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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Second Ward is a historical political district ward in Houston, Texas. It was one of the four original wards of the city in the nineteenth century. The community known as the Second Ward today is roughly bounded by Buffalo Bayou to the north, Lockwood Avenue to the east, and railroad tracks to the south and west, although the City of Houston's "Super Neighborhood" program includes a section east of Lockwood [1].

The Second Ward today has mainly Hispanic residents, primarily Mexican Americans who moved into the area following World War II and the subsequent white flight from the area. One of Houston's first master-planned communities, Eastwood, where Howard Hughes lived as a child, is located in this ward[2]. The northern end of the community is largely industrial, leading to massive warehouse complexes along the Bayou. There are also many industrial buildings, some of which have found new life as lofts, on the western edge of the neighborhood nearest to Downtown and Minute Maid Park.

Many buildings in the community, including the local high school, Stephen F. Austin High School, were constructed in the 1920s and bear the art deco style. While perceived as rundown and neglected in the 1970s and 1980s, recent years have seen major civic improvements including new street lights and pavement, as well as the beginnings of gentrification as professionals and others move from both the far-flung suburbs and other, more expensive Inner Loop neighborhoods. The area attracts artistic talent through venues such as Talento Biling├╝e de Houston, and residents of all ages frequent the Ripley House Community Center.

The Second Ward is in the early stages of revitalization, drawing new residents with its proximity to downtown.

Contents

History

In 1992 former Mayor of Houston Bob Lanier proposed converting the 10.5 acre former Milby Bus Barn site into a 59-family low income development which would have been called La Villa de las Flores (Spanish for "the Village of the Flowers"); the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas used the site as a bus barn from 1976 to 1983. In 1993 workers doing preliminary jobs discovered unused storage tanks, prompting testing for dangerous chemicals. Soil tests revealed petroleum and lead; the lead was 300 times the amount of safe concentration for a homeowner. Local residents received testing. The city began a cleanup in June 1993, replacing 58,300 cubic yards of topsoil and installing "groundwater recovery systems" to remove water contaminated with motor fuel and chlorinated solvents. Fugro Environmental Inc. reported to the City of Houston that the cleanup put the site in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards. In Summer 1999 the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission reported that the former Milby Bus Barn site was safe. By August 1999 the site remained vacant.[1]

Government and infrastructure

The Houston Police Department's South Central Patrol Division [3] serves the neighborhood.

The Second Ward is in Texas's 18th congressional district [4]. Its current Representative is Sheila Jackson Lee.

Education

Area students attend schools in the Houston Independent School District, including Jackson Middle School and Austin High School.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe School, a Kindergarten through 8 Roman Catholic school that is a part of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, is in the Second Ward area [5].

The Second Ward is served by the Houston Public Library Flores Branch [6].

References

  1. ^ Liskow, Samantha. "Paradise Lost." Houston Press. August 26, 1999. 1. Retrieved on April 25, 2009.

See also



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