Houston Neighborhood of the Year: The Official Nominees

Note: Voting for the Swampies has ended. See the bottom of this post (above the comments) for a link to the results!

There’ll be no more guessing with these neighborhoods: The official nominees for Neighborhood of the Year 2008 in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate have been selected — from your contributions.

And now the campaigning can begin! How are you going to round up votes for your favorite? Emails? Tweets? Forum or blog posts? Social-network schemes? Whatever works . . . but get your voters to the polls — also known as the comments section of this post (or the Swamplot inbox if you prefer secret ballots). Consult the official campaign rules if you have questions. All votes must be in before midnight on Sunday, December 28th.

Got it? The nominees for Houston Neighborhood of the Year for 2008 are . . .


1. Southampton. Rich, powerful, and full of surprisingly quirky homes. And able to keep the threat of a towering nearby development at bay — for this year, at least.”

2. Houston Heights. “Hip, historic. Modern, classic.

“Tearing down eyesores at an extremely high rate; with every new building that’s built, the neighborhood actually grows more historic! Plus, new restaurants like Textile and Bedford. And construction has finally begun on the hike-and-bike trail.”

“The Heights’ recent trendiness among those selfish enough to buy tacky new construction in an historic neighborhood because they can’t afford a rehabbed bungalow or to buy new in a comparable neighborhood is not something to celebrate. If they get the poor-man’s West U they want, all of Houston loses.”

3. Memorial Bend. “A great place to find mid-century Modern homes still available for demolition.”

Cool architecture, friendly neighbors and great schools.

4. Bear Creek Meadows, Katy. “Poster child for way-out Houston-area neighborhoods wracked by foreclosures.”

5. River Oaks. “In a word: Preservation. And isn’t the River Oaks Shopping Center where it’s all goin’ down? Plus, the River Oaks Theatre is still standing!”

6. Southfork, Pearland. “It was supposed to be just like that place on Dallas. But then J.R.Royce Builders went belly-up.”

7. Glenbrook Valley. “For its unique terrain of small hills and valleys dotted with moss draped trees and small wooded creeks and knolls. For its collection of mid-century architecture with minimal McMansion intrusion. For its large lots and short commute to Downtown. For its actual diversity: Latino, white, Asian, middle-eastern, gay, straight. For the new professionals moving in: architects, attorneys, Ph.Ds, professors, a college president. For the great parties. For the pending historic district work on the 1956 Parade of Homes on Cayton. And Glenbrook Valley has best dramas.”

“If it qualifies, it’s because neighborhoods are like men: They are infinitely more interesting when they’re good-looking — but still a little rough around the edges. Oh, and a little more affluent than you first might have thought.

8. Southside Place. “Eight square blocks of hilarity.” What’s so funny?

9. Old Sixth Ward. In its first full year as a ‘protected’ historic district. “For the self-reliant activism of its residents. A very special place to live, and improving all the time.”

10. Jersey Village. “Just because.

Which one deserves to win Neighborhood of the Year? Vote!

Update: The winners have been announced!

Photos of 1835 Sunset Blvd., 945 Heights Blvd., 403 Faust Ln., 6718 Wellington Meadows Dr., 3841 Olympia Dr., 3006 Southworth Ln., 7703 N. Glenbrae St., 3747 Harper St., 2002 Kane St., and 15905 Capri Dr. (all for sale!): HAR

133 Comment

  • Anything inside the loop…please!

  • The Heights, hands down. Old 6th second. At least they’re different.

  • Old Sixth Ward. Thanks to the residents who worked and fought for what protection was available! Houston has benefited not just from the preservation of the houses, but also your example that what truly makes a “neighborhood” are the ways in which neighbors come together for reasons OTHER than mutual financial interests.

  • Glenbrook Valley. It’s good to see it come back. I grew up in a nearby neighborhood, and we couldn’t wait until Christmas each year to go see all the lights in Glenbrook Valley. It was where the rich people lived — at least, comparatively — and everything was so well kept. Now it’s getting back to those good old days. Hooray for the realtors who are championing it.

  • The Heights of course!

