East Downtown Houston

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Residential buildings in East Downtown Houston.
START Houston houses the offices of the management district

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 1121 Delano Street.[1] The community is located east of Downtown Houston and north of Interstate 45 (Gulf Freeway).[2] It is between the George R. Brown Convention Center and the East End district.[3]

The Old Chinatown, an area within East Downtown bounded by Interstate 69/U.S. Route 59, Preston Street, St. Joseph Parkway, and Dowling Street (now Emancipation Avenue), is the older of the two Houston Chinatowns.[2][4] The East Downtown Chinatown is not the same as the Chinatown in southwestern Houston.[5]


The former Luckie School

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.[3]

In the early 1950s the Chinese Merchants' Association moved to the southeastern edge of Downtown Houston. Many Chinese businesses moved there,[6] as a previous Chinatown in Downtown was replaced with commercial development by the 1970s.[7] The EaDo Chinatown solidified 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.[6]

EaDo sign

By the late 1980s increasing numbers of Chinese began living in suburbs in Southwest Houston and Fort Bend County.[8] In addition, the Chinatown was geographically hemmed in,[9] 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.[8] There had been plans from private entities and the city government to promote and assist the development of the old Chinatown, but the economic recession harmed those efforts.[10] Anthony Knapp and Igor Vojnovic, authors of "Ethnicity in an Immigrant Gateway City: The Asian Condition in Houston," wrote that "Into the early and mid-1990s, Old Chinatown had considerable promise and this was evident in just its role in promoting tourism."[11]

The general development plans never materialized. The sewer system was not extensive enough to handle the proposed development. One major street connecting the old Chinatown with Downtown was closed when the Brown Convention Center was expanded.[12] By the 1990s, many of the East Asian businesses left and had relocated to the new current Chinatown in southwest Houston.[3]

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."[13] 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.[14]

In 2008 the management district and its namethedistrict.com website asked for suggestions for a new name for the district.[3][15] Suggestions included "the Warehouse District," referring to the abandoned warehouses, and "Saint E," after St. Emanuel 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.[3]

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.[4][16] By late 2009 the East Downtown authority began re-branding the district to reflect its current name.[3] By 2010 a community of artists began to form in EaDo.[17]


East Facade along Emancipation Avenue

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, Emancipation 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.


It is located southwest of the Second Ward.[10]

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."[17]

Historically many of the Hispanic residents lived in small houses. The opening of the BBVA Compass Park and Minute Maid Park encouraged development of EaDo, and by 2015 many of the older houses were being replaced by townhouses with wealthier occupants.[18]


Kim Sơn restaurant

The Kim Sơn headquarters and restaurant is located in East Downtown.[19]

What is now EaDo has the former U.S. headquarters of Schlumberger.[20] It uses an Art Deco style. At one point the building became vacant. Circa 2013, Gaurav Khandelwal and Apurva Sanghavi, then the owners,[21] planned to establish retail stores and offices there, but did not do so. In 2016 David Denenburg acquired the building; he announced plans to restore it and add retail.[20]


Texas Guandi Temple

The Texas Guandi Temple (Chinese: 德州关帝庙; pinyin: Dézhōu Guāndì Miào) is located in East Downtown.[22] The temple was established in 1999 by a Vietnamese couple,[23] Charles Loi Ngo and Carolyn.[24] They decided to build a temple to Guan Yu (Guandi) after surviving an aggravated robbery,[24] which occurred at their store in the Fifth Ward.[24] They believed that Guandi saved their lives during the incident.[23] A Vietnamese refugee named Charles Lee coordinated the donations and funding so the temple could be built; Lee stated his motivation was to thank the United States for welcoming him and saving his life when he arrived in 1978.[25] The temple is open to followers of all religions, and it has perfumed halls.[24]

Homeless population[edit]

The district has long been known for having a relatively large homeless population.[citation needed] 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.[original research?] 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 Emancipation Avenue, 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).[citation needed] Some have called for the city of Houston to restrict public sleeping on sidewalks and to regulate charitable serving of food.[26][27] 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.[original research?]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Houston City Council District I covers East Downtown.[28]

Station 10, opened in 1894 in what is now East Downtown;[2][29] the station relocated to its current location in what is now the new Chinatown and Greater Sharpstown in 1985.[5][29][30]

Harris Health System (formerly Harris County Hospital District) designated the Ripley Health Center in the East End for the ZIP code 77003.[31] In 2000 Ripley was replaced by the Gulfgate Health Center.[32] The designated public hospital is Ben Taub General Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.[31]


Since 2015, METRORail light rail has served the neighborhood at EaDo/Stadium station via the Green and Purple lines, and the Leeland/Third Ward station via the Purple Line. In addition to light rail, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operates bus service through the area.


