Best of Houston

The Changing Face of Houston - Timbergrove Manor & Lazybrook

Just west of The Heights are Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook, two interesting neighborhoods consisting mostly of postwar, ranch style homes. I spent more than 15 years living on the western edge of The Heights, just a few blocks from Timbergrove Manor, and that neighborhood held a certain fascination for me. It still does, actually.

The area of The Heights that borders Timbergrove Manor seemed so very different in character. It was understandable, and, once again, the odd way Houston neighborhoods developed was to blame. The original homes in that part of the Heights seemed to have been built in the 1920s through the late '30s, while the homes in Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook share a much more uniform look since those areas were developed in the postwar 1950s. While parts of the nearby Heights still look like a jumble of architectural styles from different time periods, with the occasional strangely placed commercial property thrown in for good measure, Timbergrove Manor and Lazybrook both have a much more planned appearance, and it gives them a certain charm that is different in feel than the more patchwork look of The Heights that is so close by.

The area that both Timberbrook Manor and Lazybrook occupy was originally settled in the early 1800s by farmers of German descent, and was characterized by scattered farms throughout an otherwise heavily wooded region. Nearby Spring Branch was also an area originally settled early on by German immigrants, and it is hard for most modern Houstonians to realize that areas so close to the city's center were developed into neighborhoods so recently.

While the Heights was established much earlier, and had entered into a lengthy period of decline by the time that the first houses in Timberbrook Manor and Lazybrook were being constructed in the early 1950s. Both of the newer neighborhoods featured postwar ranch style houses, most of which are located on very large lots. by inner loop standards.

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