    Not that I’m biased or anything.. ;)

  • SOUTHAMPTON represent! Love my neighborhood :)

  • Glenbrook Valley. Awful lot of good things about that hood.

    Honorable mention to Old Sixth Ward — maybe next year’s winner?

  • i vote for anything EXCEPT the Heights. We are getting too trendy and exposed for our own good. How about Old Sixth Ward. Yeah thats my vote.

  • Glenbrook Valley !

  • Old Sixth Ward, of course. Is the Heights even a neighborhood? Thanks to the hard work of some OSW residents to cause the formation of Houston’s ONLY protected historical neighborhood.

  • Too many of the neighborhood pictures above are now interchangeable thanks to Houston’s penchant for new construction. Construction that is often times inconsistent with the existing neighborhood.

    My vote is Glenbrook, if for no other reason it’s LACK of new construction!

  • Old Sixth Ward, hands down ! It’s the oldest intact neighborhood in Houston, and the largest collection of Victorian structures in the region (outside of Galveston). AND it’s a real community. People here know each other, work together, watch out for one another, and fought an uphill battle together for years to gain our protected status. Go Old Sixth !

  • OLD SIXTH WARD! The best neighborhood in Houston.

  • What about the Woodlands?

    Just kidding. Go South Hampton!

  • gotta be 6th ward…can we say location? eclectic? eccentric? maybe…okay, I drank the kool-aid and am inline for more…

  • Definitely OSW – a true commitment to neighborhood preservation and general neighborliness. Glenbrook Valley gets an honorable mention for the same reasons…

  • The old Sixth Ward.

  • Gotta be Glenbrook Valley. I left the Heights for a reason. I love the restaurants and retail they’ve gotten in the last few years. But all the “new historic” is just sad. Besides if Glenbrook wins we’ll have another excuse for a party.

  • Old Sixth Ward ~~ a protected historic district ~~ is a °great° place to live! Just 1 block south we have Buffalo Bayou Park Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, a $10 Million dollar downtown park, Lee & Joe Jamail SkatePark {you have got to come see these kids in the ‘cradle’}, and Fondé Recreation Center. Not to mention Buffalo Bayou Art Park would be an oversight. So, if you want some fitness, fun and some cult-chah, come to live in Old Sixth Ward!

  • Glenbrook Valley gets my vote.

  • My vote is for Old Sixth Ward. Sorry Gus, the picture shown is not representative of the OSW, we have very little new construction, feel free to pick from here http://www.old6ward.org/teardown1.htm

  • The Old Sixth Ward is a great neighborhood to live and work in! We have our own coffee shop, resturants, wine bar and Art!

  • Glenbrook Valley. It’s the best.

  • My vote goes to Old Sixth Ward. Love that neighborhood! There are some great Youtube videos made when they were trying to get their historic designation in 2007 that really illustrate the appeal. It is now a protected historic district, and it means no house can be demolished. Plus it is so close to the great Buffalo Bayou improvements and downtown that you could walk to work if you lived there.

  • Old 6th! A real neighborhood.

  • Definitely the Old Sixth Ward. Unique homes. Convenient to downtown, midtown, Montrose, Heights, and all major freeways if you’re forced to leave for some reason.

  • Glenbrook Valley rocks!

  • OSW…the others are not even a close 2nd.

  • Glenbook Valley, of course!

  • Glenbrook Valley without doubt is one of the “hidden jewels” in the Houston area that has managed to preserve itself. River Oaks and Tanglewood are still considered the most desireable neighborhoods but there have been too many really classic and in some cases architecturally significant homes that have become tear-downs simply because someone decided they wanted the “biggest and the best” home so everyone would know how rich they were. We saw already. Now, tear it down and start over. Preferably with a little common sense. Even more preferably, rebuild the original home you tore down.

    Hopefully Glenbrook Valley will manage to avoid the same pitfall.

    As for Southampton, I roll the windows up and hold my nose as I drive down Bissonnet and pass through Southampton and Boulevard Oaks. The attitude is just so overwhelming.

