Palm Center: A Window into Southeast Houston

By Zachary Smith

Palms Center 1967With the recent addition of the Southeast line to the METRORail network, the Greater Third Ward is geared for revitalizing changes. The new line extends from downtown to the Palms Center, a former shopping center located at the intersection of Griggs Road and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Created to meet the needs of middle-class white suburbanites, the Palms Center has adapted to the racial and economic transformations of the surrounding neighborhoods over a span of sixty years, and today it serves a very different purpose than it did in the past. Understanding the history of the Palms Center is vital to understanding the struggle to combat community deterioration and the importance of revitalization in the Greater Third Ward.

Click here to read the full article.

Click below to watch the movie created by author Zachary Smith on Palm Center’s history.


marlon_mitchellZachary Smith interviewed Marlon Mitchell in march 2014 to discuss Palm Center’s history and future. Please follow the links below to hear excerpts from that interview.

Click the play button below to hear Marlon Mitchell discuss the ideas and goals established for Palm Center after its decline in 1984.


Click the play button below to hear Marlon Mitchell discuss the demographic shift in Southeast Houston since 1984 and the types of businesses that will be conducive to the development of Palm Center in the future.


Click the play button below to hear Marlon Mitchell explain the lending process for  small businesses, talk about  managing Palm Center in 1993, and its becoming a tax exempt organization.


Watch Johnny Hanson’s video with Roland Cotton on the community garden.


Watch Johnny Hanson’s video on the Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance and the important of community.


Enjoy other links regarding the Palm Center below.

Click here to read a full historical report on Palms Center prepared for the Our Town Southeast Houston Initiative by Steph McDougal of McDoux Preservation LLC.

bayou city history logoClick here to read Palm Center in Pictures from the Bayou City History Blog by J. R. Gonzales,

SEHTAlogoVisit the Southeast Houston Transformation Alliance Facebook page to learn more about the organization.



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