Glenbrook Valley, Our Recent Cover-Story Subject, Becomes a Historic District

Just before 10 a.m. today, Houston City Council approved the historic district applications for Glenbrook Valley, Woodland Heights and Heights South. The mid-century modern neighborhood Glenbrook Valley, at the center of a contentious debate and the subject of the Press' June 23 cover story, is now Texas' first post-World War II historic district.

For the past year, Glenbrook Valley, according to several of its residents, had become a "war zone" over its up-in-the-air historic designation, due to allegations of voter fraud, racism and dead-cat dumping. As a result, many neighbors continue to ignore each other while others live in fear for their safety.

Before this morning's roll call vote, councilmembers voiced their differing opinions on a matter that's been hotly contested on council floor since late last year.

James Rodriguez, who represents the District I area that includes Glenbrook Valley, urged his fellow councilmembers to support the applications. Dissenters, meanwhile, included Oliver Pennington, who cited our feature article as one reason that the resolution should be struck down.

Jolanda Jones mused that the delayed governmental process -- Glenbrook Valley handed in its historic district application more than a year ago -- has made "neighbors hate one another...this whole process just reeks. I will proudly vote 'no.'" C.O. Bradford echoed Jones' sentiments, saying that the "lack of fundamental fairness and due process caused irreparable harm to the community."

Glenbrook Valley's application was approved by a 10-4 vote while the Heights South and Woodland Heights resolutions were carried by a 9-5 count. Jones, Bradford, Pennington and Anne Clutterbuck were those who voted "no" on Glenbrook Valley's application.

With the addition of the three neighborhoods, Houston now boasts 18 historic districts.

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