Houston’s Least Historic Neighborhood: The Official 2010 Ballot

The 8th category in the 2010 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate is now open for voting! Thanks to your nominations, we now have the official ballot for the Least Historic Neighborhood award.

Why should all those tiny historic districts get all the attention this year? Raise your voice and help us honor the local community that best exemplifies the rich tradition of non-historic-ness . . . itude. Or something like that. Anyway, vote for one of these nominees — in a comment below, in an email to Swamplot, in a Tweet, or on the wall of Swamplot’s Facebook page — or all 4! (Yes, you’re allowed to vote once with each method for each category.)

Wanna start a campaign in support of your favorite candidate? Go right ahead! Just make sure all your votes come in before 5 pm on Monday, December 27th.

The official nominees for Least Historic Neighborhood are . . .


1. Ranch Estates. “A tiny neighborhood mostly on Milford and Banks streets east of Mandell. Shingle-sided postwar Ranches gradually being supplanted not only by variously themed McMansions, but also by postmodern-ish architect-designed ‘statements.’

2. Thornwood. “Or really, any of the Thornwood-era neighborhoods built by Kickerillo. 40+ years of almost no exterior changes: ‘I gotcha some Georgian, some Spanglish, some Ranch-errific, a bit of Tudor, a tad of whatevah. Say, do ya like columns? Or maybe a balcony or three?’”

3. Cinco Ranch. “Feels completely cut off from the rest of the world. And it just keeps on marching west, toward the future, every year. As you drive west on Cinco Ranch Blvd., you can see the cutting edge of suburban design just get sharper and sharper.

4. Shadow Creek Ranch. “Least historic? Shadow Creek Ranch is the future.

5. Rice Military. “Heck, I remember when there was a Roznovsky’s Hamburgers there in a building that was once an old wooden grocery store with a slammin’ screen door. So in terms of change, going from very old to something new that will be torn down in another 20 years because, well, that’s Houston? Gotta go with the townhouse farms of Rice Military.”

6. Upper Kirby. “Even the old Hard Rock Cafe couldn’t remain standing. Some of the older buildings on the north side of Westheimer are still standing, but it’s only a matter of time. At least they buried the utilities. Next hurricane, it’s going to be the least historic but also the only neighborhood with electricity.

7. Bellaire West. “The part of Bellaire west of the West Loop, east of South Rice, and south of Bellaire Blvd. may have the highest concentration of zero-lot line McMansions built on lots formerly occupied by post-war tract homes in the Houston area. Now that’s an achievement.

“I really don’t understand why they all build those big ass houses on those small ass lots. Driving down Evergreen St. is quite scenic.”

8. Houston Heights. “If there was a category called ‘Least Historic Historic Neighborhood,’ it would be The Heights, hands down.

9. Shady Acres. “The advent of the cross between a townhome and horse stables is the sad future for development inside the Loop. Better love your neighbors, as you could probably hit each building with a well-placed throw of a racquetball from your 2-ft.-by-4-ft. porch.”

10. Dixie Woods. “They used this neighborhood off Dixie Farm Rd. near FM 518 in that 1999 terrorists-next-door movie Arlington Road — it was a brand-new area at the time, and it stood in for suburban Washington D.C. The ennui was stultifying. Definitely not historic. If I remember correctly, the house in the movie was one of the very first built in that neighborhood.”

11. Galleria/Uptown. “There is not a scrap left of whatever was there before the Galleria was built . . . though by Houston standards, I think the whole area may now qualify as historic.”

Them’s your choices! Now tell us which of these nominees deserves the honor of being chosen as Houston’s Least Historic Neighborhood!

Photos: HAR (1520 Milford St., 802 Pinesap Dr., 27519 Myrtle Lake Ln., 12402 Baymeadow Dr., 402 Roy St., 4912 Welford Dr., 725 Oxford St., 1332 W. 25th St. Unit C, 2406 Dixie Woods Dr.), Candace Garcia (West Ave), AmREIT (Uptown Park)

22 Comment

  • Cinco Ranch! I love Houston…

  • #7, for sure.

  • Five for sure.
    That Wabash Feed Store has managed to hold on out there at the edge of Foam-Core Mini Manseville is amazing and stands as a last vestige of the small town aura that was, until quite recently, the NW in-loop.

  • i’m kinda tied between #5 or #9..but think i’ll cast my vote for #9 (Shady Acres); some of the building there is totally ridicules and sooo out of sync with everything around there.

  • I don’t understand why #8 is nominated. Or is the nomination meant as commentary in support of the Historic Designation Ordinance? If so, point taken and agreed! My vote goes to Bellaire! The only thing historic about that place is a few of the original residents who managed to hold out…

  • Cinco Ranch. With Shadow Creek a close second.

  • # 2… Truly the leading edge of what must have been acid dropping, heavy drinking architects with no sense of….well anything. Maybe their plans just got mixed up in the blender with whatever cocktails they were concocting.

  • #6 – Upper Kirby. They even wiped out the old trees! Back in the day – the Borders and Whole Foods were a Lincoln/Mercury car dealership! Hang in there Beck’s Prime!

  • A tie between all the Ranches (Ranch Estates, Cinco, and the shadow casting).

  • Galleria – just for the fact there’s nothing left. But I’d like to nominate it early for the Most Historic neighborhood in 2030. By then, it’ll be one of the oldest places in town!

  • I’d second Bellaire!

  • #10, b/c I nominated it…

    …and, honestly, it’s so bad a Hollywood production crew chose it over every other neighborhood in the country for its perfectly balanced sense of blah and blech.

    That’s gotta count for something.

  • #5 – I was at the closing party the day Roznovsky’s shut down. Driving through there now feels like an out of body experience.

  • Good lord. #3. Go west young man, go west.

  • #3 Cinco Ranch, the antimatter of historic.

  • Cinco Ranch because I find the Cinco Ranch vs. Katy rivalry hilarious.

  • All of the above.

  • I’d say #7.

    Just out of curiosity, why is Cinco Ranch singled out of all of Houston’s expansionist suburban neighborhoods. I don’t even think it’s in Houston…

  • Cinco Ranch!!

  • I happened on this page too late to vote, but I just wanted to say I found this funny as hell and depressing as hell. I’m not sure the designers of these homes are worthy of being referred to as architects. I’m wondering these days if architecture is a thing of the past. Everything is the same awful garbage over and over. And I should know, living in The Woodlands. You haven’t seen cookie cutter homes until you’ve driven these neighborhoods.
    But yeah, I’d have voted for Cinco Ranch, too. Dreadful. And just sad.
    Craftsmanship is dead.