High First Ward Historic District Established
On May 28, 2014, the High First Ward becomes the City’s 22nd Historic District.
The High First Ward Historic District is located in Houston’s First Ward. Today, the term “First Ward” has come to refer to the area bounded by Washington Avenue to the south, I-10 to the north, I-45 to the east and Sawyer Street to the west. According to longtime residents, the sections of First Ward to the east and west of Houston Avenue were known as the Low First Ward and High First Ward, respectively. The main corridor of High First Ward Historic District consists of Crockett Street between Johnson and Henderson Streets, taking in sections of Shearn, Spring, and Summer Streets as well.
Founded in the 1800s, High First Ward has historically been a working-class neighborhood, settled by immigrants from many places. With its location close to Market Square, Buffalo Bayou, and two parallel railroad lines, the First Ward served as a major artery for shipment of goods in Houston’s early days. Many First Ward residents worked for the railroads or in shops that served that industry. Today, the two train lines are a historic reminder of this aspect of the neighborhood’s history. High First Ward continues to attract those who want to live near downtown.
High First Ward is comprised largely of vernacular Queen Anne cottages and Craftsman bungalows built between 1890 and 1930. Although many of the historic structures within the proposed district are modest in scale, they superbly exemplify Texas folk architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and thus serve as a link to Houston’s past.