Boulevard Oaks Civic Association

 

Boulevard Oaks Civic Association
P.O. Box 540331
Houston, Texas 77254
Voice: (713) 528-2622

E-mail: info@boulevardoaks.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION

BOCA Information

Boulevard Oaks General Information


Boulevard Oaks is one of Houston's premier inner city neighborhoods, noted for its beauty and grace. Located near Rice University, approximately four miles southwest of Downtown, its boundaries are the Southwest Freeway to the north, Morningside to the west, Bissonnet to the south, and Graustark/Parkway to the east (plus the 5300 blocks of Cherokee and Mandell, the 1700 blocks of Albans, Wroxton, Bolsover and Rice Blvd., and properties facing Ashby). There are more than 1,200 residences, together with some 30 small businesses along Bissonnet and Sunset. See Map. A wide variety of housing is found in the neighborhood ranging from old mansions to bungalows, and a small section of ranch-style homes built after World War II, though many have been recently replaced by larger two-story homes. The advantages of Boulevard Oaks can be summed up under three headings: location, beauty, and neighborhood culture.

History

Neighborhoods and their civic associations in Houston usually mirror deed restricted areas.  Most neighborhoods having common deed restrictions contain 500 or more residences.  However, the area within Boulevard Oaks was developed over a period of 20 years, and 17 small deed restricted areas emerged. These neighborhoods range from Broadacres, an area of 20 stately mansions having strict deed restrictions and a neighborhood assessment system, to deed restricted areas  of as few as four residences.  As a result, until 1980 the area had no common identity as a neighborhood and no effective civic organization.

Boulevard Oaks Civic Association

Boulevard Oaks Civic Association (B.O.C.A) was founded in 1980 to provide an effective umbrella civic association for these contiguous subdivisions, although several of the original civic clubs remain in existence to enforce deed restrictions. Since 1980, the identity of the neighborhood of Boulevard Oaks has been established, and the area is becoming increasingly familiar to Houstonians. The name was borrowed from the Boulevard Oaks Ladies Club, a longstanding neighborhood institution. 

Membership

Membership in B.O.C.A. is open to all residents and property owners. There are four categories of annual membership fees: $50 for regular membership, $100 for sustaining membership, $200 for patron membership, and $20 for tenants. Membership is voluntary. The fiscal year is from 7/1 to 6/30.

Patrol Service

Southampton/Boulevard Oaks Patrol Service, a non-profit corporation, is managed and comprised of the residents of Boulevard Oaks and Southampton. The patrol is manned by Houston Police and Harris County peace officers who drive a vehicle with roof lights. The officers maintain a 24-hour a day, 365-day a year watch, protecting approximately 2,500 residences. The patrol can be reached at 713-825-5555. Click here to learn more about the Southampton/Boulevard Oaks Patrol Service. Please be aware that the Patrol Service is separate from BOCA and is overseen by its own five member board. Its name describes the areas that the Patrol serves. Click here for a patrol signup form.

Trees for Boulevard Oaks

The glory of Boulevard Oaks is its magnificent arbor of over 2000 street trees. Perfect geometric patterns of trees along the streets present the predominant architectural feature in many areas of the neighborhood. These trees not only provide greenery, quiet, and relief from the heat, but due to their formal planting, also establish the character of Boulevard Oaks as an urban neighborhood. Over the past 26 years Trees for Boulevard Oaks has raised over $145,000 to fund the planting of approximately 1,475 street trees. The program also oversees the care and maintenance of new trees. A separate fund is maintained for this project. An annual fundraising drive is conducted each fall. Contributions to the tree program are fully tax deductible.

Newsletter

The B.O.C.A. Newsletter is published six times annually by the Boulevard Oaks Civic Association and is delivered to all residents of the neighborhood via door to door delivery and is posted on the website. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor (distribution approximately 1260), contact the B.O.C.A. office at 713-528-2622 or boca@airmail.net to request a price list.

Construction Guidelines

The Boulevard Civic Association has created Construction Guidelines for the purpose of preserving the unique character of our neighborhood. We ask that you keep these guidelines and a sense of place and space in mind when renovating or building a new home, garage, fence or driveway. It is important for us to work together to guarantee that our neighborhood will be beautiful for years to come.

BOCA-E-News

Periodically BOCA sends email alerts to its members. If you do not receive these alerts and wish to receive them, send your name and email address to info@boulevardoaks.org.Your address will only be used by BOCA to alert you to important neighborhood events and issues. BOCA does not share these addresses with anyone under any circumstances.

