Neartown Houston

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The downtown Houston skyline, viewed from Neartown

Neartown is an area located in west-central Houston, Texas, United States and is one of the city's major cultural areas. Neartown is a 7.5 square miles (19 km2) area roughly bounded by Interstate 69/U.S. Highway 59 to the south, Allen Parkway to the north, Shepherd Drive to the west, and Taft to Fairview to Bagby to Highway 59 to Main to the east. Neartown neighborhoods include Cherryhurst, Courtlandt Place, Hyde Park, Montrose, Vermont Commons, East Montrose, Mandell Place and Winlow Place.[1] These neighborhoods are collectively referred to locally as the better known Montrose.[2]


Neartown has many of Houston's oldest neighborhoods. The Neartown Association began in 1963.[3] Houston's urban real estate boom starting in the 1990s transformed Neartown and significantly increased property values.

Residential property in Neartown

The City of Houston's Planning Department refers to Neartown as a mixed-use community. Since the 1990s gentrification, musicians and artists are being replaced with higher paid professionals (attorneys, educators, medical professionals) due to higher rents. Neartown has "wound a tortuous course from Silk Stocking and Low Rent and back again."[4]

On June 6, 2006,[5] a teenage MS-13 gang member named Gabriel Granillo was stabbed to death at Ervan Chew Park.[6]


Adjacent to the community is the River Oaks Shopping Center, Houston's first shopping center, located in the Neartown community, east of River Oaks.[8] Constructed in 1927 and designed by architect Hugh Prather, the center, originally known as River Oaks Community Center, was one of the nation's first automobile-oriented retail centers. Its design, with arcs of retail space on either side of West Gray Avenue, was considered a model for future development.[7][9][10] Portions of the historic shopping center were demolished in September 2007 to redevelop the site for bookstore and a parking garage. As of 2008, Landmark Theatres operates the River Oaks Theatre, an "arthouse" theater, located in the center. The theater is the last historic movie theater in Houston that is still being used as it was originally designed.[11]


Vintage shops along Westheimer Road—a major arterial traversing Neartown

Neartown was described in 1973 as "old buildings ranging all the way from Victorian Epic to Ramshackle Plywood." Neartown has European-style restaurants and sidewalk cafés along five blocks of Westheimer with many housed in renovated pre-World War I houses.[4] The Neartown neighborhood along Van Buren Street was the Houston Press "Best Hidden Neighborhood" in 2002.[12]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Houston Police Department Neartown Storefront
Fire Station 16

The community is within the Houston Police Department's Central Patrol Division,[13] headquartered at 61 Riesner.[14] The Neartown Storefront Station is located at 802 Westheimer.[14] The City of Houston purchased the building used for the storefront with federal community development funds. By September 20, 1990 the Neartown Business Alliance spent around $4,000 per year to maintain the storefront.[15]

Houston Fire Department Fire Station 16 serves the area. The fire station is in Fire District 6.[16] The station opened at the intersection of Westheimer Road and Yupon in 1928. The station moved to the intersection of Richmond and Dunlavy in 1979.[17]

City Council District D covers Neartown.[18] As of 2008 Wanda Adams represents the district.[19] Since the City of Houston Redistricting of 2011, Neartown has been represented in Council by Ellen Cohen in District C.[20]

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

River Oaks Station Post Office

Harris County Precinct One, as of 2008 headed by El Franco Lee, serves Neartown. The county operates the Neartown Office at 1413 Westheimer Road.[21]

A portion of Neartown is located in District 134 of the Texas House of Representatives. As of 2008 Ellen Cohen represents the district.[22] As of 2010, Sarah Davis represents District 134.[23] A portion of Neartown is located in District 147 of the Texas House of Representatives. As of 2008, Garnet F. Coleman represents the district.[24] Neartown is located in District 13 of the Texas Senate.[25] As of 2008 its representative is Rodney Ellis.

The community is located within Texas's 7th congressional district.[26] As of 2008 the representative is John Culberson. Since redistricting effective for the 2012 election, Neartown has been redrawn into the Texas 2nd Congressional District, served by Ted Poe.[27] The United States Postal Service operates two post offices, the University Post Office at 1319 Richmond Avenue and the River Oaks Station Post Office at 1900 West Gray Street, in Neartown.[7][28][29] The River Oaks post office sits on a 109,159 square feet (10,141.2 m2) property with a gross building area of 18,098 square feet (1,681.4 m2).

