A neighborhood of approximately 2000 homes, Woodland Heights is one of Houston’s historic treasures. Bounded on the north by Pecore Street, on the west by Studewood Street, on the east by Interstate-45, and on the south by Interstate-10, it was originally designed as an independent real estate “suburb” featuring a 20-minute streetcar ride to the north part of downtown. More than a century later, it is regarded as a “close-in” neighborhood and the walking paths and park space along White Oak Bayou, at its southern border, provide stunning views of the nearby Downtown Houston skyline.
Platted in 1907 by developer William A. Wilson, some 15 years after the Houston Heights located just to its west, Woodland Heights’ original architecture was distinct from that of its older neighbor. Where the Heights was home to larger and more ornate Victorian-style homes popular in the late 1800s, the early 1900s gave rise to smaller, more modest Arts and Crafts bungalows that are typical in Woodland Heights.
Although the neighborhood has undergone some expected gentrification thanks to its near town location, it has largely retained its early charm, with many of its original homes maintained or restored to their initial glory, and several of its streets crowned with fabulous canopies of ancient oaks.
One of the earliest neighborhoods in the United States to be linked together via a community email list, Woodland Heights has an enthusiastic civic association and sponsors an annual “Lights in the Heights” celebration each December, during which 14 blocks of two parallel streets are lit by luminaria and closed to motor vehicles. This wonderful celebration, which features live music, carriage rides, and more, has grown to an event of epic proportions that attracts visitors from all across the city.