The Neartown Association was established in 1963 by a
group of dedicated individuals seeking to improve the quality
of life in Houston's unique and historic inner-city neighborhoods.
Undaunted by the time-consuming community-building process,
they were not willing to wait for someone else to save
and restore their home front, nestled between downtown
Houston and the Houston Medical Center.
Since its founding, the Neartown Association has supported,
and often sponsored, the formation of small civic clubs
and neighborhood associations within its borders, generally
along original plat lines. These 20-plus smaller groups
hold their own meetings and deal with more localized issues
such as problem properties, heavily weeded vacant lots
and citizen patrols. They call on Neartown for support
with neighborhood issues and, in turn, Neartown rallies
these civic associations when issues of larger community
concerns develop. With a population of over 30,000, Neartown's
strong advocacy on positions of interest to the area is
well known at both the local and state level.
Often likened to New York's Greenwich Village, the Neartown
area attracts an eclectic mix of residents and businesses,
as well as a host of political figures, outlaws and millionaires.
Neartown has been home to actor Clark Gable, Howard Hughes,
Dr. Denton Cooley and famous individuals from Houston's
past such as Fondren, Abercrombie, Masterson and Hogg.
President Lyndon B. Johnson lived in our neighborhood while
he taught at San Jacinto High School. The site of what
was the family home of Mirabeau B. Lamar, president of
the Republic of Texas, is now the home of Woodrow Wilson
Elementary School and Walter Cronkite spent his youth in
a bungalow in the 1400 block of Westheimer.
Preserving a rich residential history, Neartown includes
some of Houston's oldest and most historic neighborhoods,
including the original Montrose, which was platted in 1911.
Other neighborhoods in the area have retained their original
names such as Courtlandt Place, Winlow Place, Hyde Park
and Cherryhurst. In other parts of Neartown, old subdivision
names such as Oakmont and Sandyside have long since lost
their significance except as part of legal descriptions
on property deeds. In their place, new neighborhood organizations
have arisen with names reflective of the area's history,
such as Audubon, Avondale, Lancaster Place, Castle Court
and Roseland Estates.
Today, professionals and families seeking the convenient
life-style of our popular downtown commercial, medical
and cultural centers, as well as a strong sense of community
in something other than a traditional suburban setting,
are rediscovering Neartown.