Midtown, Houston facts for kids

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Midtown Houston
Neighborhood of Houston
Midtown Houston
Midtown Houston
Country  United States
State  Texas
County Harris County
City Template:Country data Houston
Population (2010)
 • Total 70,846
 • Density 57,424/sq mi (22,172/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77002, 77004, 77006
Area code(s) 713, 281, 832
Website houstonmidtown.com
MidtownHoustonLogo.gif
MidtownHoustonMarker
A marker indicating Midtown with Downtown Houston's skyline in the background

Midtown is a district southwest of Downtown Houston, bordered by Neartown, Interstate 69/U.S. Highway 59 and Interstate 45.

History

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Trinity Episcopal Church
IsabellaCourtHouston
Isabella Court
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The former Houston Fire Department Station 7

Around 1906 what is now Midtown was divided between the Third Ward and Fourth Ward. Before the 1950s what is now Midtown was a popular residential district. Increasingly, commercial development lead homeowners to leave for neighborhoods they considered less busy. The area became a group of small apartment complexes, low-rise commercial buildings, and older houses. According to a City of Houston report, the remaining churches and the Houston Community College System Central campuses provided the neighborhood's "only stability."

In the 1970s, Midtown became home to Little Saigon, a neighborhood of Vietnamese and Vietnamese Americans, who pioneered the redevelopment of Midtown Houston. During the 1980s, Travis and Milam Streets were viewed as a mirror image of 1970s era Saigon. The Vietnamese areas were established around Milam Street, Webster Street, Fannin Street, and San Jacinto Street. By 1991 this Little Saigon had Vietnamese restaurants, hair salons, car shops, and travel agencies. Mimi Swartz of Texas Monthly stated in 1991 that "Little Saigon is a place to begin easing into a new country".

On June 24, 1994 Isabella Court at 3909-3917 South Main Street received listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The City of Houston established the Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) in 1995. The establishment of the TIRZ lead to the opening of upper income townhomes and apartment complexes in western Midtown and the area along Elizabeth Baldwin Park. Between 1990 and 2000 the area within the Midtown Superneighborhood saw the population increase from 3,070 to 5,311. The increase by 2,241 people was 73% of the 1990 population. During that period about 2,200 multi-family units opened, particularly along Louisiana Street and West Gray Street. Since the total multi-family acreage remained at a small number, the population increase also increased the density of the area. During the 1990s commercial uses increased, particularly along Main Street and Louisiana Street. In 1999 the 76th Texas Legislature created the Midtown Management District.

By 2004, higher rents and street construction have reduced the number of Vietnamese American businesses, many of which have relocated to the outer Houston Chinatown in the Bellaire Boulevard corridor west of Sharpstown. On May 1 of that year, during the 6th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Festival, the section of Midtown along Milam Street and Travis Street near Tuam Street received the designation "Little Saigon."

In 2009 Houston City Council approved the expansion of the Midtown TIRZ by 8 acres (3.2 ha). The new territory includes the Asia House, the Buffalo Soldiers Museum and the Museum of African-American culture.

In 2014 the ranking website Niche stated that Midtown was the favorite neighborhood for millennial people.

Cityscape

In 2010 Denny Lee of The New York Times said that Midtown, a "mixed-use" district, was "dotted with" bánh mì restaurants. By 2012 many new bars, retail operations, and restaurants had opened in Midtown. Ed Page, a retail broker, said in 2012 that Midtown has not yet seen any significant new retail; he was referring to big box stores.

As of 2010 five flower shops are located along Fannin in a section of Midtown. One decade before 2010 there were over one dozen flower shops in that area. In 2003 the flower shop owners were mostly Asian. The shops, along four city blocks, were centered on Rosedale Street. The number declined after the establishment of the METRORail Red Line. Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Chronicle said in 2010 that the remaining flower shops told her that the establishment of the line helped cause several of their competitors to go out of business.

Demographics

HoustonCCHQ
The Houston Community College System administration.

As of 2012 Midtown has about 8,600 people. Midtown had a 65% population increase in a ten-year period.

According to the 2000 Census, the Super Neighborhood #62 Midtown (which mostly corresponds to the boundaries of the Midtown District) contained a total of 5,311 residents. The racial makeup of the area was 45% (2,439 people) White, 18% (949 people) Black or African American, 6% (320 people) Asian, less than 1% (8 people) Native American, less than 1% (35 people) from other races, 1% (70 people) from two or more races and 28% (1,490 people) of the population were Hispanic or Latino The super neighborhood contained a total of 4,559 people above the age of 18. The super neighborhood contained a total of 3,219 people who were male and 2,092 people who were female. 18 people were in nursing homes. Nobody was in a correctional institution, a university or college dormitory, or a military quarter. There were 2,326 households, with a population of 4,142 in those households. The average household size is 1.78 people.

Some parts of the Midtown TIRZ are within Super Neighborhood #66 Binz.

Transportation

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Greyhound Lines Houston Station

Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas is the area transit authority. The METRORail Red Line runs directly through Midtown along Main Street. Three stops (Wheeler, Ensemble/HCC, and McGowen) are located in Midtown. Bus routes 1, 8, 25, 60, 65, and 182 stop at Wheeler Station. Routes stopping at the Downtown Transit Center, adjacent to Midtown and located in Downtown, include 11, 15, 24, 30, 35, 52, 60, 70, and 77. Other routes serving Midtown include 3, 5, 33, 42, 44, 53, 56, 82, 85, 102, 108, 131, 261, 262, 265, 269, 274, and 283.

Houston's intercity bus station (which is served by Greyhound Lines and several bus lines that serve Mexico and Central America) is located in Midtown. In 2008 the Houston Press named the Greyhound Terminal as "best place to people watch."

Culture, parks and recreation

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Midtown Park
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Elizabeth Baldwin Park

Midtown Park is located at the intersection of Bagby and Gray. The Midtown Management District and several businesses provided funding for the park. Elizabeth Baldwin Park, operated by the City of Houston, is located at 1701 Elgin Street. The 4.88-acre (19,700 m2) Park is between Crawford Street and Chenevert Street. The City of Houston acquired Baldwin Park in 1905. The stone fountain is from 1912. The park received upgrades in 1930 and 1931 stemming from a bond. A 2003 Midtown Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone bond sale and Midtown Management District plans lead to further improvements. The park received a rededication on November 13, 2006. The park includes a Vietnamese Heritage Plaza which commemorates the Vietnamese settlement in Midtown. Peggy's Point Plaza Park, operated by the city, is located at 4240 Main Street.

In 2008, David Crossley from the Houston Tomorrow group proposed that the City of Houston should build a park in the area bound by Main Street and Travis Street on the north end and Tuam Street and McGowen Street on the south end. Crossley called the proposal "McGowen Green." John Nova Lomax, a journalist, published an article about the proposed park in the Houston Press.

In 2012 the Midtown Redevelopment Authority and Camden Development Inc. announced that a new park would be established in Midtown in a 3.5-acre (1.4 ha) empty lot, for about $7 million.

The Ensemble Theatre, an African-American theater company, has its studio in Midtown. The theater, founded by George Hawkins in 1976, is the largest African-American theater company in the United States.

Syd Kearney of the Houston Chronicle stated that the opening of the Farrago World Cuisine Restaurant in 2000 "was one of the signs that once sleepy Midtown was coming to life." This restaurant closed in July 2013.

Gallery

Images for kids


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