East End, Houston
The East End, controlled by the Greater East End Management District (GEEMD), is a district in eastern Houston, Texas, United States, located between the eastern edge of downtown to the Port of Houston and South to Hobby Airport. The district is home to Houston's early history and industry and is the site of Harrisburg, the seat of government for the Republic of Texas in 1836. East End consists of many different ethnic groups, including Hispanic, Asian, White, and African American. Latinos make up more than half of the 100,512 residents, The area includes two of Houston's oldest Hispanic neighborhoods, Magnolia Park and Second Ward.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Government and infrastructure
- 4 Cityscape
- 5 Economy
- 6 Education
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Notable residents
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The East End is bounded on the west by downtown Houston and on the east by the Port of Houston. Buffalo Bayou flows past the site of Harrisburg, an early Texas trading post and seat of government for the Republic of Texas in 1836. Founded by John Harris, for whom Harris County is named, Harrisburg was initially considered by the Allen brothers for the initial development of Houston.
The East End was a primary area for relocation for Germans, Italians and Mexican Americans that settled in areas near the port of Houston. Second Ward and Magnolia Park, located in the district, are two of Houston's oldest Hispanic neighborhoods.
The Eastwood subdivision, established in 1913, is considered one of the first master-planned communities in Houston. Many well-known Houstonians including Howard Hughes lived in Eastwood as children.
The district has become popular among those who restore many of its vintage homes. In the mid-to-late 2000s upper middle class residents moved into the East End to take advantage of houses that are less expensive than west side houses. Other neighborhoods include: Lawndale/Wayside, EaDo (East Downtown Houston), Broadmoor, Idylwood, Houston Country Club Estates, Forest Hill, Mason Park and Pecan Park. For several months leading into August 2007, the East End Chamber of Commerce Crime Awareness Committee argued that the Houston Police Department assigned insufficient police officers in the area.
In 1997, Lori Rodriguez of the Houston Chronicle said "In the lifetime of some coalition members, the East End has gone from being mainly white to mainly Hispanic, mainly affluent to mainly modest, mainly thriving to mainly struggling," and that "a younger and more aggressive leadership is trying to revitalize the area and, to a touchingly discernible degree, it has succeeded."
The Talento Bilingue de Houston, the largest cultural arts center of its kind in Houston is located in the East End, as well as the 100 seat Carlos Garcia Theater at Houston Community College-Southeast campus which was dedicated in late 1997. The district is home to The Orange Show, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Mutalistan Hall, and a Chicano mural by artist Leo Tanguma on Canal Street.
The Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans opened the new $3.6 million AAMA Multi-Purpose Education Center in 1999. The center includes computer and science labs. The Ripley House-Neighborhood Centers successfully completed a capital campaign to raise $9 million to replace its 60-year-old, aging physical structure with a new 60,000-square-foot (5,600 m2) community center.
In 2013 Houstonia wrote that the East End is "home to some of the city’s best Mexican restaurants and bakeries." The original Ninfa's restaurant opened in the East End in 1973. The Ninfa's chain became very popular and prominent. In 1997 Paul Galvani of the Houston Press said that despite the fact that the East End has "standouts " like Ninfa's, Mandola's Deli, and Shanghai Reds, "it too frequently gets bypassed when folks think about eating out." In 1997 the East End Management Association published a dining guide listing 42 restaurants within the East End, including in the Second Ward, the original Chinatown, Magnolia Park, and other communities. The Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and various area hotels and restaurants distributed the guides for free, and the East End Area Chamber of Commerce mailed copies of the guide, with each copy priced for $2.50 ($3.73 when adjusted for inflation).
Government and infrastructure
The Greater East End District is headquartered at 3211 Harrisburg Street.
The Houston Fire Department operates several fire stations in the East End. Three fire stations, Station 18 East End, Station 20 Magnolia Park, and Station 23 Lawndale are in Fire District 20. Station 17 Second Ward is in Fire District 8. In 1920 Station 2 was located in what would later become the East End. In 1926 the station moved to what would become Downtown Houston.
