First Montrose Commons

Defining Features

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

Many homes in the First Montrose Commons Historic District have low-pitched roofs, stucco exteriors, Craftsman/Prairie bracketed eaves, and rows of large, multi-light windows. The one-story bungalows in the neighborhood have prominent front porches, typical of the Craftsman style. However, the two-story homes and apartment buildings tend to have front stoops or small inset porticos, rather than large porches designed for outdoor living.

Historic District designations are used to maintain the character of a neighborhood. 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 First Montrose Commons 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) or no porch
  • Turned porch supports (Queen Anne)
  • Square or round columns (Colonial Revival)<
  • Squared/tapered porch supports (Craftsman, Prairie)
  • Brick porch support bases (Craftsman, Prairie)
  • Porch that wraps around house
  • Fluted classical columns
  • Ionic or Corinthian capitals
  • Hipped or gabled roof shapes
  • Pent roofs
  • Low pitch
  • Gable ornamentation
  • Wide boxed eave overhang or open eave overhang with exposed rafter tails
  • Dormers
  • Composition shingles
  • Shed, flat, gambrel or mansard roof shapes
  • Steep pitch
  • Dentils or classical eave moldings
  • Cupolas or towers
  • Slate or tile roof
Exterior Wall Cladding
  • Horizontal lapped, bevel, or drop wood siding
  • Patterned or plain brick masonry
  • Patterned or plain rectilinear wood shingles
  • Stucco
  • Half-timbering (Tudor)
  • Vertical siding
  • Corrugated metal
  • Stucco
  • Flat modular panels
Front Door
  • Single door that faces street
  • Double doors
  • Recessed panels
  • Transoms
  • Fanlights
  • Glass lights
  • Sidelights
  • Masonry arches
  • Single door that faces side property line
  • Pediments
  • Pilasters
  • 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
  • Aluminum
  • Pediments above windows
  • Large plate glass
  • Fanlights