Places of interest[edit]

KHOU-TV Studios and Offices in Neartown Houston
  • KPFT 90.1 FM, a Pacifica Radio affiliate, located at 419 Lovett Boulevard
  • Houston GLBT Community Center
  • Pride Committee of Houston
Cathedrals and Churches


The America Tower houses the headquarters of Baker Hughes; the tower hosted Continental Airlines's headquarters from 1983 to 1998

The headquarters of Baker Hughes is in the America Tower at the American General Center.[7][30] Service Corporation International has its headquarters in Neartown.[7][31]

On July 1, 1983 Continental Airlines's headquarters were located at the America Tower in Neartown, and would remain there until the relocation to Continental Center I in Downtown Houston, announced by the airline in 1997, that occurred in stages in 1998 and 1999.[32][33][34][35][36]

Prior to Hurricane Harvey, the studios of KHOU-TV were located along Allen Parkway in Neartown.[7][37] On November 16, 2017, the station announced that it will not return to the Allen Parkway studios after the building suffered severe damage from the hurricane's floodwaters.


Colleges and universities[edit]

Neartown is home to the University of Saint Thomas.

Neartown is also close to Rice University, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College Central, and University of Houston–Downtown.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Lanier Middle School serves the western half of Neartown

Pupils in Neartown are in the Houston Independent School District.[7] Neartown is divided among Trustee District IV, represented by Paula M. Harris as of 2008, Trustee District V, represented by Dianne Johnson as of 2008, and Trustee District VIII, represented by Diana Dávila as of 2008.[38]

Gregory-Lincoln Education Center (in the Fourth Ward),[39] MacGregor Elementary School,[40] Poe Elementary School (in Boulevard Oaks),[41] Wharton Elementary School (in Neartown),[42] and Wilson Montessori School (in Neartown) serve separate sections of Neartown.[43]

Pupils in Neartown reside within the boundaries of three middle-school attendance areas. Lanier Middle School (in Neartown), Cullen Middle School, and Gregory-Lincoln Education Center serve separate sections of Neartown.[44][45][46] All Neartown area pupils are zoned to Lamar High School in Upper Kirby.[47] High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a magnet high school, is in Montrose.

Histories of schools[edit]

For a period, Montrose Elementary School was in Neartown.[48] Southmore Elementary School opened in 1921, Wilson in 1925, Lanier in 1926, Poe in 1928, and Wharton in 1929. Southmore was renamed MacGregor Elementary School in 1930 and Lamar opened in 1937. Ryan opened in 1958 after Yates High School moved to a new campus. Gregory-Lincoln opened in 1966 and its current facility opened in 2007.[49][50] Before the start of the 2009–2010 school year J. Will Jones, which formerly served a section of Neartown,[51] was consolidated into Blackshear Elementary School, a campus in the Third Ward.[52][53] During its final year of enrollment J. Will Jones had more students than Blackshear. Many J. Will Jones parents referred to Blackshear as "that prison school" and said that they will not send their children to Blackshear.[54]

Previously Ryan Middle School served a segment of Neartown.[55] In March 2013 the HISD board voted to close Ryan Middle School and move all students into the zone of Cullen Middle School.[56]

Gallery of public schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]

Neartown is home to the Annunciation Orthodox School (a K-8 private school) and The Harris School.[57][58] The Kinkaid School was located in the Neartown area until 1957 when the school moved to Piney Point Village. [1]

Gallery of private schools[edit]
The Eleanor K. Freed Montrose Library of the Houston Public Library

Public libraries[edit]

The administrative offices of the Houston Public Library are located in the Marston Building in Neartown.[7][59][60] The City of Houston spent $1.3 million to renovate the Marston Building to accommodate HPL staff.[61] The administration moved to the building after the Central Library was scheduled to close in 2006.[59]

The Eleanor K. Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library of Houston Public Library is at 4100 Montrose Boulevard.[62]


The Houston Chronicle is the area regional newspaper. The River Oaks Examiner is a local newspaper distributed in the community [2][permanent dead link].