  • Love Glenbrook Valley and the great parties!
    My vote is for Glenbrook Valley!

  • Glenbrook Valley.

  • Southampton!

  • Fabulous Glenbrook Valley!

  • Glenbrook Valley

    Best of the best

  • Here’s another vote for Glenbrook Valley’s real mid-century architecture and real people. No boring McMansions, no pseudo-Victorian knockoffs, no ruling class wannabees. Isn’t a neighborhood a place where neighbors actually know each other?

  • Old Sixth Ward.

  • Glenbrook Valley….it’s the quiet neighborhood no one expects. It’s truley a gem!!! Thank you Robert Searcy! http://www.keephoustonrich.com


  • Old Sixth is the best. It’s cool collective row of Historic Houses always being updated by people who truly love their humble abodes. Not too mention, there are a still a couple of grand houses totally restored. The pride of this little neighborhood never fails to amaze me.

  • Old 6th Ward mostly for all the reasons above and least because it is my home. It is unique with its hard-fought protection, its age in a city that is very new and its inhabitants.

  • Old Sixth – all the way !

  • The Old 6th Ward – a fantastic neighborhood with real neighbors and wonderful houses restored with great care. A definite plus for Houston! Almost downtown – try seeing the full moon with the downtown skyline lit up!!

  • The Old Sixth Ward, of course! Interesting that you used a photo of new construction when there are so many historial ones available.

  • Glenbrook Valley, of course. A beautiful neighborhood reclaiming its glory!

  • Glenbrook Valley –because where else is preservation gaining traction?

  • 6th Ward… been here since mid 1970’s.. when it was still a well kept secret.. wouldn’t be anywhere else..

  • Glenbrook Valley has made a great comeback in the last 4 years. Beautiful homes and nice neighbors. They are a great group to work with to improve Hobby area. My vote goes to Glenbrook Valley.

  • Old Sixth Ward is the best! It has proximity to everything you would want to be near, great people, individuality and spectacular events.

  • Glenbrook Valley! The neighborhood of all things fabulous!

  • OSW gets my vote. Great neighbors, great location, great houses…I wouldn’t want to raise my family any place else.

  • Fabulous, and only 15 minutes from downtown. Glenbrook Valley is number one.

  • The Old Sixth Ward, of course.

  • OSW is a surreal neighborhood -very unique.
    It’s a great walking around hood. It kind of has a New Orleans flair to it.

  • Glenbrook Valley without a doubt!

  • The Old Sixth ward Rocks! Lived in the ‘hood for many years and visited many other only to return to the best. Will continue to lead Houston down the road of what real Historic Preservation really is all about.

  • I see this was forwarded to the OSW association mailing list …

  • If you like people, sitting on the front porch in the afternoon, and alot of history around you… then the best neighborhood has to be the Old Sixth Ward. It’s been the best place to live. Seven years here for me and counting.

  • Old Sixth Ward, of course. Brick streets, historic houses, great neighbors, great location. Old Sixth Ward has it all.

  • Old 6th Ward! Fabulous neighbors, homes and views of downtown

  • The Old Sixth Ward!

  • Old Sixth Ward gets my vote but any nominee on this list protecting all these houses from teardown gets my gratitude and respect.

  • Old Sixth, of course! It has been around for 150 years and it’s like fine wine – it improves with age……

  • While I love all historic districts I must vote for the old sixth. It has the highest density of PROTECTED landmarks that were designated by the individual owners. Its residents fought for a period of 30 years to get the distict protected as a whole. It is now the only historic district without the 90 day/you can do whatever you want waiver. It has the oldest privately owned landmark. (Guese House 1854). It is a complete village with churches,corner stores, schools, and of course the highest concentration of 19th century homes.

    The other areas are nice but until the residents of those areas start protecting what makes them unique then … Things can change really quickly. Look at what happened to 4th ward, and what is being lost so rapidly in the Heights now. It only takes 90 days in the Heights and Southhampton for something wonderful to be gone. And glenbrook valley is a jewel but it doesnt even have that much protection.

