Heritage, Summer 2003 Page: 20
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seen in an August 18, 1909, drawing of Westmoreland
Farms by E L. Dormant showing the development's E
location in relation to Houston and the surrounding -
While Baldwin's plan for Bellaire Town incorporated
some of Howard's design concepts, it was also original
and innovative. It did not follow the
circular/radial design envisioned by Howard but instead
reflected the influence of rectilinear colonial town planning
that was considered better suited to the agrarian lifestyle of
the New World. This concept later evolved into the "gridiron"
plan, considered more suitable for urban expansion
and implemented in the planning of prominent eastern
cities such as Philadelphia and New York. The common
practice of focusing the town plan on a large green central
commons area was apparent, however. In Bellaire Town,
that area was called, as it is today, Paseo Park.
In addition to the innovative design of his development,
Baldwin also used its location as a marketing advantage.
Situated on the expansive coastal prairies of Texas, treeless
for the most part, the land is fertile and ideal for agriculture.
Baldwin carefully pointed this fact out to Midwest farmers
to whom he marketed Westmoreland Farms. He noted the
economic advantages of the location's proximity to
Houston's growing center of commerce and the recently
founded, highly regarded Rice Institute. He constructed
Bellaire Boulevard of oyster shell from Galveston Bay, built
residential streets, added a water works, and provided electric
service, noting that this was the "cheapest priced land
in Harris County" that had all of these urban amenities.
Recognizing the importance of good accessibility to
neighboring Houston, Baldwin put his experience building
railroads to work. He knew that a streetcar line would provide
reliable transportation for residents and also bring
prospective buyers to Bellaire. Houston city limits at that
time did not extend beyond what is now Herman Park and
Rice University, and the Houston Electric Company operated
a streetcar line that stopped two miles from downtown
Houston, at Fannin and Eagle Streets, more than seven
miles from Bellaire. Baldwin formed the Westmoreland
Railroad Company and built his own streetcar line along
Bellaire Boulevard, culminating at a point where it intersected
with Houston's South Main Street. The Houston
H E R I TA G E f SUMMER 2003
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2003, periodical, Summer 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45377/m1/20/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.