Important Dates

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission (HAHC) meeting dates. Click here for schedule.

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A page out of history

Historic Preservation Manual Historic Landmark form


Mad about Mid Century?

High First Ward Historic District established.
Mid-century ranch home, with a sputnik light fixture.

Welcome to the Glenbrook Valley Historic District! Established as Houston's historic district in 2011, Glenbrook Valley is a planned community of 1,254 homes in Southeast Houston. It was developed by Fred McManus between 1953 and 1962. McManus noted that the area was situated on Sims Bayou, similarly to how River Oaks is situated to Buffalo Bayou and he set forth to replicate the older neighborhood in southeast Houston. He even hired the famous landscape architecture firm Hare and Hare (the same firm that designed River Oaks and many of Houston's city parks) to lay out the neighborhood. McManus may have fallen short of his goal, but not by much. From its inception, Glenbrook Valley received national attention as a great place to live. Most notably, Better Homes and Gardens magazine featured it as a Neighborhood of the Future.   Read more ...

High First Ward Historic District established.

High First Ward Historic District established.
High First Ward Historic District established, May 28, 2014.

On May 28, 2014, the High First Ward becomes the City's 22nd Historic District.

The High First Ward Historic District is located in Houston's First Ward. Today, the term "First Ward" has come to refer to the area bounded by Washington Avenue to the south, I-10 to the north, I-45 to the east and Sawyer Street to the west. According to longtime residents, the sections of First Ward to the east and west of Houston Avenue were known as the Low First Ward and High First Ward, respectively. The main corridor of High First Ward Historic District consists of Crockett Street between Johnson and Henderson Streets, taking in sections of Shearn, Spring, and Summer Streets as well.   Read more ...

Bigger is not always better.

Bigger is not always better.
The renovated duplex bungalow in the Norhill Historic District.

Just ask Chris Ferguson. Through Ferguson Home Group, Chris has been building and remodeling residential and commercial properties for 7 years. He prides himself on having an eye toward emerging trends. One such trend he sees is a desire to live with affordable urban luxury - simple, but with high quality.

Case in point: The renovated duplex bungalow at 4017 Michaux Street in the Norhill Historic District. Bucking the idea that the square footage of a historic bungalow must be tripled in order to make it saleable, he chose to add a manageable amount of space and place it all under the existing roof. Additional detailing inside and out such as the Cararra marble, the lux master bath and the peacock blue front door make this home special.   Read more ...

Profile of a District: Avondale East and Avondale West

House in Avondale
Avondale is a cozy community full of beautiful historic homes.

Located in the heart of the eccentric Montrose neighborhood, Avondale is a cozy community full of beautiful historic homes.

It was designed to compete with other upscale neighborhoods, such as Courtland Place, Montrose, and Westmoreland. Avondale would become one of Houston’s preeminent upscale “Streetcar Subdivisions.” Today, the original Avondale neighborhood includes two historic districts: Avondale East and Avondale West, which were developed in the early twentieth century.   Read more ...

Rafter Tales: Telling the stories of historic Houston

Craftsman home with rafter tails
A Craftsman home displaying its rafter tails. 2013

Welcome to Rafter Tales, Houston’s newest blog dedicated to historic preservation. Like the people who call it home, Houston has an incredibly diverse built environment. From the cottages in Norhill, to the mansions on Courtlandt Place, to the mid-century moderns in Glenbrook Valley, Houston’s historic fabric illustrates a vibrant and thriving history. In the entries to come, we will be exploring and celebrating Houston’s past through the buildings and neighborhoods that have endured.

What can you expect from Rafter Tales?

  • Profiles of historic districts, neighborhoods and buildings
  • Stories about the people and organizations making positive contributions to Historic Preservation in Houston
  • Photos essays showing how Houston grew into the city it is today
  • Musings on the state of historic preservation.
  • Practical advice about living in and maintaining a historic home
  • Descriptions and definitions of jargon used in historic preservation
Continue reading ...

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