Your Expert Guide
Rice/Museum District: Majestic and cultured for live, work, and play
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.
As one might imagine, the Rice/Museum District of Houston is precisely as it sounds: right in the heart of Rice University and surrounded by countless world-renowned museums and cultural institutions.
Indeed, its vibrant, arts-drenched location is what native Houstonian Ann Singleton loves the most. She has lived and worked in the neighborhood for 15 years, and for her, it’s the best area in the city — hands down.
In addition to the museums and the exceptional restaurants and fantastic shopping in Rice Village, Singleton celebrates the canopy of gorgeous oak trees and the walkability around Rice, along with the neighborhood’s quintessential architecture and historical significance.
When she’s not developing one-to-one connections with clients and guiding them through the process of buying or selling a home, she enjoys traveling, reading, tennis, yoga, painting, photography, and spending time with her dogs Otis and Ginger.
Singleton also devotes herself to a number of local community causes, including the Junior League of Houston and the Chi Omega Alumnae Association. She also attends The Story Church, where she is currently leading a Bible study in her discipleship class.
Singleton shared a few of her personal favorites about life in the Rice/Museum District area. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
For modern Italian cuisine, Coppa Osteria is the place. It’s incredibly charming and you can’t go wrong with any of their house-made pastas and pizza. The squid ink-infused Spaghetti Nero di Seppia is one of their specialities, with lobster, shrimp, fresno chili, and marinara.
Gratify is a sister concept to Coppa Osteria and it's another favorite of Singleton’s. At the core of the concept is the spirit of gratitude, and the decor is just as bold and beautiful as the locally sourced menu and impressive raw bar.
The views are as good as the food at the European-influenced Bistro Menil, which overlooks the expansive, art-filled grounds of The Menil Collection and Menil Park.
Where to play
As an avid art collector herself, Singleton gravitates to museums for culture and inspiration.
She also loves Hermann Park for relaxing, picnics, and just enjoying a beautiful day, and she recommends the Miller Outdoor Theater for music, festivals, dance performances, and entertainment.
What to see
With so many cultural options at your fingertips, Singleton says to start with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (it spans 14 acres and is the second-largest art museum in the U.S. after the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC!).
Also on her list are The Menil Collection, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Houston Zoo, which is said to be the second most-visited zoo in the U.S.
Where to live
“The Rice/Museum District is composed of a mixture of old and new,” says Singleton. “But a fair number of homes were built in the early 1920s and ’30s through the early ’50s, and were designed by notable architects like John Staub, Birdsall Briscoe, and Mies van der Rohe.”
“Many of those homes are in a historically designated area called Broadacres, where they boast stately lots under mature oaks and command a hefty price tag,” she adds. “But sprinkled among them are wonderfully charming bungalows, coveted contemporary dwellings, brick duplexes, traditional styles, and modern masterpieces.”
An extraordinary example of a home in the area is 1311 South Blvd., a Spanish-style estate on 1.29 acres that was built by Briscoe.
Singleton represented the seller of this property, which boasts textured plaster walls, cypress beam ceilings, original terra cotta tile floors, a basement (not commonly found in Houston!), a guest house, and motor court, all surrounded by majestic oaks and magnolia trees.
Ann Singleton works and plays in the Rice/Museum District. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 713-907-1499.