Health services[edit]

Legacy Community Health Services [3] and Montrose Counseling Center [4] are located in Neartown. In 2006 the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center was moved from the Houston Department of Health and Human Services to the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. It became the West Gray Adaptive Recreation Center.[63]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Cherryhurst Park
Metropolitan Multi-Service Center a.k.a. the West Gray Adaptive Recreation Center

Ervan Chew Park, a fenced-in, approximately 9,000-square-foot (840 m2) park, is located at 4502 Dunlavy Street.[64] The park (originally Herbert D. Dunlavy Park) was acquired by the City of Houston in 1945. In February 2000 the park was renamed for Ervan Chew, a Chinese-American Eagle Scout who grew up in the area and won the Silver Beaver Award, which was delivered by Ronald Reagan, in 1986; Chew died at age 42 in January 1999.[65] Chew Park has a basketball half court, small soccer (football) field, a dog park and a baseball diamond. Ervan Chew Park has little league games and dog parties.[66] The Neartown Little League, located in Neartown, holds its games at Chew Park.[66][67] Chew Park was the first park to let dogs run without leashes in a special zone. The Friends of Ervan Chew Park funded the dog zone, which was dedicated in May 2004.[64]

Notable residents[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Neartown Association, Houston, Texas: Community". Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "Montrose neighborhood in Houston, Texas (TX), 77006, 77019, 77098 subdivision profile - real estate, apartments, condos, homes, community, population, jobs, income, streets". Retrieved 26 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "About the Neartown Association." Neartown Association. September 29, 2007.
  4. ^ a b Dreyer, Thorne and Al Reinert. "Montrose Lives!" Texas Monthly. April 1973. ISSN 0148-7736. Page 57. Retrieved from Google Books on April 2, 2010.
  5. ^ Rogers, Brian. "3 years after gang killing, teen wants to 'move on'" (Archive). Houston Chronicle. Thursday September 17, 2009.
  6. ^ Hollandsworth, Skip. "Girl, Interrupted" (Archive). Texas Monthly. May 2008. See article at Highbeam Business.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Map of Neartown. Neartown Association. Retrieved October 20, 2008.
  8. ^ "Fretz Construction, History and project timeline". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  9. ^ "Houston Deco, 1930s, River Oaks Community Center, Greater Houston Preservation Alliance". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  10. ^ "Shopping Mall History, American Studies at Eastern Connecticut State University". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  11. ^ "Houston Deco, 1930s, River Oaks Theater, Greater Houston Preservation Alliance". Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  12. ^ "Best Hidden Neighborhood (2002)." Houston Press. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  13. ^ "Crime Statistics for Central Patrol Division." City of Houston. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  14. ^ a b "Volunteer Initiatives Program, Citizens Offering Police Support." City of Houston. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  15. ^ "`Storefront' police station funding debated." Houston Chronicle. Accessed April 16, 2008.
  16. ^ "Fire Stations." City of Houston. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
  17. ^ "Fire Station 16." City of Houston. Retrieved on April 3, 2010.
  18. ^ "COUNCIL DISTRICT MAPS > DISTRICT D Archived 2008-10-07 at the Wayback Machine.." City of Houston. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  19. ^ "City Council." City of Houston. Retrieved on October 27, 2008.
  20. ^, accessed July 19, 2013.
  21. ^ "Office Locations." Harris County Precinct One. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  22. ^ "Map of Texas House District 134 Archived 2008-06-02 at the Wayback Machine.." Texas House of Representatives. Accessed September 28, 2008.
  23. ^, accessed July 19, 2013.
  24. ^ "District 147." Texas Legislature. Retrieved on November 15, 2008.
  25. ^ "Senate District 13 Archived 2011-06-28 at the Wayback Machine." Map. Senate of Texas. Accessed September 28, 2008.
  26. ^ "Congressional District 7 Archived 2006-04-17 at the Wayback Machine.." National Atlas of the United States. Retrieved May 23, 2008.
  27. ^, accessed July 19, 2013.
  28. ^ "Post Office Location - UNIVERSITY." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  29. ^ "Post Office Location - RIVER OAKS." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  30. ^ "Contact Us - Baker Hughes Global Headquarters Offices Archived 2008-04-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Baker Hughes. Retrieved on October 19, 2009.
