A Brief History of Westbury, Houston

Westbury was developed in the 1950s and 1960s by Ira Berne as part of the post–World War II migration to the suburbs.[citation needed] The developer had moved from Westbury, New York, after which he named the new community.[1]

In 1960 Berne had developed the Westbury Square shopping center.[2]

In the 1980s the City of Houston Housing Authority proposed a 105-unit public housing project in the Westbury area. Thousands of residents entered public hearings to protest the concept, so the city did not build any public housing in the Westbury area.[3]

Around the 1980s markets crashed and many of Westbury’s businesses either closed or became abandoned. Crime increased at this time, but has decreased greatly in recent years. As real estate has become more expensive in gentrified areas such as Houston Heights and Neartown, Westbury has become an attractive place to live for some of Houston’s gay and lesbian population.[citation needed] Gays and lesbians began moving to Westbury in the 2000s, and some were referring to it as “Little Montrose“.[4]

In April 2010 the City of Houston “automated” curbside recycling program was extended to Westbury East.[5]

In 2011 the Brays Oaks district expanded.[6] Westbury, which was originally not a part of the Brays Oaks district,[7] became a part of it.[8]

The city of Houston operates Westbury Park at 5635 Willowbend ([4]) which features the Westbury Pool (street address is 10605 Mullins), a playground, tennis courts, and a multi-sport playing field. [5]. Westbury Park is located in Parkwest Section 1.[18][19]

In addition, the city operates the Leiv & Betty Platou Community Center located in Chimney Rock Park.[20][21] Chimney Rock Park has a playground, tennis courts, and basketball courts.[citation needed] Chimney Rock Park and Platou Community Center are in Westbury Section 3.[14][21]

Lee Hager Park is in Westbury Section 4.[22][23] The park, with its covered basketball court, is located next to the Anderson Elementary School between Landsdowne Drive and McClearen Dr, and attracts many in the neighborhood for outdoor sports.([6]) Hager Park also features a walking trail, a multi-purpose sports field, and has a shared playground with Anderson Elementary School.

History of public schools[edit]

Parker Elementary opened in 1959, and Johnston Middle School opened in its current location in 1959. Anderson and Kolter opened in 1960. Westbury High School opened in 1961. Fondren Middle opened in 1966.[1] In the late 1990s Anderson Elementary was overcrowded due to increasing student populations in Westbury area apartment complexes. In 1998 the school had almost 1,600 students.[38] Around that time hundreds of students who were zoned to Anderson were bussed to relief campuses.[39] Tinsley opened in 2002, relieving Anderson and another area school.[1] As of 2006 many middle and upper class residents of the Westbury attendance zone would not send their children to Westbury; usually they send their children to Bellaire High SchoolLamar High School, or private schools.[40][41]

Private schools[edit]

St. Thomas More School (K-8 [7], operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston), a neighborhood Roman Catholic school in Maplewood South Section 6.[42][43]

The neighborhood has or has in close proximity several other private schools, such as Westbury Christian School (K–12) and St. Nicholas School Southwest Campus (K-8).

Trafton Academy and Miss Porter’s School located in the Willowbend area also serves Westbury residents.[citation needed]

Public libraries[edit]

Two Houston Public Library locations, Frank Neighborhood Library and Meyer Neighborhood Library, serve this area.

The Meyer Library opened in 1962. In 1994 the library received renovations to accommodate disabled people. By 2013 HPL planned to purchase land for a new Meyerland branch with $442,000. HPL spokesperson Sandra Fernandez stated that HPL wants to build a new facility in order to increase the size and parking capacity. There is a proposal to move the library to Westbury Square, supported by the Westbury community but opposed by Meyerland residents.[44] As of 2015 various proposals are being debated.[45]


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