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Montrose, Houston, Texas

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Montrose is a neighborhood located in the Neartown area of Houston, Texas. Established in 1911, the neighborhood is considered one of the demographically diverse areas of Houston with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches, and cottages located along tree-lined boulevards. Montrose is one of the more pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in Houston, and the area has a strong identity built up over its long history.


The area of what is Montrose today was originally envisioned as a planned community and streetcar suburb dating back to the early 20th century before the development of River Oaks. Developer J. W. Link and his Houston Land Corporation envisioned a great residential addition according to the neighborhood's original sales brochure. Link's planning details for the area included four wide boulevards with the best curbing and extensive landscaping. Link built his own home in Montrose, known as the Link-Lee Mansion, which is now part of the University of St. Thomas campus. [1] A streetcar, the Montrose Line, ran through the neighborhood. In the brochure, Link wrote what now seems like a huge understatement: Houston has to grow. Montrose is going to lead the procession. It did, and the procession eventually continued far beyond the neighborhood.

In 1926, the Plaza Apartment Hotel, Houston’s first apartment hotel opened on Montrose Boulevard. The hotel was home to many of Houston’s leaders, including Dr. Edgar Odell Lovett, the first president of Rice University. Modeled after the Ritz-Carlton in New York, the hotel cost over one million dollars to construct.[2]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Neartown was known for its Bohemian flavor—this would spawn both the Westheimer Colony Art Festival in 1971 and the subsequent street fair in 1973, which would become known as the Westheimer Street Festival. Also starting around the 1970s the area became known as the center for the gay and lesbian community of Houston.

In 1981, the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts relocated to Montrose.

During the 1990s through to recent times, this area has become increasingly gentrified with a trend towards remodeled and new homes, high rents, upmarket boutiques and restaurants. Neartown has become an eclectic niche market for office buildings in Houston, with both new development and redeveloped older buildings dotting Montrose Boulevard.


In recent decades, the area hosts a significant community of young adults, artists, gay men, lesbians, hippies, goths, hipsters, and punk rockers, as well as a vibrant thrift, vintage, and second-hand shopping area. Gay bars, shopping, and restaurants are all found here, including after-hours nightclub South Beach, which was voted Houston's Best Gay Bar in 2007 by AOL City Guide.[3]

Several music venues are found in the Montrose. Anderson Fair is one of the oldest folk and original music venues in continuous operation in the United States.[4]

On Montrose Boulevard and Westheimer Road, there are a few original homes remaining—a majority have been converted to businesses and/or restaurants since 1936. Many examples of Houston's historic residential architecture can be found in the tree-lined streets off Montrose and Westheimer where many century-old bungalows and mansions can be found.

Notable residentsEdit

The former home of Howard Hughes on Yoakum Street is now part of the University of St. Thomas. East of Montrose Boulevard on Westmoreland Ave. is the Waldo Mansion, known as the oldest occupied house in Houston. Lyndon Johnson lived on Hawthorne Street when he taught high school in the 1920s.[5]


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston are located in southern Montrose.[6] The Menil Collection, on Sul Ross Street between Alabama Street and Richmond Avenue, is a free museum founded by John and Dominique de Menil, Houston philanthropists.[7]

Health Services Edit

Legacy Community Health Services [1]

Montrose Counseling Center[2]


The Houston Greek Festival is a major event that is held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral complex at 3511 Yoakum Boulevard that is usually held on the first week of October. The festival has been held there for over four decades and is considered a popular event in the city.[8]


See alsoEdit

Template:Houston, Texasfr:Montrose (Houston)

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