 


Location

If a person were to take all of the places of interest in Houston and mark them on a map, they would form a circle around Boulevard Oaks.  With very few exceptions, the places of interest in Houston can be reached from Boulevard Oaks by city streets, not freeways, in less than 15 minutes.  This circle includes the following:

Downtown Houston (including the symphony and opera halls), the University of Houston (including its performing arts facilities and the Hofheinz Pavilion athletic facility), the Hermann Park area (including the Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts and Museum of Natural Science), the Texas Medical Center, (a regional and international health care center, including over 29 hospitals and 10 educational institutions), the Astrodome (home of the Houston Astros, the Rodeo, and Astroworld, Houston's premier amusement park), Rice University, the Compaq Center (home of the Houston Rockets), the Village shopping district, the uptown shopping and hotel district (including the Galleria and a heavy concentration of local, national and international retailing establishments) and the River Oaks area.  Included within this circle are most of Houston's outstanding restaurants, stores and places of interest.
 

Beauty

The New York Times on October 11, 1987 wrote the following about a Boulevard Oaks vista:

"To stand at the foot of South Boulevard in Houston is to look down what is perhaps the most magnificent residential street in America. Staged rows of soaring live oaks form the vaulted arches of a great Gothic cathedral over a grassy esplanade, lined with imposing yet graceful mansions from the 1920s by such eminent architects of their day as John F. Staub and Birdsall P. Briscoe."

Indeed, Boulevard Oaks is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in America. This results primarily from its most prized possession; its street trees. Yet the fabric is that of an urban neighborhood, not suburbia or the country. The street trees form geometric architectural patterns and sidewalks connect the houses. The feeling is always urban, although the mood is one of charm, civility, grace and quietness. Boulevard Oaks is not just a neighborhood of mansions, however. Residences range from duplex apartments to modest bungalows to stately mansions. This is the other side of Houston described in The New York Times as a place of "grand houses, shade trees and quiet days."

Neighborhood Culture

By culture, here we do not mean the opera or the symphony, although they are nearby.  Rather we mean the quality of neighborliness and commitment to family and home which characterize its residents and the variety and diversity of the talents and interests of its residents. Boulevard Oaks is not a showplace neighborhood.  Its large stock of modest housing is both home to many residents of more modest means, and avoids an image of an enclave for the rich, especially those who have just arrived.  Proximity to Rice University, probably the outstanding university of the South, has always been an important shaping characteristic of the neighborhood.  Its urban character attracts those who are comfortable living in the city.  The neighborhood culture of Boulevard Oaks is special.

Schools

Most of the premier private schools of Houston are convenient to Boulevard Oaks, such as St.John's, Presbyterian School, Kincaid, St. Agnes and Strake. However, the public schools of the area are strong and attract many if not most, neighborhood children.  Poe Elementary School is actually located within Boulevard Oaks, and is considered one of the best public elementary schools in Houston.   Neighborhood residents worked hard to rescue the school from near collapse in the 1960s and the many neighborhood children in this excellent school have the opportunity to study with a rainbow of children representing every culture found in Houston.  Lanier Middle School is nearby, and maintains a separate Vanguard Program for gifted students.  Lamar High School has undergone a renaissance in recent years, and presently offers an international baccalaureate program for gifted students, as well as special college prep magnet programs.  Within each of these schools will be found a large group of students representative of the residents of Boulevard oaks.  There will also be found large numbers of students representing all economic and cultural groups that make up modern-day America. Boulevard Oaks residents are proud of their schools.

Houses of Worship and Other Institutions

Boulevard Oaks is ringed by synagogues and churches of all denominations, including many of the principal city churches of Houston.  These include First Presbyterian Church, St. Paul's Methodist Church, South Main Baptist Church, St. Anne's Catholic Church, Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Temple Emanuel, First Christian Church and the 4th Church of Christ, Scientist.  In addition to West University Little League and soccer, excellent children's sports programs are available trhough area churches.

Civic Organizations

University Place Association and Super Neighborhood is a strong, cohesive family of area neighborhoods, businesses and institutions including BOCA, Southampton and the Extension, Southgate, the Village, Rice University, Old Braeswood, Museum Area Municipal Association, Morningside Place and others. A 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization, University Place Association is operated exclusively for the promotion of common civic goals. University Place began as a project of BOCA in 1992 and served as the model for the city’s super neighborhood program. University Place was among the first three approved super neighborhood councils officially recognized by the City of Houston. Its boundaries are US59, Kirby, Brays Bayou and Main Street. BOCA contains a quarter of the area’s 6,000 households. Your BOCA dues help support this organization.