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Houston Heights facts for kids

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Houston Heights, Texas
Neighborhood of Houston
Country United States
State Texas
County Harris
Elevation 59 ft (18 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 77008
Area code(s) 281, 713, 832, 346
GNIS feature ID 1374161

Houston Heights (often referred to simply as "The Heights") is a community in northwest-central Houston, Texas, United States. "The Heights" is often referred to colloquially to describe a larger collection of neighborhoods next to and including the actual Houston Heights. However, Houston Heights has its own history, distinct from Norhill and Woodland Heights.

History

Map of Houston Heights
Map of Houston Heights, circa 1890

By 1891 millionaire Oscar Martin Carter and a group of investors established the Omaha and South Texas Land Company. The company purchased 1,756 acres (7.11 km2) of land and established infrastructure, including alleys, parks, schools, streets and utilities, worth $500,000 United States dollars. When Houston Heights was founded, it was a streetcar suburb of Houston which attracted people who did not wish to live in the dense city. It had its own municipality until the City of Houston annexed the Heights in 1919.

After World War II industrial interests moved into the Houston Heights. Marilyn Bardsley of Crime Library stated that the Houston Heights became "decrepit" and "tired" after World War II. In the 1970s the Houston Heights was considered to be a low income area of the city. On December 13, 1970 Dean Corll began luring and killing children from the Houston Heights as part of the Houston Child Murders. For most of the period of his crime spree, Corll lived in or close to Houston Heights as his two teenage accomplices resided there. Other teens from the area were targeted simply because the two teens knew many of them which made it easier to entice them to Corll's various residences during the period.

From the 1980 U.S. Census to the 1990 Census, the population of the Houston Heights declined by more than 1,000 people per square mile. The Houston Heights Association opened in 1973.

Since the 1990s, and similar to other parts of Houston inside the 610 Loop, the Heights has experienced gentrification, a process ongoing to this day, as young highly paid professionals (many of whom work in Downtown Houston) have flocked to the area, purchasing and renovating some of the historic homes (and demolishing some of them to build newer, upscale housing). Upscale boutiques and restaurants have opened in the area, giving the streetscape an appearance not too much unlike Bellaire, Lower Westheimer or Upper Kirby.

The 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) former fire station at 12th Street at Yale Street was constructed as Houston Heights' city hall and jail, and fire station in 1914. After annexation, it served as a city of Houston fire station from 1918 until 1995. The Houston Heights Association took a 30-year lease on the property from the city and refurbished the property. By December 2009 the former city hall was for sale.

In 2013 CNN Money ranked the Houston Heights as no. 4 in its Top 10 big city neighborhoods ranking.

Cityscape

The Houston Heights, one of the earliest planned communities in Texas, is located 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Downtown Houston. A National Geographic article says "stroll the area's broad, tree-canopied esplanades and side streets dotted with homes dating from the early 1900s and you may think you've landed in a small town." John Nova Lomax said that the Heights, which he describes as "Houston's own mini-Austin," had many "low-key" restaurants and beer gardens. The Houston Heights Association describes the Heights as being bounded by Interstate 10 on the south, North Shepherd Drive on the west, Interstate 610 on the north and both North Main and Studewood Streets on the east.

According to a study of the University of Houston Institute of Regional Forecasting and Crawford Realty Advisors, from 2002 to 2003 prices of single family houses appreciated by 8.7 percent. Anjali Athavalley said "[r]eal estate agents say most houses there costing less than $200,000 need serious work" and "[b]uying a single-family house in the Houston Heights, for example, is getting expensive."

In 1976 James Conaway of the Texas Monthly described the Heights as a "seedy, lower-middle-class enclave with horizons limited to once-fashionable homes divided into low-rent apartments, and guarded by pickups on concrete blocks."

Demographics

The paper "Houston Heights" by Carolee Gearheart of the Aspen Systems Corporation - Housing Research Group and three University of Houston professors describe the Houston Heights as having a "diverse population." A National Geographic article said that the Houston Heights "is said to be home to the highest concentration of professional artists" in Texas.

According to the 2000 census, the current population of the Super Neighborhood #15 Greater Heights, which includes the Houston Heights and several surrounding subdivisions [1] [2], is 41,486.

Racial Breakdown

Race SN #15 Data  % of Area Pop. Houston City Data
American Indian 109 0.3% 3,234
Asian 312 0.8% 102,706
Black 1,456 3.5% 487,851
Hispanic 21,936 52.9% 730,865
Native Hawaiian 20 -% 680
White 17,254 41.6% 601,851
Two or More 360 0.9% 23,830
Other 39 -% 2,614

Age Breakdown

This is the age breakdown of Super Neighborhood #15 Greater Heights.

Age Group SN #15 Data  % of Area Pop. Houston City Data
Under 5 Years 2,962 7.1% 160,797
5–17 Years 6,469 14.6% 375,861
18–65 Years 28,137 67.8% 1,252,908
65 and Over 3,917 9.4% 164,065

Transportation

HeightsTransitCenter
Heights Transit Center

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (METRO) operates the Heights Transit Center.

Bike Trails : The MKT/SP Trail is a Rails-to-Trails conversion project of 4.62 miles made up of a 10-foot wide, concrete, multi-use hike and bike trail along the old Missouri, Kansas, Texas Southern Pacific railroad right-of-way.

The trail runs from 26th Street to 7th Street along Nicholson, and from Shepherd along 7th Street, to Spring Street, across White Oak Bayou, and under I-45, where it connects to the Heritage Corridor West Trail providing a connection to the University of Houston and other downtown bikeways and destinations.

Culture

A National Geographic Traveler article stated that the Houston Heights "maintains a quirky sense of individuality" and "flourishes as a destination for foodies, architecture buffs, and creative types."

Doug's Barbershop on 11th Street was featured in the 1998 film Rushmore, directed by Wes Anderson. Doug's has also been featured in various television and print advertisements due to its classic barbershop decor.

Parks and recreation

MilroyParkHoustonTX
Milroy Park

The City of Houston operates parks within and around the Houston Heights. The Heights Boulevard Park is located at 100-1900 Heights Boulevard. Milroy Park and Community Center has a playground and lighted tennis courts. Love Park and Community Center are adjacent to the Houston Heights. Love Park has an outdoor basketball pavilion, a 0.2-mile (0.32 km) hike and bicycle trail, a playground, a lighted sports field, and a swimming pool. Love Community Center has an indoor gymnasium, meeting rooms, and a weight room. In addition the Houston Heights World War II Memorial is located in the Heights.

The Heights is the locale of Houston's White Linen Night, held annually in late July or early August.

Community Information

The Houston Heights Association was organized in 1973 by residents and business owners to work together toward maintaining the quality of life and preserving the historic character of the community. The association owns several properties, one of which is Marmion Park, which is at the original location of the Cooley mansion, one of the first houses built in Houston Heights. The house was demolished in 1965. The land was purchased in 1979 by the Houston Heights Association for the purpose of constructing Marmion Park, named in honor of the last mayor of Houston Heights, J. B. Marmion.

Marmion Park, The Heights, Houston
Marmion Park

The Houston Heights Woman's Club was founded in 1900, and constructed its own club building in 1912, which is still in use. Members were active in the suffrage movement, and later, during both World Wars volunteered the club for use by the Red Cross. Today the club volunteers in efforts to improve the Heights neighborhood, in particular mentoring children and assisting the elderly.

Houston Heights Woman's Club house
Houston Heights Woman's Club

Climate

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Houston Heights has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

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