Heritage, 2010, Volume 1 Page: 8
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ew adults who have moved away from their childhood homes and neighborhoods return to find that it looks
just the same as when they left. Preservationists can work to protect what remains of a community's historic
identity, but most often progress inevitably changes the landscape of any city or neighborhood. Rapid growth
often overwhelms efforts to preserve historic integrity. Yet for one neighborhood in Houston, careful planning
from its inception and subsequent homeowner involvement have allowed this residential community-Norhill, a desig-
nated historic district-to remain relatively unchanged since it was established more than 85 years ago.
Shortly after the World War I, from 1920 through 1924, Houston's population would increase by almost 47 percent.
William C. Hogg, a member of one of the most influential families in Texas, was the chairman of the City Planning Com-
mittee during this era of Houston's rapid expansion. Determined to change what he saw as the city's haphazard pattern of
development at the turn of the century, Hogg wanted new residential areas to be thoughtfully designed and well-executed.
More importantly, he wanted to promote a way of living that was accessible to every homeowner, regardless of their income.
With this in mind, Hogg and his real estate associates would develop two master planned neighborhoods: River Oaks, which
would be home to only the most affluent Houstonians, and Norhill, a residential development consisting of more reasonably
priced lots to accommodate those with modest incomes. While homes in River Oaks would be more elaborate and situated on
larger lots, Hogg saw to it that residents of Norhill would enjoy the same amenities, which included space allotted for schools,
a commercial center to service residents, and community parks. According to David Bush, director of Programs and Informa-
tion at the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, Norhill has the distinction of being the only one of the city's historically
significant neighborhoods that was developed exclusively for working class families. He explains that other communities, like
Houston Heights, were most often a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial sections.
HE RITA GE Volume 1 2010
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2010, Volume 1, periodical, 2010; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254216/m1/8/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.