Kashmere Gardens is a historically African-American neighborhood in the northern 610 loop area in Houston, Texas. The area is by Loop 610 (N. Loop E.)/Kelley Street to the north, Collingsworth and Liberty to the south, a rail corridor to the west, and another rail corridor to the east. The neighborhood is in Council Districts B and H.
Kashmere gardens mainly consists of modest single-family homes, in which many are on large lots. Some of the areas are wooded while the eastern edge of the neighborhood is made up of warehouses and light industry. The western edge is adjacent to a major rail yard. There are many churches of varying denominations, along with multiple civic organizations such as Super Neighborhood 52, Northeast Concerned Citizens Civic League, the Kashmere Alumni Association, and the Kashmere Former Athletes Association. One notable park is the Hutcheson Park located on the north side near Loop 610.
The neighborhood was annexed by the City in the 1940s. Between 1990 and 2000, the Hispanic population increased from 19 percent to around 31 percent. The area received severe damage from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The Houston Public Library branch in the area called the McCrane-Kashmere Gardens Neighborhood Library was closed after the damaged left by Harvey. According to a 2018 article by the Houston Chronicle, about 40 percent of residents in this community are living in homes (79 percent of all homes flooded) that need remediation.
Kashmere Gardens area (2,582 acres/4.03 sq. miles) is comprised of 7 public schools and 1 private school. There is also a public hospital, named for Lyndon B. Johnson, which is located on Loop 610 east of Lockwood Drive.
Frenchtown, Fifth Ward
Frenchtown is a community of four-square blocks located on the northern section of the Fifth Ward community. The section is bounded by Collingsworth Street (North), Russell Street (East), Liberty Road (South) and Jensen Drive (West). It was established in 1922 and primarily consisted of Creoles of French, Spanish, and African descent from Louisiana.
The community had a rich Creole culture distinguished by its colorful patios, unique cuisine, and zydeco music, which is a blend of traditional Creole music with Houston’s blues and R&B. Many Frenchtown residents settled in the early 1920s as Houston was economically booming and attracted plenty of workers. Several skilled and semiskilled worked were employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad. Others worked in the oil industry and other industries along the Houston Ship Channel. A second wave of Creole immigrants occurred after the Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, and another one spurred by Houston’s employment growth during World War ll. Many residents built their homes with lumber from boxcars from Southern Pacific Railroad’s Englewood Yard on the east side of the intersection of Liberty Road and Wallisville Road.
Following World War ll and the end of residential segregation, subsequent generations moved out of the area and the construction of the U.S. Highway 59 cut through the center of the community. Frenchtown gradually began merging into Fifth Ward. Currently, there are historical markers at Liberty Road and U.S. 59 and Collingsworth and U.S. 59 that commemorate Frenchtown and its role in developing zydeco music. Notable landmarks included Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church and zydeco hotspots like the Silver Slipper and Continental Zydeco Ballroom.
Team Lead: Davonte Caldwell
Planning and Development
Kelli Bradford, Neighborhood Liaison
Mayor's Citizens' Assistance Office