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Houston’s Origins Started At Allen’s Landing

Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States with an estimated 2017 population of 2,312,717 just behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago and is the largest in the southern U.S. and Texas. From all positive indications, Houston is expected to become the third most populous U.S. city during the second quarter of 2020’s decade. An adage says the journey of a mile begins with a step. The city of Houston today was once a pile of lush greenery dotting the carton brown soil against quiet flatlands, and held by waters seething with potential. It took the courage of brothers, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen to uncover the wealth of uncharted, untapped and unperturbed City of Houston. They set sail and their ship plodded as it left the harbor to the promise land. The Allen brothers arrived at the junction of what is now Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou, where they anchored and commenced a huge expedition of the land to ascertain its viability. It was a good land which was conveniently located adjacent to water. The exact location is just south of where the University of Houston-Downtown Commerce street building sits today. Their success meant that fate had hurried to meet them at the bayou’s berth, where the brothers acquired 6,642 acres of land in 1862, making it official, Houston’s origins started at Allen’s Landing.

From that point on, the Allen brothers could only smile at their fortune. They encouraged real estate speculators and business associates to purchase a slice of the new paradise, which they later named after General Sam Houston. Soon, with increased population and a booming economy, "Houston Plymouth Rock" became the commercial center of the southern part of the modern United States. Over 150 years later, Allen's Landing has transformed into a sad shadow of the City of Houston due to neglect. However, recent revitalization of Downtown Houston gave Allen’s Landing some important changes. A public artwork now overlooks the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous and has added life to the landscape. The original pier was replaced with a concrete paved wharf not far from the promenade. In addition, easy access from all points connect the business areas and Main Street together into an entry plaza at the landing. Time will tell if the historical place in Downtown Houston would be a melting pot of the city in the future.

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