At the turn of the century, Midtown Houston, known as Southside Place, flourished as the second residential neighborhood in Houston, developing with single-family Victorian homes on small lots. The homes were generally 4000 – 6000 square feet in size and occupied by families of the original founders of the Humble Oil & Refinery Company. The subdivision flourished through the mid-1940s and began to decline into the 1980s and 1990s as a result of the sudden decline in oil production.
The make-up of the neighborhood after 1990 was comprised of vacant land, abandoned buildings, a few single family residences, and a few prosperous businesses. In 1992, the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church started a grassroots effort to revitalize Midtown Houston, bringing together urban planners, property owners, and residents to form the Midtown Redevelopment Authority (MRA). The MRA petitioned the City to make Midtown Houston a Tax Increment Financing District, which was finalized in 1995. Not long after, Midtown began to flourish into the thriving and revitalized area that exists today.
With nearly 9,500 residents, Midtown Houston is the most walkable neighborhood in Houston. The area has over 140 restaurants, bars and coffee shops within walking distance, allowing people the option of walking to an average of eight restaurants, bars, and coffee shops and other establishments in less than five minutes. Walk Score®, an organization that ranks the walkability of major metropolitan areas on their sustainable transit options, gives Midtown a “very walkable” designation score of 86 for walkability and 72 for bikeability. And for those who want to let someone else do the driving, Midtown Houston has excellent public transportation.
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