Montrose saw its first development in 1911, led by J.W. Link, an executive of the Houston Land Corporation. Link's Montrose home is now used as an administration building for St. Thomas University, a private Catholic institution of higher learning.
The Montrose of today is a mix of original, early-20th structures, renovated buildings and completely new construction. Development over the years has maintained, if not added to, the community’s distinctive personality.
Walking tours are popular in Montrose, because the area offers such an interesting selection of architecture. Sites to see include Courtlandt Place Historic District, where six privately owned homes are designated as national historic places. The Houston Museum District is also a destination of choice, containing over 15 different museums and galleries focusing on various aspects of art, science, history and nature. This includes the Houston Zoo and the Children's Museum of Houston.
Antiques and unique wares can be found in the various retail pockets of Montrose. These are complemented by the West Gray/River Oaks shopping areas, which feature grocery stores, movie houses, entertainment venues, plus mainstream and independent retailers. The River Oaks Shopping Center has two special designations as well; it is on the Register of National Historic Places and it is Texas' oldest shopping center.
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