by Denise Gomez A small red building stands out on Navigation Boulevard, luring customers inside with the mouthwatering scent of freshly cooked tortillas. Upon entering, the restaurant’s loyal customers see red and white walls decorated with honors and recognitions, one of Houston’s best menus, and, usually, a line. The family-owned restaurant Villa Arcos was […]
Tag Archives | Second Ward
By Jason W. Barrett, Douglas K. Boyd, and Louis F. Aulbach Houston is a dynamic city with an amazing history. The stories written about its past, however, generally focus on the important people and big events that transformed the wilderness along Buffalo Bayou into a modern metropolis. The Allen brothers, steamship and railroad commerce, […]
Nestled in the middle of an industrial neighborhood where many awake to the vigorous hustle and bustle of everyday life lies an area where thirty-five, and possibly many more, black Houstonians share their final resting place. Situated by a bayou that is lined with trash and home to squirrels, birds, rabbits, snakes, and herons, this […]
Maxwell House: Good to Its Last Drop By Olivia Johnson New York City has the Statue of Liberty, Chicago has Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean,” and St. Louis has the Gateway Arch. Houstonians have Maxwell House. In case you have never noticed this classic Houston landmark, it is visible from most any freeway, downtown […]
In the 1940s, young Irma González Galvan moved with her family from Brownsville, Texas to Houston’s Second Ward. As children, Irma’s brothers shined shoes, while Irma and her sister worked at their school cafeteria and neighboring bakeries in order to help their mother. These early experiences, combined with later work in retail, and the desire […]
By Jesus Jesse Esparza In 1836 newcomers from the United States along with their Tejano (Texas Mexicans) allies, took up arms against the Mexican government and successfully seceded from that nation. Following the Battle of San Jacinto, which ended the Texas Revolution, Texians (Anglo Texans) ordered Mexican prisoners to clean the swampland on which Houston […]
The turn of the twentieth century marked a period of accelerated population growth for Houston, and Houston’s Second Ward followed suit. The people who moved to Houston came from a wide array of countries and from other states. Many of these people settled into the aging housing stock located in the Second Ward.
On August 18, 1912, a priest celebrated the first mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Houston’s Second Ward on the second floor of a two-story wood-frame structure located on the corner of what was then Marsh and Runnels Street. Three weeks later, on September 8, 1912, the school at Our Lady of […]
Our series “When There Were Wards” will appear over three issues of the print magazine tracing the history of Houston’s ward system and featuring highlights on each of the six wards.
Second Ward was home to the extremely wealthy and extremely poor, bartenders and brewers, renters and ranchers, priests and politicos. The residents lived in a variety of situations ranging from traditional neighborhoods to suburban ranches. The area boasted one of Houston’s first churches, several early park and recreational areas, and the city’s first suburb.