  • It’s a no-brainer, OSW! I moved there from Glenbrook and love OSW’s proximity to everything. There’s no fear of the invasion of townhouses and mcmansions.
    Also, OSWers do know how to party!

  • Glenbrook Valley! Proof that huge homes don’t have to be mcmansions built to the lot line. They can be charming and sprawling on lots that they fit on. Besides it’s one of the few places in Houston not completely flat.

  • River Oaks!

  • There is really no contest here: The Old 6th Ward rocks!!! (and remembers its past). All of the other neighborhoods vying for this distinction…..are all neighborhood of distinction.

    The difference is that the OSW is in a Class by itself!

  • Southampton is my choice. Beautiful varied homes, trees lining each street, wonderful neighbors…but I’m prejudiced!

  • Southampton stepped up to hold off a BIG (as in 23 story) PROBLEM.

  • The old 6th ward.

    When the McMansions go the way of the Hummer, these historic bungalows and casitas in the shadow of downtown will be seen as revolutionary in their modesty as well as their location.

    Besides, the Washington-Memorial-Buffalo Bayou corridor is just plain fun. Almost like living in a city.

  • Old 6th Ward. You can walk to work. Walk to movies. Walk to the theater district, dinner, and the bayou! Plus there is a real “small town” feel to the neighborhood. And the houses are charming!

  • Memorial bend. For this confirmed inside-the-looper, this neighbourhood has been surprisingly satisfying. It helps that our mid-century modern home is now “cool”!


  • Casting vote for SOUTHAMPTON now before rich/powerful/quirky over-build it to extinction.

  • glenbrook valley!

  • Old Sixth Ward gets my vote. I love the old homes that are being lovingly restored. The neighborhood is active and attentive to each other. A stone’s throw to downtown, Memorial Park, and Washington Avenue shops and restaurants.

  • Not often that the Yanks and RedSox agree, but Old Sixth Ward. Other neighborhoods should take note before they’re totally gone…

  • Southampton is the best. Unique, beautiful trees, and hope we can keep it that way without any 20+ story towers ruining the neighborhood.

  • Southampton-Walking distance to everything and gorgeous homes/trees!!!!

  • Southampton – Best place to live and raise your family!

  • Southampton is the best neighborhood in Houston, in my opinion, but then I grew up there among the towering trees and shady streets. Even now when I drive through it I feel a sense of nostalgia remembering when, as a child, I rode my bicycle over to the Village to shop, carrying my purchases home on the handlebars. It’s close proximity to the museum district, downtown and the medical center make it a plumb of a neighborhood rivaling River Oaks.

  • Definitely Southampton!

  • 1 vote for Shouthampton for best neighborhood

  • Southampton. Best blend of the traditional and the modern and best neighbors.

  • Southampton for sure……best location,near everything and beautiful tree-lined streets.

  • Southampton gets my vote for best neighborhood. Quirky homes, check. Stately oaks, check. Proximity to wonderful city attributes, check. Accessibility, check. Great people, check.

  • Southampton!

  • Southampton

  • Southampton!!! Of course!!

  • Southampton because not only is it a great neighborhood within itself but also because it is full of conscientious and progressive home owners that have the greater good of the city in mind in their campaign against Ashby High Rise!

  • Southhampton is a wonderful community.

  • Southampton best neighborhood for neighborliness – great clean up after Ike B

  • Southampton – a neighborhood that sticks together against stupidity!!

  • Southampton!

  • Southampton for the wonderful sidewalks and trees.

  • Southhampton Place has beed the best neighnorhood EVER!

  • Southampton for being so dog-friendly!

  • Southampton Rules!

  • Southhampton is the best neighborhood. Its location is wonderful — it is near the museum district, downtown, the medical center, the zoo, and Hermann and Fleming park. People walk tree-lined streets, children ride their bikes and play, fun park activities are scheduled for children, and neighbors help each other.

  • Southampton, hands down!

  • Southampton – an eclectic and wonderful community of neighbors.

  • Southampton, the ultimate and best neighborhood for families, singles, adults, pets – anyone!