  31. ^ "Contact Information." Service Corporation International. Retrieved on February 13, 2011. "Corporate Office 1929 Allen Parkway Houston, Texas 77019."
  32. ^ "Insurer to Buy Continental Stock." Associated Press at Toledo Blade. Wednesday March 16, 1983. Page 4. Google News 3 of 52. Retrieved on August 22, 2009.
  33. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 30, 1985. 71." Retrieved on June 17, 2009.
  34. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 22–28, 1995. 64. Retrieved on July 25, 2009.
  35. ^ "Company History 1978 to 1990." Continental Airlines. Retrieved on July 28, 2009.
  36. ^ Boisseau, Charles. "Airline confirms relocation/Continental moving offices downtown." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday September 3, 1997. Business 1. Retrieved on August 23, 2009.
  37. ^ "Submit a tip to KHOU-TV Archived 2010-03-10 at the Wayback Machine.." KHOU-TV. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  38. ^ "Trustee Districts Map Archived 2012-07-11 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on November 11, 2008.
  39. ^ "Gregory-Lincoln Elementary School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  40. ^ "MacGregor Elementary School Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District. December 19, 2016.
  41. ^ "Poe Elementary School Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District. December 19, 2016.
  42. ^ "Wharton Elementary School Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District. December 19, 2016.
  43. ^ "Wilson Elementary School Attendance Boundary." Houston Independent School District. December 19, 2016.
  44. ^ "Gregory-Lincoln Middle School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  45. ^ "Lanier Middle School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  46. ^ "Cullen Middle School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  47. ^ "Lamar High School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  48. ^ The National Elementary Principal, Volume 51. National Association of Elementary School Principals, 1945. Page 326. Digitized by Google Books on October 27, 2008. Retrieved on January 1, 2010. "Montrose Elementary School, 4011 Stanford, Houston."
  49. ^ "About Archived 2015-10-27 at WebCite. " Jack Yates High School. Accessed October 20, 2008
  50. ^ "School Histories: the Stories Behind the Names Archived 2011-05-22 at WebCite." Houston Independent School District. Accessed September 24, 2008.
  51. ^ "J. Will Jones Elementary Attendance Zone Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District. Accessed September 3, 2009.
  52. ^ "Board of Education Votes on School Consolidations Archived 2009-06-17 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Independent School District. October 9, 2008.
  53. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "Tears and fears at HISD board meeting -- UPDATED." Houston Chronicle. October 9, 2008.
  54. ^ Downing, Margaret. "Backlash Upon Backlash at HISD." Houston Press. December 2, 2008. 1.
  55. ^ "Ryan Middle School Attendance Boundary," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on December 19, 2016.
  56. ^ Mellon, Ericka. "HISD will close Ryan, tables plan to merge two high schools." Houston Independent School District. March 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 14, 2013.
  57. ^ Radcliffe, Jennifer. "When all else fails, school offers troubled kids hope." Houston Chronicle. Friday January 1, 2010. Retrieved on February 12, 2012.
  58. ^ "Home." The Harris School. Retrieved on February 12, 2012. "900 Lovett Blvd Houston, TX 77006"
  59. ^ a b "IT'S WORTH THE WAIT Exciting New Renovation for the Central Library Archived 2008-10-15 at the Wayback Machine.." Houston Public Library. Thursday February 23, 2006. Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
  60. ^ "GSD District Locations." City of Houston. Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
  61. ^ "City of Houston Public Library, Marston Building Archived 2011-07-15 at the Wayback Machine.." Prozign Architects. Retrieved on June 30, 2010.
  62. ^ "Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library." Houston Public Library. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  63. ^ "West Gray Adaptive Recreation Center." City of Houston. Retrieved on June 19, 2009.
  64. ^ a b "Dog Parks." City of Houston. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.
  65. ^ Byars, Carlos. "City renames Dunlavy Park for former scoutmaster Ervan Chew." Houston Chronicle. Monday February 28, 2000. A19.
  66. ^ a b Glenn, Mike. "GANG ATTACK KILLS TEEN BOY IN PARK / Police say a mob of youths beat the victim before he was stabbed by a teenage girl." Houston Chronicle. Wednesday June 7, 2006. A1.
  67. ^ "Welcome." Neartown Little League. Retrieved on December 11, 2008.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°44′56″N 95°23′53″W / 29.749°N 95.398°W / 29.749; -95.398