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Northside

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Near Northside is a historic neighborhood located in Northside, Houston, Texas. Near Northside is primarily occupied by people of Hispanic descent and a growing number of African-Americans.

In a 70-year period until 2015 the community had been majority Hispanic after initially being made up of German American and Italian American immigrants who settled in the period 1900-1940. It is in proximity to Downtown Houston.

Development of the Near Northside neighborhood began in the 1880s-1890s with the expansion of the nearby Hardy Rail Yards. Immigrants from Europe, primarily Italians, Germans, Poles, and Czechs, moved into the area and it became a working-class neighborhood. With the decrease of railroad traffic and increase in suburban development in Houston, the neighborhood began to decline following World War II. Thereafter, Hispanic immigrants, mostly of Mexican heritage, began moving into the area. The neighborhood underwent alteration from the construction of the Elysian Viaduct – a major roadway into downtown, which required the use of eminent domain to construct.

Near North Side’s Moody Park was the location of the Moody Park Riots. On May 7, 1978, the Mexican American community in the area took to protest following the police killing of Jose Campos Torres (a war veteran who was killed by police while taken into dubious custody). The protests turned to riot and led to more than forty arrests, a dozen hospitalizations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of property damage to businesses and police vehicles. The aftermath resulted in a continuation of already strained police relations and a mistrust of police by the Hispanic community of Houston. It also led to significant police reforms.

Preservation Texas, an organization dedicated to preserving historic resources in the state of Texas, named Near Northside Neighborhood to list of Texas’ most endangered historic places in 2005.

In 2011 the community was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Avenue Community Development Corp. supported the listing.

In 2013, construction began on the expanded METRORail red line, which runs through the neighborhood with several stations along North Main Street and Fulton Street. The rail began operations on December 21, 2013.

By 2015, with major gentrification of inner Houston neighborhoods, some residents of one subdivision, Glen Park, advocated for minimum lot size rules in order to prevent large townhouses from being built in Near Northside.

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