Defining Features

This Historic District Profile was developed to help property owners. It explains the typical features of buildings found in Westmoreland. This can be helpful when you are planning a project that would change your home’s exterior.

Several features define homes in the Westmoreland Historic District. Front porches distinguish Westmoreland from post-World War I subdivisions. Many houses also feature a glass-front door with transom and sidelights. Early houses in the district were sided with wood, including ornamental shingles of various shapes. Early Westmoreland houses had stables, with staff quarters above, at the back of the property. After 1910, these buildings included garages instead of stables. In the 1920s, the houses were more typically covered with brick or stucco. Those later houses were mostly two stories tall, without front porches.

Once an Historic District is created, certain rules apply to the entire neighborhood. These rules require that changes to properties in the District must be appropriate. In other words, the historic character of the property must stay the same.

Exterior changes must be approved in advance. The Planning Department can help with this process. If the project is approved, the property owner receives a Certificate of Appropriateness. In many Houston neighborhoods, deed restrictions require that the neighborhood civic association also approve changes to a property. The civic association’s regulations and standards may differ from those of the City. The information shown here refers only to City requirements. Property owners should check with their neighborhood association before beginning any project.

When planning a building project within the Westmoreland Historic District, please refer to this chart. It shows which building elements are compatible and which are not. Definitions of common architectural terms can be found in the glossary.

Compatible Incompatible
  • Raised pier and beam
  • Slab on grade
  • Front porch (may be large or small)
  • Porch that wraps around house
  • Fluted classical columns
  • Ionic or Corinthian capitals
  • Square or round columns (Colonial Revival)
  • Squared/tapered porch supports (Prairie)
  • Sleeping porches (on south and east sides of houses)
  • No porch
  • Hipped or gabled roof shapes
    Low or steep pitch
  • Gable ornamentation
  • Wide or shallow eave overhang
  • Boxed eave overhang
  • Open eaves with exposed rafter tails
  • Dormers
  • Composition shingles
  • Slate or tile roof
  • Cupolas or towers
  • Shed, flat, gambrel or mansard roof shapes
  • Dentils or classical eave moldings
Exterior Wall Cladding
  • Horizontal lapped, bevel, or drop wood siding
  • Patterned or plain brick masonry
  • Stucco Half-timbering (Tudor)
  • Vertical siding
  • Corrugated metal
  • Flat modular panels
Front Door
  • Single door that faces street
  • Single door that faces side property line
  • Double doors
  • Recessed panels
  • Glass lights
  • Sidelights
  • Masonry arches
  • Transoms
  • Round fanlights
  • Pediments
  • Pilasters
  • Mixing Styles, i.e. Craftsman style door on a Queen Anne house
  • Large, vertically or horizontally proportioned
  • Double-hung, single-hung, or casement
  • Wood or wood clad
  • May have group (ribbon) of two or three windows in a row
  • Patterned upper panes
  • Masonry arches or hoods
  • Pediments above windows
  • Fanlights
  • Aluminum
  • Large plate glass