The district is within the Houston Independent School District.[33] East Downtown is within Trustee District VIII, represented by Diana Dávila as of 2009.[2][34]

Lantrip Elementary School, in Eastwood;[35] and Burnet Elementary School, outside of East Downtown, serve separate sections of East Downtown for elementary school.[36]

For grades 6 through 8 Yolanda Black Navarro Middle School of Excellence (formerly Jackson Middle School) serves East Downtown,[37] Austin High School and Wheatley High School serve separate sections of East Downtown.[38][39]

The magnet high school High School for Law and Justice is in EaDo.[33]

Histories of schools[edit]

Dodson Elementary School, which at a later time housed Energy Institute

Charles W. Luckie Elementary School, located at 1104 Palmer in what is now East Downtown, was a school for African-Americans.[40] It closed circa 1943.[41]

Dodson Elementary School in EaDo formerly served portions of the community.[42] In 2014 the Dodson school had about 445 students.[43] That year, the HISD school board was to 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.[44] On Thursday March 13, 2014, the HISD board voted to close Dodson Elementary 5-4.[43] The Montessori program was scheduled to move to Blackshear Elementary.[45] As part of rezoning for the 2014-2015 school year, some areas in EaDo previously under the Dodson zone were to be moved to the Rusk zone and some were moved to the zone of Lantrip Elementary School.[46] In April 2014 HISD trustee Juliet Stipeche declared that there will be another vote on Dodson's closing.[47] At a later meeting, HISD board member Harvin Moore called for a motion that "the item be tabled indefinitely" meaning the closure is finalized and the matter will not be brought up again; the board voted 5-3 for this matter, and the speakers who were scheduled to speak about the Dodson issue were turned away.[48]

Prior to its closure, Anson Jones Elementary School, outside of East Downtown, served sections of East Downtown.[49] The school, opened in 1892 with its latest campus constructed in 1966, closed in Summer 2006.[41][50] E. O. Smith Education Center, which formerly served EaDo for middle school, closed after the 2010-2011 school year; East Downtown was rezoned to Jackson.[51][52]

Energy Institute High School, a magnet school, was formerly in the former Dodson Elementary School in EaDo,[53] where it moved in the summer of 2014.[54] In 2018 it moved to its current Third Ward campus.[55]

Previously Rusk School, outside of East Downtown, was a zoned elementary school serving sections of East Downtown.[56] In 1995 Rusk had a student mobility rate of almost 100% because it had a very large homeless population.[57] Rusk had a science and technology magnet program for middle school students.[58] Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year the elementary zoned grades at Rusk began to be phased out. Most of EaDo became zoned to Lantrip with a small portion zoned to Burnet Elementary School in the East End. PreKindergarten through grade were phased out immediately, with 3-5 being phased out in the following five years; elementary grades for Rusk were to be phased out by fall 2019.[59][60]


St. Nicholas Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston maintains St. Nicholas Church in East Downtown.[33][61] It is Houston's oldest black Catholic church.[62] It is/was considered to be in the Third Ward.[63] By 2012 the church held Swahili masses due to it gaining African immigrant parishioners.[64] In particular it has a group of Cameroonians in the congregation served by the Assumption Cameroonian Catholic Community, so it has services each month tailored to that group.[65] In 2013 the church had experienced multiple instances of copper theft.[66]

The archdiocese also maintains the Catholic Charismatic Center in EaDo.[67]

See also[edit]


  • Knapp, Anthony; Vojnovic, Igor (2016-08-01). "Ethnicity in an Immigrant Gateway City: The Asian Condition in Houston". Journal of Urban Affairs. 38 (3): 344–369. doi:10.1111/juaf.12212. S2CID 153384878.
  • 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.


