Neighborhoods Southside Place
The developer’s brochure, first printed in the spring of 1925, touted the new subdivision of Southside Place as follows:
“How many times have you wished for a REAL?HOME, one that wasn’t crowded onto a 50 foot by 100 foot lot? A place with plenty of room for the growing children to play and work AT?HOME?
Southside Place fulfills your ideals, your needs—room for flower gardens, vegetable gardens, pets, poultry and fruit trees—close enough “in” to be convenient, just far enough from downtown to make the ideal home.”
When E.L. Crain, the developer, established his new subdivision, he knew he needed something to attract people to this unlikely area. In 1924, what was to become Southside Place was a soggy, barren field out in the country without shrubs, trees, or anything else to suggest the beginnings of a beautiful, dynamic, friendly community.
To improve his development, Crain established a park with a sparkling new swimming pool built on a man-made hill. Then, to make the subdivision compare more favorably with the area south of Bellaire Boulevard that abounded with orange and pecan trees, Crain planted numerous Chinese Tallow trees which had just been introduced to the United States. These trees adapted so well that Southside was sometimes called “The City of Tallows.”
On opening day, Easter Sunday, 1925, Southside Place could boast of such “modern” improvements as concrete curbs and gutters, gravel streets, concrete sidewalks, and sanitary and storm sewers. Each lot was enhanced with Radiant Red rose bushes along the street front; larger lots had the bonus of a chicken house and fig trees in the back.
Today the chicken houses are gone, but the foresight of the developer is still evident in the charm and beauty of the neighborhood. The owners, planners, and promoters of this real estate venture were at least 50 years ahead of their time in their concepts, particularly in park planning. Southside Place was the first small community around Houston to offer a recreational facility of this type.
The park, a central meeting place, has been instrumental in giving Southsiders the satisfaction of knowing and working with their neighbors, thus creating a friendly and unique community within the bustle of the metropolis.
Home prices in Southside Place range from the $600,000s for a lot upwards to near $2,000,000 for recently constructed homes.
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