  • Without a doubt, Southampton is the best neighborhood in Houston. After living in the area over 25 years, we still love everything about Southampton. We have trees, a variety of different types of homes, a major university around the corner where we can take classes, the museum district and Hermann Park. We are near everything and have so many opportunities to enjoy the great City of Houston!

  • Southampton and its adjacent partner – Boulevard Oaks. Prettiest and most active neighborhoods in Houston!

  • Southampton is my choice…a gorgeous neighborhood and community which really came together to fight the obscene development plans for a 20+ story high rise on Ashby.

  • Thirty-six years of staying put, enjoying the Village for shopping, neighborhood schools, jogging around Rice. Great place to raise children and age gracefully.

  • I’ve lived in Southampton for 20 years and it’s great. Location, trees, no two houses are alike.

  • There’s no where else in Houston I’d rather live….SOUTHAMPTON!!!

  • I vote for Old Sixth Ward. It will still be a great neighborhood 20+ years from now because it will retain its historic character thanks to the successful efforts of neighbors to gain protected historic district status.

  • Gus, are you going to check the IP addresses of that blast of Southampton votes?

    30 votes in two hours reminds me the voting patterns in Ohio from the 2004 Presidential race. :-)

  • I vote for Southhampton. I live in Boulevard Oaks. The area usually referred to as Southampton includes Boulevard Oaks.

  • Kristi and I love Southampton — along with its contingent smaller neigbors — for its unique location near downtown Houston. Southampton — a true, quiet neighborhood, with modest and larger homes, tree-lined streets, children on bikes, neighbors visiting, older walkers, dog-walkers and tranquillity. This area is a prime example of what makes Houston proud! The Ashby high rise project would permanently impair our neighborhood, loom over homes, kill trees and create a traffic nightmare. Let’s keep the inner-city jewel of Southampton as it is!

  • SOUTHAMPTON – is definitely the best neighborhood with close proximity to the Medical Center, The Rice Village, downtown and the Museums. It was thoughtfully planned out with beautiful old trees and timeless, charming houses as well as beautiful new construction homes. It is a wonderful family neighborhood.

  • Southampton, please. Gorgeous trees. But what is up with all the crazy moon-houses going in? (i.e., Wabisabi type homes) Those certainly have a place, and can be appreciated for many different reasons but do not value the historical integrity of this neighborhood.

  • Southampton which is a part of Boulevard Oaks is undoubtedly the best neighborhood in Houston. It is a caring place with people who grew up in the neighborhood returning as adults just simply because it is a wonderful place to live. Ashby HiRise has absolutely no place in a neighborhood such as this.

  • Southampton/Boulevard Oaks…the trees, beautiful stately residences, mixed with contemporary and multi-family residences (but no hi-rise!), all make this neighborhood so diverse and wonderful. The people who make up this neighborhood keep it wonderful, too!

  • Beautiful, livable, convenient and welcoming, Southampton (which includes Boulevard Oaks) is Houston’s best neighborhood!

  • Southampton. Greedy developers beware.

  • Southampton gets my vote

  • Southampton is the best.

  • I vote for Southamption as Neighborhood of the Year. We moved here in 1986 and enjoy the neighborhood.

  • Southampton for best neighborhood. Small town feel but just a few minutes from anywere.

  • Southampton for sure. And that includes its wonderful neighbor–Boulevard Oaks. Best neighborhood in town. Conveniently located with wonderful people, homes, and trees.

  • Southampton for best neighborhood – elegant, charming, convenient.

  • I’d pick Southampton without the Ashby High-rise.

  • Southampton – Pure Charm

  • Southampton, including Boulevard Oaks.

  • Southampton is the best! Wonderful trees, homes, and neighbors. Walking distance to a major University and the Village, and it is a great neighborhood to stroll in. You can also hop on 59 and be downtown in just a couple of minutes. We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

  • Tree huggin’, Rice University Lovin’, politically active SOUTHAMPTON. It’s the best neighborhood in Houston. May it always stay that way.

  • Best neighborhood… Southampton, of course!

  • I moved to Southampton 15 years ago and I absolutely love this neighborhood

Comments are closed.