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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.

 

Current facilities include two lighted tennis courts, a ball diamond, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a clubhouse that is used for a variety of activities year-round. Funds for park maintenance are obtained through clubhouse rentals, dues, and an annual carnival. Although the carnival provides a level of excitement with new themes yearly, it is the continuing traditions that evoke the warm spirit and feeling of the past.


 

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