Best of Houston

The Changing Face of Houston - The Montrose Then and Now

Houston always seems to be in a state of reinvention. It keeps this city an exciting place to live, but that state of flux can be difficult to get used to, as the character of some neighborhoods go through rapid transformations, being redeveloped as gentrification occurs and demographics change.

In recent years, this trend is no more obvious than in the city's Inner Loop neighborhoods. I grew up in Oak Forest, the Heights, and the Montrose, and those neighborhoods are dramatically different today than they were even 20 years ago. Of course, 20 years is a long time, and almost anyone would expect neighborhoods to change over the decades, but the process seems accelerated inside the Loop.

The Montrose in particular has gone through some major changes, and is continuing to transform into a neighborhood very unlike the one I knew as a teenager in the late '80s. Rather than make a judgment as to whether or not those changes are "good" or "bad," I'm more interested in looking at what's happening and why.

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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.