Sunday, March 8, 2009

Is Houston selling it's soul?

posted by Free Press Houston @ 8:29 PM

Words and Photos M. Martin
Illustration by Judith Uzcategui

Hardly anyone even knows it by name, but virtually anyone who has spent time in Montrose at all knows of Wilshire Village. Seventeen mostly vacant apartment buildings largely obscured from view by beautiful old magnolias and oaks. The buildings are in varying states of decrepitude, the consequence of generations of benign neglect. Most of them are effectively uninhabitable and uninhabited. Others are surrounded by carefully tended gardens, patio furniture... children's toys. The parking lots between the buildings contain an unusual assortment of vehicles. Vintage Cadillacs sit on blocks next to Cooper Minis while late model American pickups stand next to motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles of every description.

Over the years, tenancy at Wilshire Village has become a matter of word-of-mouth referral and waiting lists. Since its construction in the 40's, a close-knit and private community of residents has come into existence. Consisting primarily of artists, students, families of modest means and increasingly the elderly and/or disabled, the residents of Wilshire Village were, and very much are, a microcosmic reflection of the diverse community that surrounds them, with little more in common than a shared love of the place they call home. READ ON.....


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