The Mandell Place Civic Association is right in the heart of Houston’s lively Montrose community. The neighborhood enjoys the best of both worlds with a traditional single family neighborhood close to jobs, retail, entertainment, and all the other amenities of living in urban Houston.
Mandell Place Civic Association is part of the Neartown Association that was established in 1963 and has supported, and often sponsored, the formation of small civic clubs and neighborhood associations within its borders, generally along original plat lines. Over twenty smaller groups hold their own meetings and deal with a host of localized issues.
Mandell Place is in the City of Houston, the fourth largest city in the country, which is mostly inside of Harris County, the 2nd fastest growing county in the country, and the fastest growing county in the State of Texas.
In the 1920s, Houston’s population surged past 100,000 and nearly tripled that number by 1930. More than a third of its inhabitants were driving automobiles, up from just 1,000 in 1911. Affordable housing and wider, longer, and better streets were in demand. The elegant country homes and servant staffed mansions of Westmoreland, Courtland Place, Avondale, and Montrose, built southwest of downtown after the turn of the century, were no longer isolated in what had been the exclusive South End.
The time was ripe for further residential development of an adjoining area. In January 1923, the Houston City Council approved a plat for Mandell Place. It was bounded by West Alabama on the south, a proposed street called High Street Extension but later named Dunlavy on the west, Westheimer Road on the north, and Mulberry – originally Sycamore – on the east. It was intersected by Mandell Street and crossed east-west by the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Hawthorne, Harold, Kipling and Oxford Avenue (soon renamed Marshall).
Mandell Place, like later subdivisions around it, was characterized mostly by the bungalow style of housing. All of them subscribed to the same deed restrictions, intended to run with the land, as were those of the earlier subdivisions. However, times changed. In 1938, a flower shop opened in one of the large older homes. Gradually, the mansions came down, replaced by apartments or businesses. Subdivisions that kept their deed restriction in force became rarer. Mandell Place lost the north side of West Alabama and the south side of Westheimer to rapid commercializations. Otherwise, it has been largely successful in retaining its residential nature. Credit for this, as in neighboring subdivisions, is due to an active civic club and the concern of property owners in meeting challenges. Mandell Place is a neighborhood by design. –Delores Lamb