  1. ^ "EaDo's Contact Information." East Downtown Management District. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d "Welcome to EaDo Archived 2010-05-21 at the Wayback Machine." East Downtown Management District. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Moreno, Jenalia. "Chinatown no longer." Houston Chronicle. October 17, 2009. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Patel, Purva. "Pay-for-visa plan could revive Houston's Old Chinatown." Houston Chronicle. August 18, 2008. Retrieved on January 20, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Rodriguez, Lori. "Opinions vary over naming the growing Asian community on Houston's southwest side." (Archived 2010-03-07 at WebCite). 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.
  6. ^ a b Rodriguez, p. 38.
  7. ^ Knapp and Vojnovic, p. 350 (7/27).
  8. ^ a b Rodriguez, p. 39.
  9. ^ Rodriguez, p. 38-39.
  10. ^ a b Knapp and Vojnovic, p. 351 (PDF p. 8/27).
  11. ^ Knapp and Vojnovic, p. 353 (PDF p. 10/27).
  12. ^ Knapp and Vojnovic, p. 354 (PDF p. 11/27).
  13. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "Glamorous Youth." Houston Press. November 28, 2002. 6. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
  14. ^ Lomax, John Nova. "Say Hello to EaDo." Houston Press. Thursday February 3, 2009. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
  15. ^ "Name the District Archived 2008-03-24 at the Wayback Machine." East Downtown Houston. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  16. ^ "About EaDo." East Downtown Houston. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
  17. ^ a b Anders, Helen. "Emergine EaDo: Houston's newest arts community." Austin American-Statesman. Saturday February 13, 2010. Retrieved on March 20, 2010.
  18. ^ Miller, Doug. "Old houses vanishing in hot east Houston" (Archived May 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine). KHOU. May 1, 2015. Retrieved on May 13, 2015.
  19. ^ "Contact Us." Kim Sơn. Retrieved on September 1, 2012. "2001 Jefferson Houston Texas 77003 USA"
  20. ^ a b Sarnoff, Nancy (2017-01-13). "Historic Schlumberger building to be remade in EaDo". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  21. ^ Mulvaney, Erin (2013-10-04). "Some big doings may make EaDo a go-to place". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2017-02-17. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  22. ^ "About US Archived 2009-12-26 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Guandi Temple. Retrieved on February 11, 2012. "The Texas Guandi Temple is in the hart [sic] of Houston, facing University of Houston across the wide and bustling Highway 45."
  23. ^ a b Davis, Rod. "Houston's really good idea Bus tour celebrates communities that forged a city." San Antonio Express-News. August 3, 2003. Retrieved on February 11, 2012.
  24. ^ a b c d Martin, Betty L. "Neighborhood's Alive tour hits city's multicultural hot spots." Houston Chronicle. Thursday July 17, 2003. ThisWeek 1. Retrieved on September 9, 2012.
  25. ^ Molnar, Josef. "Guandi Temple celebrates New Year." Houston Chronicle. February 27, 2003. Retrieved on May 3, 2014.
  26. ^ Chris Moran (July 14, 2011). "East Downtown wants city to ban sleeping on sidewalks". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  27. ^ Chris Moran and Safiya Ravat (March 6, 2012). "Proposed rules: safer food or criminalizing charity?". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  28. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District I Archived 2013-09-18 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  29. ^ a b "Fire Station 10 Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  30. ^ "Districts Archived January 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine." Greater Sharpstown Management District. Retrieved on August 15, 2009.
  31. ^ a b "Clinic/Emergency/Registration Center Directory By ZIP Code". Harris County Hospital District. 2001-11-19. Archived from the original on 2001-11-19. Retrieved 2021-04-08. - See ZIP codes 77003. See this map for relevant ZIP code.
  32. ^ "Gulfgate Health Center" (Archive). Harris County Hospital District. Accessed October 17, 2008.
  33. ^ a b c "Downtown / Intown Residential Development Since 1995" (PDF). East Downtown. Retrieved 2020-06-02. - This map has the boundaries of EaDo. High School for Law and Justice is indicated on the map. Residential areas are indicated on this City of Houston super neighborhood map
