) from the course.[26]

Sharpstown has a little league called Sharpstown Little League that plays at Bayland Park.

In 2007, the group Neighborhood Centers Inc. announced that it would build the Gulfton Neighborhood Campus at the intersection of Rookin Street and High Star Drive when it raises $20 million.[27] The Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center opened in 2010 and now offers a wide range of services including after school programs, a medical clinic, financial center, fitness classes, and ESL.[28]

Sections[edit]

Original sections[edit]

Sharpstown Sections 1, 1A, 2, 3, and 5 form the original sections of Sharpstown.[29]

Sharpstown Country Club Estates[edit]

Sharpstown Country Club Estates is a set of two sections in Sharpstown.[29] It was developed in the late 1950s by the Sharpstown expansion west of the Southwest Freeway by Frank Sharp. The neighborhood is next to the Sharpstown Golf Course and west of PlazAmericas (formerly Sharpstown Center and Sharpstown Mall).

Sharpstown Country Club Estates was named after the Sharpstown Country Club (now Sharpstown Park and Golf Course) that was east and west of the neighborhood after 1955, Sharpstown CCE surrounded the country club. The neighborhood is known as one of the quietest sections of Houston by its residents. The neighborhood is divided into two sections, Sharpstown Country Club Estates East and Sharpstown Country Club Estates West. Sharpstown Country Club Estates attracted middle to upper class citizens who were involved at the Sharpstown Country Club.

The sections are Country Club Estates 2 and Country Club Estates 3.[29]

Sharpstown Country Club Terrace[edit]

Sharpstown Country Club Terrace includes Country Club Terrace 1, Country Club Terrace 2, and Country Club Terrace 3.[29]

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Houston Community College System serves Sharpstown. Houston Baptist University, a private university, is located in Sharpstown.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Sharpstown is served by several schools in the Houston Independent School District.[29]

Sutton Elementary school serves original sections 1, 1A, and 2.[29][30] Bonham Elementary School serves most of original section 3,[29][31] while McNamara Elementary School, outside of Sharpstown, serves a portion of original section 3.[29][32] Neff Elementary School serves original section 5, Estates 2, Terrace 1, most of Estates 3, and almost all of Terrace 2.[29][33] White Elementary School serves Terrace 3 and a small portion of Terrace 2.[34] Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School, outside of Sharpstown, serves sections of Estates 3.[29][35]

Sands Point Elementary School, serving as a relief school, was named after Sands Point Drive in Sharpstown Country Club Estates.[36]

Jane Long Middle School in Sharpstown (any student zoned to Long may apply to Pin Oak Middle School's regular program[37]) serves original sections 1, 1A, and 2.[29][38] Sugar Grove Middle School serves original section 3, original section 5, all three Terrace sections, Estates 2, and most of Estates 3.[29][39] Sharpstown High School serves original sections 1, 1A, 2, and 3, original section 5, all three Terrace sections, Estates 2, and most of Estates 3.[29][40]

A portion of Sharpstown Country Club Estates 3 is zoned to Revere Middle School and Lee High School (with Lamar High School and Westside High Schools as options.[29][41][42]) serves a small portion of western Sharpstown.[43]

Sharpstown International School, a 6-12 district magnet school, is in the community.

KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program operates several charter schools along KIPP Way, west of Sharpstown.

Histories of public schools[edit]

Long Middle School was built in 1957. Sutton was built in 1958, and McNamara opened in 1958. Bonham was built 1962. Emerson was erected in 1963. Neff opened in 1964. White opened in 1967. Sharpstown Junior-Senior High School opened in 1968; the high school split and moved to its own campus in 1969. In February 1995 Sugar Grove, built in former church property, opened as a relief school. Sands Point opened in 1998 as a relief school for Emerson, Piney Point, and Walnut Bend. Repairs and renovations of Sugar Grove were completed by January 1999.[36] In the early 2000s (decade), the areas north of Sands Point Drive were zoned to Sharpstown Middle School; at a later point they were rezoned to Revere.[44] Sharpview Elementary School was temporarily established at 7734 Mary Bates in order to relieve some Sharpstown-area elementary schools; Sharpview opened fall 2000 and closed in spring 2004.[36] Sugar Grove received a grades 5-6 attendance boundary in 2009.[45]

In 2011 Sharpstown Middle was consolidated with Sharpstown International High School to form a new 6-12 school, Sharpstown International School. The new 6-12 school took attendance boundaries from Lee High School and Sharpstown High School, while Sugar Grove Middle School took portions of the boundary from Sharpstown Middle School.[46] As of 2012, Sharpstown International School now has no boundary, with Sugar Grove Middle School and Sharpstown High School controlling its former middle and high school boundaries.[47][48]

Private schools[edit]

Sharpstown also has three private schools. St. Francis de Sales Catholic School (grades K-8), Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Saint Agnes Academy, are located in Sharpstown.

