Your Expert Guide
Boulevard Oaks Historic District: Where authentic charm reigns supreme
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 of Houston’s oldest and most exclusive neighborhoods, the Boulevard Oaks Historic District is much admired for its timeless charm and lovely esplanades lined with giant oak trees.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the neighborhood contains an eclectic group of homes primarily built in the 1930s.
“When I moved there many years ago, it wasn’t as popular as it is now and most of the homes were original, single-family homes in styles including Colonial Revival, Tudor, Italian Renaissance, and French eclectic,” says Kari Parsons, who lived in Boulevard Oaks for 18 years before recently moving a few blocks away to the Museum District. “Anyone who appreciates good architecture and brick homes instead of stucco are my people.”
Parsons loves Boulevard Oaks and still thinks of it as her neighborhood. “It’s what one imagines a real neighborhood is — almost like something from the past. It is a great spot for families, first homebuyers, and empty nesters.”
The location is also incredible, as it’s close to Rice University, Texas Medical Center, and has easy access to downtown.
Parsons also mentions that many people who grew up there as children have returned as adults to purchase a home for their family and to send their children to Poe Elementary, the same school they once attended.
Parsons offered up a few of her personal favorites about life in the Boulevard Oaks Historic District. Here's her guide:
Where to eat & drink
“At one time there was a grocery store in the neighborhood on Bissonnet, and in recent years, it changed to a wonderful restaurant called The Raven Grill,” says Parsons. “It’s our neighborhood restaurant.”
Nearby in Montrose is Tonight & Tomorrow at the historic La Colombe d’Or hotel. The restaurant celebrates coastal European cuisine with French influences.“The bar is also so incredible there,” she adds.
Where to play
Boulevard Oaks is near so many of the best activities that Houston has to offer. The Museum District, Hermann Park, Miller Outdoor Theater, and the Houston Zoo are all just a 20-minute walk or five-minute bike ride.
What to see
You can’t go wrong with any of the museums in the Museum District, says Parsons. She particularly loves The Menil Collection, a museum and neighborhood of art spanning 30 acres that includes a park.
“The Chapel of St. Basil at University of St. Thomas is very special, too,” she adds. It was designed by the late architect Philip Johnson and is an artistic marvel.
Where to live
“Buyers who appreciate craftsmanship, old homes, and authentic charm love this neighborhood,” says Parsons who has been helping clients buy and sell homes in Boulevard Oaks for nearly 15 years. “The lots can also be quite large, and that is attractive for many buyers.”
In the 1990s, each subdivision also strengthened its deed restrictions to limit the building of townhomes or subdividing lots, she advises. Required setbacks from the street were also put in place to avoid lots being overbuilt.
“We spent many hours ensuring that developers could not change the look of the neighborhood,” says Parsons.
Kari Parsons works and plays in Boulevard Oaks Historic District. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 713-818-3564.