  34. ^ "Trustee Districts Map Archived July 11, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  35. ^ "Lantrip Elementary School Attendance Boundary" (PDF). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  36. ^ "Burnet Elementary School Attendance Boundary" (PDF). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  37. ^ "Navarro Middle School Attendance Boundary" (PDF). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  38. ^ "Austin High School Attendance Boundary" (PDF). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  39. ^ "Wheatley High School Attendance Boundary" (PDF). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  40. ^ Britt, Douglas "Can Mickey Phoenix save Luckie Elementary?" (). Houston Chronicle. July 3, 2007. Retrieved on August 1, 2009.
  41. ^ a b "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names Archived July 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on September 24, 2008.
  42. ^ "Dodson Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  43. ^ a b Mellon, Ericka. "HISD votes to close Dodson, repurpose Jones." Houston Chronicle. March 13, 2014. Updated March 14, 2014. Retrieved on March 15, 2014.
  44. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "Grier says at least 2 schools need to close." Houston Chronicle. February 27, 2014. Retrieved on February 28, 2014.
  45. ^ "HISD decides to repurpose Jones High School, close Dodson Elementary School" (Archive) KTRK-TV. March 13, 2014. Retrieved on March 15, 2014.
  46. ^ "AGENDA Board of Education Meeting March 13, 2014." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on March 15, 2014. "Current Attendance Boundaries" New 03/06/04 Attachment F-2 March 2014 p. 31/119. and "Proposed Attendance Boundaries" New 03/06/04 Attachment F-2 March 2014 p. 32/119.
  47. ^ Downing, Margaret. "Some HISD Trustees Frustrated by Dodson Elementary Do-Over." Houston Press. Tuesday April 8, 2014. Retrieved on April 9, 2014.
  48. ^ Downing, Margaret. "HISD Trustees Kiss Dodson Elementary Goodbye and Will Never Speak of It Again." Houston Press. Friday April 11, 2014. Retrieved on April 14, 2014.
  49. ^ "A. Jones Elementary Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. February 27, 2009. Retrieved on December 23, 2016. See JPG of same boundary (reflecting an earlier school year)
  50. ^ Home page Archived 2008-12-02 at the Wayback Machine. Anson Jones Elementary School. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  51. ^ "Jackson Middle Attendance Zone Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on July 26, 2011.
  52. ^ "E.O. Smith Middle Attendance Zone Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  53. ^ "Home." Energy Institute High School. Retrieved on March 19, 2015. "1808 Sampson Houston, TX 77003-5434"
  54. ^ Blum, Jordan. "Debate over where to build Houston's energy high school flares up" (Archived 2015-03-19 at WebCite). Houston Business Journal. July 3, 2014. Retrieved on March 19, 2015.
  55. ^ "Dedication ceremony held for new Houston ISD Energy Institute High School". River Oaks Examiner at the Houston Chronicle. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  56. ^ "Rusk Elementary Attendance Zone Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  57. ^ "Students switching schools is a nightmare for teachers." Associated Press at the Victoria Advocate. Monday February 13, 1995. 4A. Retrieved from Google Books (3 of 13) on December 30, 2011.
  58. ^ "Information for Thomas Rusk Elementary School Archived 2009-05-17 at the Wayback Machine." Rusk Elementary School. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.
  59. ^ "Approved Attendance Boundary Maps for 2016-2017." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on June 11, 2016.
  60. ^ "Approved Boundaries 16-17" (EaDo Final Boundaries). Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on June 11, 2016.
  61. ^ "Home". St. Nicholas Church. Retrieved 2020-06-02. 2502 Clay (Church) 2508 Clay (Office) Houston, Texas 77003-4498 - Compare to the map of East Downtown.
  62. ^ Steptoe, Tyina Leaneice (University of Wisconsin–Madison). Dixie West: Race, Migration, and the Color Lines in Jim Crow Houston (PhD thesis for a history degree). ProQuest, 2008. ISBN 0549635874, 9780549635871. p. 195.
  63. ^ "Creole culture and tradition collide at area churches". Houston Chronicle. 2006-02-04. Retrieved 2020-06-02. [...]the nearest black parish was St. Nicholas Catholic Church in the Third Ward, Provost said.
  64. ^ Rogan, Catherine (2012-12-11). "Historic St. Nicholas turns 125". Texas Catholic Herald. Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  65. ^ Takougang, Joseph (2014-03-06). Cameroonian Immigrants in the United States: Between the Homeland and the Diaspora. Lexington Books. p. 75. ISBN 9780739186947.
  66. ^ Christian, Carol (2013-03-26). "Repeat copper thefts prompt all-night vigil at historic black Houston church". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  67. ^ "Home". Catholic Charismatic Center. Retrieved 2020-06-07. 1949 Cullen Blvd. Houston, TX 77023

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°45′00″N 95°21′00″W / 29.750°N 95.350°W / 29.750; -95.350