The Houston Housing Authority operates the 296 unit Clayton Homes in the East End. Susan Vahn Clayton donated the property to the HHA in 1952. The development was modernized in 2007.
In 2011 Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle said "Parts of the area have the feel of Mexico: brightly painted homes and narrow streets, store signs in Spanish and snow cones sold from carts." In 1997 Lori Rodriguez of the Houston Chronicle said that "the revitalization" that occurred in the 1990s "seems to abruptly stop at the railroad tracks that crisscross Harrisburg beyond the Plaza" and that "the slick national chains must share the commercial corridor with cantinas, empty buildings and halfway houses."
As of 2013 24% of the land in the Greater East End was used for warehouses and industrial purposes.
By 2015 new townhouse developments were appearing in the East End.
By 1997 new retail operations had been established in the East End. By the same year, the former Baker Hughes building was renovated into an 80-acre (32 ha) complex, Central City Industrial Park. Five Texas state agencies, together with 1,200 employees, moved into the complex.
KBR maintained offices in a 138 acres (56 ha) campus on Clinton Drive, within the boundaries of the East End and the Fifth Ward. The KBR office complex is the former headquarters of Brown & Root. As of December 2010 KBR no longer operates this office.
By 2001 Halliburton owned the Clinton Drive campus. In August of that year Halliburton announced that it would consolidate 8,000 local employees to office space in Westchase. Halliburton planned to relocate around 2,000 employees from Clinton Drive and the industrial facilities would have been relocated to a location that was, in that month, undetermined. Sanford Criner, a principal at real estate brokerage Trione & Gordon, suggested that gentrification would turn what would have been the former Clinton Drive facility into entertainment, residential, or retail use, and that the facility would not have been redeveloped for office space usage. In December 2001 Halliburton canceled its plans to relocate employees to Westchase. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Business Journal said that it made more sense for the company to lease existing space instead of constructing new office space in times of economic downturns.
In 2010 KBR announced that it will vacate the Clinton Drive campus and move the 1,600 employees who work at the Clinton Drive office to the KBR offices in Downtown Houston. The company will then conduct an environmental cleanup of the Clinton Drive site.
When Weingarten's existed, its headquarters was in what is now the East End. When Oshman's Sporting Goods existed, its headquarters were in the East End. When RioStar Corp. (Ninfa's parent company) existed, its headquarters were also in the East End.
Primary and secondary schools
Residents attend school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
Sections of areas within the East End Management District are zoned to the following senior high schools:
- Austin High School (in the East End)
- Milby High School (in the East End)
- Sterling High School (southeast Houston)
- Wheatley High School (Fifth Ward)
HISD schools racially integrated in the 1970s. Prior to integration black students attended Wheatley High School and/or Yates High School. Until 1970 HISD counted its Hispanic and Latino students as "white."
State charter schools include:
- KIPP Intrepid Preparatory School
- YES Prep East End, a charter school that, as one branch of YES Prep Public Schools, served grades 6-10 in 2009-2010 and was scheduled to grow to serve grades 6-12 by 2011-2012. It was located in the Near North Side area, northwest of the East End area. It is now within the East End.
Colleges and universities
The Houston Community College System serves the East End. HCCS Southeast College is in the East End.
Three Houston Public Library locations are in the East End. They include the Patricio Flores Neighborhood Library, the Melcher Neighborhood Library, and the Stanaker Neighborhood Library.
On the METRORail Green Line:
In addition as of 1997 several companies offered international bus services to Mexico from the East End. As of that year most of the passengers were Hispanics who were visiting family members. The international bus services from the East End were established in the 1990s.
- Carol Alvarado, current Texas State Representative and former Houston City Council member.
- Ninfa Laurenzo, restaurateur and founder of Ninfa's (Second Ward)
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- Rhor, Monica. "In the East End, the past and the future collide." Houston Chronicle. January 23, 2015. Updated January 24, 2015.
- Zucker, Shaina. "East End could overcome development hurdle with new program." Houston Business Journal. October 31, 2013.
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