Public libraries[edit]

M. E. Walter Neighborhood Library

The area is served by the Houston Public Library. M. E. Walter Neighborhood Library, a full service branch, is located at 7660 Clarewood in Sharpstown.[49] HPL Express Southwest is located within the Southwest Multi-Service Center at 6400 High Star in Greater Sharpstown, east of the Sharpstown subdivisions.[50]

Community services[edit]

The Harris County Hospital District operates the People's Health Center at 6630 DeMoss Street.[51]

See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Districts." Greater Sharpstown Management District. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Census tracks rapid growth of suburbia." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 10, 1991. Section A, Page 1. Retrieved on December 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Criss, Catherine and Eric Hanson. "Ultimate divorce: a murdered family." Houston Chronicle. Saturday May 20, 1991. A2. Retrieved on December 13, 2010.
  4. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "I am a Pedestrian Report: Bellaire." Houston Press. May 25, 2007.
  5. ^ Turner, Allan. "About-face for Sharpstown urban blight." Houston Chronicle. September 23, 2010. Retrieved on October 14, 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Best Hidden Neighborhood - 2010 Sharpstown." Houston Press. Retrieved on December 13, 2010.
  7. ^ "Primary Run Area." Houston Fire Department Station 68. Retrieved on December 13, 2008.
  8. ^ "Fire Station 51." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  9. ^ "Beat Map." Houston Police Department. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  10. ^ "Crime Statistics for Westside Patrol Division." City of Houston. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  11. ^ Mangin, Charles de. "Alief 's first / New police storefront set to open." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday March 15, 2000. ThisWeek 1. Retrieved on December 30, 2011.
  12. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District J." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  13. ^ Shauk, Zain. "Hispanic-opportunity district draws three candidates." Houston Chronicle. Friday October 14, 2011. Retrieved on November 4, 2011.
  14. ^ "Political challenge: Revised council redistricting plan offers Hispanics a third majority district." (editorial) Houston Chronicle. Wednesday May 18, 2011. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  15. ^ "COUNCIL DISTRICT MAPS > DISTRICT F." City of Houston.
  16. ^ "City Council." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 10, 2008.
  17. ^ Bernstein, Alan. "Rookie members to decide city matters for years to come." Houston Chronicle. Sunday September 24, 1995.
  18. ^ Bernstein, Alan. "Core of white support failed to halt Westmoreland's defeat." Houston Chronicle. Sunday November 12, 1989. A1.
  19. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Saying goodbye, with no regrets." Houston Chronicle. Saturday November 9, 1991. A31.
  20. ^ Bernstein, Alan and Jim Simmon. "Black vote went solidly for Turner/Whitmire failed to produce split." Houston Chronicle. Thursday November 7, 1991. A21.
  21. ^ Johnson, Stephen. "Crime, drugs main issues in Dist. F race." Houston Chronicle. November 3, 1991. Voter's Guide, Page 5.
  22. ^ De Mangin, Charles. "Summit to address public safety / Councilman, HPD to give tips, information to cut crime rate." Houston Chronicle. Thursday March 24, 2005. ThisWeek 1.
  23. ^ "Parks List O-Z." City of Houston. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
  24. ^ "Sharpstown Community Center." City of Houston. Retrieved on January 3, 2009.
  25. ^ "Sharpstown Park Golf Course." City of Houston. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
  26. ^ a b Grossman, Wendy. "Tee Time." Houston Press. November 13, 2003. 3. Retrieved on February 5, 2011.
  27. ^ Friedberg, Jennifer. "Funds sought for Gulfton center." Houston Chronicle. January 30, 2007. Retrieved on December 13, 2008.
  28. ^ Rogers, Susan. "[1]." Cite. Rice Design Alliance, (Northern Hemisphere) Fall 2009. 24. Retrieved on March 3, 2010.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "SCA's Sections and Boundaries." (Archive) Sharpstown Civic Association, Inc. Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
  30. ^ "Sutton Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  31. ^ "Bonham Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  32. ^ "McNamara Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  33. ^ "Neff Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  34. ^ "White Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  35. ^ "Emerson Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  36. ^ a b c "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  37. ^ "Pin Oak Middle School." The Southwest District, Houston Independent School District. February 14, 2002. Retrieved on May 24, 2009.
  38. ^ "Long Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  39. ^ "Sugar Grove Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 8, 2011.
  40. ^ "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  41. ^ "Revere Middle Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  42. ^ Home Page. (Archive) Lee High School. May 9, 2005. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
  43. ^ "Lee High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 19, 2009.
  44. ^ "Sharpstown MS Boundary Map." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on May 6, 2009.
  45. ^ "AGENDA REVIEW FOR THE MAY 13, 2009 BOARD MEETING." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on August 20, 2009.
  46. ^ "Board of Education Meeting April 14, 2011." Houston Independent School District. Item D10 and Attachment D10. Retrieved on August 28, 2012.
  47. ^ "Sharpstown High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District.
  48. ^ "Sugar Grove Middle Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District.
  49. ^ "Walter Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on April 28, 2009.
  50. ^ "HPL Express Southwest." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on April 28, 2009.
  51. ^ "People's Health Center." Harris County Hospital District. Retrieved on April 28, 2009.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°42′00″N 95°32′06″W / 29.700°N 95.535°W / 29.700; -95.535