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Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003
File 004
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Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 004. 2003-06-20. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 6, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2411.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2003-06-20). Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 004. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2411

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003 - File 004, 2003-06-20, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 6, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2445/show/2411.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1182, June 20, 2003
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date June 20, 2003
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 004
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com JUNE 20, 2003 Montrose, long known as the heart of gay life in Houston, is a neighborhood bordered on the north by West Gray Street, on the east by louisiana Street, on the south by Richmond Avenue, and on the west by Shepherd Drive. (Graphic by Bonnie Naugle) All of Houston began with Montrose The city's history traces back to the neighborhood traditionally known as the heart of gay life Editor's note: In honor of Pride Week and 25 years of pride and gay history in Houston, this story is the first in a three-part series taking a look at the changes in the Montrose neighborhood, traditionally known as the heart of gay Houston. By JOHNNY HOOKS The Castro district in San Francisco is perhaps the best-known gay neighborhood in the United States. New York City has Chelsea, San Diego's gay-bor-hood is known as Hillcrest. many Seattle queers call Capitol Hill home and Provincetown has, well, Provincetown. And the Houston neighborhood, which has that certain savior-faire? Montrose, of course! It's been compared to a drive-through Greenwich Village, a low-rent Hollywood Boulevard (OUCH!) and Sodom and Gomorrah (naturally!), but I wondered. What is Montrose — better yet WHO is Montrose, how can you tell if you reaUy live within its bounds, and has it always been the gay haven it is now? I decided to find out the answers for myself and for the sake of the newest members of the Montrose GLBT community. I knew current Montrose residents were in good company with Clark Gable, O'Henry, Howard Hughes and Lyndon Johnson all having called our 'hood home at one time or another; but WHERE is this Montrose? The boundaries, which have always been and remain controversial, according to the Heritage Society News, are: West Gray on the north extending east to Louisiana Street, which curves along Main Street to Richmond Avenue. Richmond down to South Shepard, then closing the loop again at West Gray I had always heard that Montrose was so named because there used to be a Mount Street that ran through the area. The street was said to be covered in rose gardens, hence the name Mount-rose eventually became Montrose. Wrong. The discovery that this is a myth sparked my curiosity even more. It was then 1 knew that to really understand the birth of Montrose, I would need to go back to the birth of the city of Houston. Here is what a little historic research and reading via the Heritage Society News and other sources uncovered. In the 1830s, two enterprising young brothers from New York — John Kirby and Augustus Allen - were lured to the Republic of Texas by the attraction of cheap land. How cheap? The brothers purchased about 6.642 acres at an average cost of $1.42 per acre. The land sat at the juncture of Buffalo and White Oak bayous, a navigable waterway being a requirement at that time for a city to survive and flourish. In fhe two years from 11 m time of its founding in 1836, Houston (named for Battle of San Jacinto hero, and soon to be named president of the republic of Texas, Sam Houston) was filled with shops and hotels and a population of 2,073. In 1837, Mrs. Obedience Fort Smith acquired 3,370 acres of land stretching from downtown to present day Rice University Mrs. Smith was a true pioneer, having moved to Texas from Mississippi after raising 10 children and being widowed. The land owned by Obedience remained undeveloped, even after her death in 1847. and was used primarily as cow pasture and eventually a dairy until the beginning of the 1900s. Just try to imagine a herd of dairy cattle grazing at the corner of Montrose and Lovett today! In 1910, John Wiley Link, a successful lumberman from Orange, formed the Houston Land Corporation with some associates after acquiring 250 acres, much of it from the estate of Obedience Fort Smith. In 1911, Link undertook the most ambitious development in Houston to date. He named his addition Montrose Place (take that. Aaron Spelling!) after a historic town in Scotland immortalized in the writings of Sir Walter Scott. Montrose Place was the first subdivision in Houston, and possibly the state of Texas; developers provided future residents with the most modern and luxurious advantages. The entire city of Houston had only 26 miles of paved road in the early 1900s, and Montrose claimed 11 miles of those. It could also boast 22 miles of paved sidewalk within its four tree-lined boulevards: Montrose, Lovett, Yoakum and Audubon. In addition, miles of sanitary sewers, water and gas mains were laid to "give the people invited to build their homes there an opportunity to enjoy the..." fruits of their labor. Landscaper Edward Teas Sr, who later developed Teas Nursery, planted evergreen and camphor trees, 4,000 shade trees and seven railcar loads of palms. The four main boulevards were paved with sheU and topped with a granite top. which made for a dust-less drive and were considered the finest "driveways" in Texas. The finishing touch was a streetcar line, the Montrose line, which served the entire area. A 50- by 100-foot lot did not exceed $1,700. about 34 cents per square foot, with homes ranging from $3,000 - $8,000 per home. In 1912, Link built his own home at the corner of Alabama and Montrose Boulevard for an unheard of $60,000, which included such extravagant amenities as stained glass, steam heat, cut glass doorknobs and a vacuum system. At the time it was built, the third floor was a lavish ballroom, and the home served as the only refuge for flood- soaked residents of the neighborhood more than once over the years. Today, Link's former home is the administration building for St Thomas University; along with the hotel La Colombe D'or, they are the only original structures along Montrose Boulevard to remind us of the area's first glory days. The years 1913 through 1922 saw Houston grow by almost 10 miles square, almost exclusively in the Montrose Addition. The 1930s saw Montrose Boulevard, and therefore the entire district, as the most prominent address within Houston city limits, easily besting the former title-holder Main Boulevard, or Main Street. Unfortunately, like many residential areas that were close to a downtown district. Montrose went through a period of general and sometimes even severe decline beginning in the 1940s shortly after World War 2. The popularity of migrating to the emerging "suburbs" of River Oaks and Memorial soon turned into an exodus, leaving behind near- empty palatial homes, and. setting the stage for desperate landlords to seek out new tenants for the aging mansions of Montrose. Next week: The '50s and '60s see enormous changes in Montrose. inside ISSUE 1182 LOCAL NEWS 3 NATIONAL NEWS 8 FORUM OUT ON THE BAYOU 10 IS COMMUNITY CALENDAR . ..19 APPOINTMENTS 19 CLASSIFIEDS 20 q PI 1771F 21 MY STARS 26 DECISION: Justice Pamela Minzner powered a recent New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that some say may allow gay couples to sue for loss of companionship if a partner is injured. Page 8. NO BOND Accused serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph whose alleged targets included a lesbian nightclub, waived his right to bond this week. Page 9. VIEWPOINT: As a maie-to-female transsexual, columnist Gwen Smith refuses to be pigeonholed. Page 11 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston, TX 77006. Houston Voice is published weekly, on Friday by Window Media LLC. Subscriptions are $92/year for 52 issues (only $1.77 per issue).
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