Preserving Neighborhoods in Houston

Avenue works not only to preserve the historical architecture of individual buildings, but also the historic character of our core neighborhoods.  

Ongoing real estate development is part and parcel of any growing city and can be an important catalyst for economic growth and opportunity. But if it is done without community input, it can lead to greater rates of disparity in redeveloping areas, marginalizing and displacing historic residents as the cost to rent or buy housing increases. It can also irreversibly change the historic look and feel of a neighborhood which so many residents treasure.


One tool we are helping residents to utilize is Chapter 42, Houston’s Minimum Lot Size Ordinance. For residents who want to preserve the historic character of their neighborhoods, they can work together to gather petition signatures and apply for Chapter 42 designation. This designation lasts for 40 years and can protect neighborhoods from incompatible new development in their area.  

In the Near Northside, residents have obtained protections for over 1,000 lots to date, and more applications continue to be organized.

Oral History Project

Stories of the Northside

Our oral history project, Stories of the Northside, was created to preserve, celebrate, and share the life experiences of longstanding residents in the Greater Northside.  

Since 2016, we have worked with community partners to document the stories of those who have lived in the community for generations, to celebrate their accomplishments, honor their experiences, and connect younger residents with the history of their neighborhood.  

By connecting the past to the present, we gain greater perspectives on where we’ve been and where we’re going, and the important role each individual has to pay in the unfolding story of the Northside.