Your Expert Guide
Southampton Place: Throwback charm next to Rice University
There are so many great places to live in Houston that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Southampton Place, one of the city’s first suburbs, is famous for handsome, oak-canopied streets and boulevards and vintage homes.
Another distinguishing feature of the neighborhood is the presence of alleys. To avoid spoiling the beauty of the homes’ front façades, driveway access to most residences is from an alley at the rear.
“Southampton Place is my bailiwick,” says Katherine Warren. “It certainly has a vibe all its own. It’s an enclave of old Houston and benefits from its proximity to Rice University."
She adds that people love the throwback charm, shady streets, great schools, close-in location, and proximity to the numerous cultural and educational activities offered in the Museum District and at Rice University.
“The neighborhood has been an important part of my access to a lively, culturally rich, intellectual life in which my three children and I have thrived,” she adds.
Warren has been selling real estate in Houston's classic neighborhoods for nearly a decade, where her clients also benefit from her strong legal background as a graduate of Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law.
In addition, she formerly had her own design business, working with a major, inside-the-loop luxury home developer on his new-build projects and even his private residence in Southampton. “I still enjoy advising clients on their home renovation projects,” she says.
Warren shared a few of her personal favorites about life in Southampton Place. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
Two of Warren’s favorite places in the neighborhood are The Raven Grill, a casual spot for regional faves, and Picnic, which is a charming coffee shop and deli with great grab-and-go options.
She also frequents Coppa Osteria for rustic Italian, Café Rebelais for its cozy French menu, El Meson for Spanish and Latin-American flavors, Bistro Menil for its art-inspired setting on The Menil Collection campus, and Sweet Paris Crêperie for savory and sweet treats.
Where to play
“Fleming Park may not be the largest neighborhood park, but it is one of the best designed and well equipped family parks around,” says Warren.
She also recommends the Hermann Park Golf Course, the Miller Outdoor Theater for a range of music and dance performances, and Rice University’s jogging paths.
Also at Rice, the world-class Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center includes state-of-the-art exercise equipment, classes, a family pool, a separate competition lap pool, and a new tennis center.
And the Baker Institute for Public Policy is a preeminent think-tank that features events that are open to the public.
What to see
“Museums!” exclaims Warren. “Houston’s best are found in the Museum District that is next door to Southampton Place.”
Start with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and its multiple new buildings and restaurants. Also, don’t miss the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Children’s Museum Houston.
Warren also highly recommends The Menil Collection, which features buildings designed by world-class architects and houses an incredible collection of art, including an incredible showing of Andy Warhol’s work.
Rothko Chapel is just a four-minute walk from The Menil, too.
James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” installation on the Rice campus is another must-see in Warren’s book, right along with the university’s new Brockman Hall for Opera. Music lovers will also enjoy the performances at Rice’s Duncan Recital Hall.
Where to live
Many of Southampton Place’s homes from the 1920s and 1930s have been preserved and updated for modern living.
“The vernacular architecture includes serene English cottages, classic Revival-style homes, and grand country-style houses on sweeping lots,” says Warren. “There are also a fair number of midcentury modern and cutting-edge contemporary homes.”
For Warren, this mix of styles is what makes the neighborhood interesting.
Katherine Warren works and plays in Southampton Place. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 832-725-4340.