In 1836, the city of Houston began with land speculators Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen who sold many lots. The Houston Ship channel was created in 1914. The brothers both believed that the land would be one of the greatest commercial centers of Texas. A year later, Houston was incorporated into the state as a city and as time went on the city quickly grew.
Trade and cotton were major players in the growth of Houston during this time. Post World War II, the city was even more of an industrial center with the help of natural resources such as petroleum and shipping other items. Businesses and the population were booming moving forward in the 20th century. The wealthy were dedicated to donating their money and land to help improve the city and make it what it is today. Houston was considered the fastest-growing city in America.
Houston is considered a very diverse and multicultural city, full of people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and lifestyles. It is named the dining-out capital of the United States. The city has a thriving international community. Being the fourth populous city in the country, Houston has different languages, architecture, fine arts, music, monuments, fashion, sculptures, cuisine, festivals, and history.
Almost 90 languages are spoken regularly in this area. There are some neighborhoods that have a much higher percentage of Asian or Hispanic language spoken among the residents. Houston has concerts and festivals that bring the community together to celebrate different events.
The City Council of Houston has the responsibility of enacting and enforcing all rules and resolutions to problems within the city. There are sixteen members, not including the Mayor. Eleven members are elected from the different districts, while the remaining five members are elected by all voters of the city.
The current mayor of Houston is Sylvester Turner. The Mayor is technically not a member of the City Council as he presides over the members and has voting privileges. Turner considered the Executive Officer of the city and manages Houston and oversees all the laws and ordinances that are being enforced.
The Houston Metropolitan Chamber is the chamber of commerce. Since 1949, this chamber has been an aide to the marketplace. It promotes the growth of the community through networking and building partnerships with the government and the community. The members want to grow their business and give back to Houston.
The city of Houston is known for its exceptional options when it comes to public and private schools. The city has schools that can serve all levels from grades preschool all the way through the twelfth grade. Many students in the Houston area will be zoned to attend schools within the Houston Independent School District (HISD). For some western parts of Houston, some families will need to enroll their students in schools within the Spring Branch Independent School District (Spring ISD).
Students living in southwestern parts of Houston can attend schools within the Alief Independent School District (Alief ISD). HISD has over 200,000 students enrolled. Alief ISD has over 45,000 students. Spring ISD is much smaller than HISD and Alief ISD with only 35,000 students. For families who choose to not enroll their students in public schools, they can enroll them in some of Houston’s stellar and college-preparatory private schools.
Most of the elementary schools in Houston enroll kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Some even have preschool programs that provide students with the basics and readily prepare them for kindergarten. Students typically learn about subjects such as reading, writing, social studies, science, and basic math. Schools such as River Oaks Elementary, Helms Elementary, and Frostwood Elementary are all some of the exemplary elementary schools that have language immersion programs. This allows students to learn the importance of learning and appreciating other cultures. Also, elementary schools in Houston have amazing extracurricular options for students after school. This keeps them engaged in education.
Unlike some other schools in different cities in the United States, Houston middle schools mainly enroll students in grades sixth through eighth. Schools outside of Texas might consider sixth grade as still an elementary school level. Regardless, middle schools in Houston do a great job at preparing students for life as future high school students. Some schools like Lanier Middle School, Northbrook Middle School, and Hogg Middle School offer opportunities for students to earn credit towards high school and even Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Houston middle schools hope to encourage students to take initiative and strive for great academic success.
Many of the high schools in Houston are college-preparatory schools because school officials believe that all students can learn the skills needed to succeed in a two or four-year college. Teachers and staff members know their students can shoot for the stars. Secondary institutions such as Hastings High, Lamar High, and Houston Heights High all have college credit courses. The athletic departments are competitive. Students with interests in sports can participate in sports like basketball, soccer, football, cheerleading, tennis, and much more. From drama club to debate team, each student will be able to find clubs and sports that interests them.
Enrolling students into a private school in Houston can be a great alternative to enrolling them in public school. These schools can range in levels from including all grades to elementary and middle school to just high school. Some parents choose private schools for their students because they believe there is more flexibility in the education. Also, parents might desire more enrichment programs and specialty programs for special needs and the gifted/talent students. Private schools like River Oaks Academy, Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School, and Grace School celebrate learning differences and successfully prepare students for the world.
Along with all the fantastic restaurants, museums, theaters, and landmarks, Houston has great-looking real estate. The city has a wide range of different types of residential areas and architecture. Houston single-family homes can be anywhere from one to three stories high. The city has traditional all-American bungalow-style homes, Victorian-style homes, and contemporary and traditional mansions. Other than single-family homes, Houston also has apartments, high rise condominiums, and newly-constructed residential buildings that are being built.
The apartments in Houston are luxurious and stylish. Many of them have amenities that you won’t be able to live without. A walk-in closet, spacious balcony looking out to the city, and stainless steel kitchen appliances will become a necessity. High rise condominiums are plentiful in the city, especially in downtown Houston. The condominiums are so sleek and elegant and can have oversized closets, private balconies, and accent brick walls. The views from these buildings are unbeatable.
Despite all the many different types of homes in Houston, the majority of the real estate is in single-family homes. Homes and estates are more on the market than other living options in the city. People in Houston who want to have their dream houses in suburbia, also want to be able to easy commute to the urban areas to shop, dine, and enjoy Houston. Newly-constructed luxury homes in Houston can be as high as $6.3 million.
Homes like these are absolute masterpieces. Some have French-inspired architecture with clean lines and plenty of windows. Others have quality finished hardwood flooring, wine rooms, fitness centers, and even a theater to watch movies. Homes that are lower prices can be priced as low as $190,000. These type of homes are two stories and are made for smaller families. They still have great amenities like multiple bathrooms, granite countertops, more pantries, and master suites.
There is something fun and exciting to do for everyone in the Houston area. It doesn’t matter if you are on vacation, doing a day trip, or spending time with family and friends, Houston has great shopping centers, museums and exhibits, art galleries, historic landmarks, and upscale and casual restaurants. Even long-time residents of Houston are still able to find new spots to go to. You can go to the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum.
This museum is the only one in America that honors African American military soldiers. If you’re into fishing tours, sign up for the Galveston Fishing Guides and sail along the bays for some flounder and Redfish. Not into fishing? Well, you and your friends or family can see classic and contemporary plays at the Main Street Theater. For those who love horticulture, the Bayou Bend Collection and Garden has both beautiful paintings and a breathtaking garden.
Every Houston neighborhood is known for a landmark, best restaurant, best park trail, theater, or some sort of social event that another part might not have. River Oaks has the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra that showcases spectacular traditional and classical performers and musicians. Memorial has the Studio Movie Grill, where you can watch a newly-released film while taking a bite into a delicious cheeseburger. South Central has the Houston Museum of Nation Science. This museum has dinosaur exhibits, a planetarium, and a butterfly house. Greater Heights has the popular Love Mural at the Love Community Center. The possibilities are endless in Houston. Finding something fun to do is a guarantee.