The Freeland Addition was developed in the early 1920s. It includes just 35 properties on Frasier, Granberry, and East Fifth And A Half Streets. Thirty-six of the original 38 homes remain. They are all one-story houses, built as Craftsman bungalows or Folk National houses with Craftsman details. Freeland became an Historic District in 2008.
The City of Houston was founded in 1836. Growth came quickly due mostly to its location as the temporary Capital of Texas and a center for commerce. There was one recurring problem. As more people were drawn to Houston after the Civil War, something had to be done to control the disease.
Better sanitation systems seemed to help and as the city grew, modern water systems became a desired quality for new housing developments. Developers also looked to the area north of downtown, which at a higher elevation, seemed to have fewer mosquitos. This area became a popular location for Houston’s new suburbs.
One of the first new subdivisions to be developed in this higher altitude was Houston Heights. Houston Heights was established in the early 1890s and incorporated in 1896 as an independent city. It was planned in advance with residential, commercial, and industrial areas and had its own water system. It was annexed by the City of Houston in 1918. Because Houston Heights was so successful, the surrounding area became attractive to developers and investors.
Freeland is located just east of Houston Heights and was one area that rode on the Heights’ coat-tails.
The Freeland neighborhood was named for Walter F. and Mary Freeland, who purchased the land in 1920 from Prentiss Granberry. The land was platted into 34 residential lots on two streets: Frasier and Granberry. Ownership of all or part of the land changed hands frequently for several months. In 1921, Howard G. Fields, a lumber company owner, bought the entire property. Part of it was re-platted to create four more lots on East 5 ½ Street and Reserve Street.
Thirty-eight houses were constructed in Freeland in the 1920s. All but two remain standing today. The Freeland Historic District was designated by the City of Houston in 2008. In 2009, residents banded together to discourage the demolition of one of the houses by a developer.
This neighborhood is next to the Houston Heights Hike & Bike Trail. The trail can be accessed at the corner of Frasier and East 5th-½ streets. It follows the former Missouri Kansas & Texas (later Southern Pacific) Railroad line. The trail is part of the Houston Bikeways Program.