Chapel of St. Basil on the University of St. Thomas Campus



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.

Contemporary Neartown

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.