History and Culture

Westmoreland was designated as an historic district in 1997. It is significant for its place in the development of Houston, between 1902 and 1943. At the time, its approach to community planning was innovative in Houston. The “private place” model established in Westmoreland was applied to many other subdivisions throughout the city. Westmoreland is also significant for its architecture. In particular, it contains an unusual number of Victorian-era houses that were built after 1900, when those styles were no longer popular. Finally, Westmoreland is significant for its many notable residents, who made a variety of contributions to Houston’s economic, civic, social, and cultural life.

Significant Buildings

Mary Gentry Waldo House was built in 1886. It was designed in the Queen Anne style by architect George E. Dickey. It was originally located on Rusk Avenue. Mrs. Waldo had the house dismantled and moved to Westmoreland. The project took two years (1903–1905). Her son, Wilmer Waldo, a civil engineer, managed the project. After the house was moved, it was “modernized.” The tower and wooden porch were removed, and the house was covered in brick.

Cravens House, 3401 Garrott, was built in 1907 in the Dutch Colonial style. It is a rare early example of the revival-style country house in Houston, which became popular after 1914.

Russell Brown House, 3618 Burlington, was built in 1908 by the president of the Russell Brown Company as his own home. Russell Brown Company was a prolific homebuilder in Houston and other cities in the early 20th century. Brown lived in the house until at least 1940.

Ezekiel and Mary Jane Miller House, 304 Hawthorne, was built in 1905. It combines the Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styles. It was one of the first houses built in Westmoreland.

James A. Dawson House, 400 Emerson, was built for James Parks, the general manager of the American Home Building Company. It was later the home of the prominent violinist James A. Dawson. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Notable Residents

Walter J. Fondren (410 Westmoreland) was the co-founder of the Humble Oil and Refining Company.

Harris Masterson (3702 Burlington, no longer standing) was an attorney, judge, and land speculator who had become wealthy through his investments and the discovery of oil on his properties.

Miss Florence M. Sterling (405 Hawthorne) was a longtime business associate of her brother, Ross Sterling, who co-founded Humble Oil & Refining Company and later became Governor of Texas. Miss Sterling served as the secretary, then treasurer, of the oil company and was prominent locally in the women’s suffrage movement.

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States, lived with his aunt and uncle at 435 Hawthorne (now known as 3411 Garrott) in 1930–1931 while teaching debate at Sam Houston High School. Former Texas governors William Hobby and James Allured also lived briefly in the neighborhood.