A Brief Overview of Houston, Texas
Houston was formed in 1836 by brothers John and Augustus Allen who purchased 6,642 acres of property on which they intended to create a city. They named their project Houston, after a former general and Texas politician.
Three decades later, Houston was a hot spot for the export of cotton as many of the railroads in Texas converged on here. This railroad hub naturally resulted in rapid expansion of the city. Houston was the headquarters for the Battle of Galveston during the Civil War. After the war, city expansion was initiated by bringing more commerce to the area.
In 1901, a year after a hurricane threatened Houston homes and businesses, oil was discovered near Beaumont, one of Houston's major ports. This led to the development of Texas’ petroleum business. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson opened the long-in-progress deepwater Port of Houston.
After WWII, real estate in Houston doubled after the city annexed seven unincorporated areas. Houston’s burgeoning oil industry created job opportunities across the board. People flocked to the city looking for employment and to find homes. The boom ended sharply during the 1980s oil crisis. The city recession was also affected by the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
In hopes of turning things around, the city moved to diversify its business focus. Outside of petroleum, they moved toward the health care, biotechnology and aerospace industries, while keeping a firm foothold in oil and natural gas. They are also at the forefront of renewable energy. Today, Houston is Texas’ largest city and the fourth largest city in the country.
Parks and Recreation
Any Houston real estate agent could tell you that this thriving city is still an extraordinary slice of country. Anyone looking at Houston homes for sale will find many great parks.
George Bush Park: Larger than the original 1836 city at 7,800 acres, this park hosts a shooting range, huge soccer fields, playgrounds, pavilions and ponds. Surrounded by forest, swamps and bayous, there is a massive system of jogging trails. There’s biking and rock climbing, tennis and picnicking. For more information, call (281) 496-2177.
Terry Hershey Park: The park has plenty of biking and hiking throughout its six mile run along Buffalo Bayou. The park is bordered by some of the city’s famous neighborhoods. For more information, call (281) 496-2177.
Danny Jackson Family Ball Park: A wonderfully local park, one of the few with a no leash policy. There are plenty of trails for biking and jogging. Walk along Bear Creek or just watch for squirrel, rabbits, turtles, armadillos and birds. There are plenty of wild flowers. For more information, call (281) 496-2177.
The NASA/Houston Space Center (281-244-2100) has simulators that let you experience landing on the moon or walking in space. The Schlitterbahn Galveston Island Waterpark (409-770-9283) features exciting water activities. The Houston Zoo (713-533-6500) has 4,500 animals and exhibits. A Houston home buyer would never want for things to do. From Kemah Boardwalk to Armand Bayou Nature Center, every weekend could be a vacation.
The city constantly sponsors community events. The Annual MLK Battle of the Bands Competition brings out the best high school bands for a clash of sounds. Meineke hosts the Car Care Bowl of Texas. Commitment Day is a 5k run for charity and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Other annual events include the Julian Calendar New Year Party, the Houston Auto Show and the brand new Caribbean Rumfest.