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Formed in 1866, the Historic Fifth Ward was created from portions of the First and Second Wards as well as some lands further north of Buffalo Bayou. Newly freed men and women began settling in the area, growing the population quickly. After a short time, the area was incorporated into the city and given the official status as the “Fifth Ward” of the City of Houston. Over the last several decades, The Nickel has been met with challenges, but the future is looking bright.In early 2020, the FWCRC received a Cultural Arts District designation for its work in preserving and promoting the cultural arts of the community. In collaboration with the Fifth Ward CRC, East River will serve as a new gateway enriching the lives of an already deeply historic and proud community.
In 1839, the Second Ward emerged as part of the city’s original four wards. Located outside of downtown, the boundaries of Second Ward were once marked by Buffalo Bayou to the North, Congress to the south, and Main St. to the west.
Today’s visitors strolling down Navigation Boulevard can find delicious local foods, arts and crafts, art murals, annual farmer’s markets throughout the neighborhood, and a welcoming, tight-knit community.
GREATER EAST END
In 1837, Houston witnessed a massive expansion to the east city’s limits, creating new opportunities for the construction industry with new businesses, housing options, and an extension of the city’s limits.
Today, culture, education, art, and family are common themes and voice for this community. With its civically engaged residents and cultural preservation as a high priority, East End has always been family-friendly and family-focused.
In the early 1950's, the Chinese Merchants' Association moved the southeastern edge of Downtown Houston. Many Chinese businesses moved there creating a Chinatown within downtown. By the 1970’s, much of the area was replaced by commercial development.
Today, East Downtown, commonly known now as EaDo, is a vibrant neighborhood rich with history, interesting sites, live music, restaurants, and night life. It is situated near Houston’s largest employment centers: Downtown, the Texas Medical Center, and the Houston Ship Channel.
THE DELUXE THEATER
In 1941, The Deluxe Theater opened its doors as the premiere Black movie theater located in the heart of the Fifth Ward. This history theater has been a fundamental part of Lyons Avenue’s cultural heritage and the Fifth Ward community since its inception.
In 2014, its groundbreaking ceremony was held and renovation on this historic theater began.
It now includes a 125 seat proscenium theater, property room, dressing rooms, box office, concession area, lobby, state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, administrative offices, multipurpose space, wet bar, and outdoor patio.
EAST SECTOR PLAN
Expanding east, along East River’s waterfront, the Buffalo Bayou - East Master Plan was developed with extensive community input. Residents, community groups and stakeholders from the Greater East End and Fifth Ward helped to envision the plan’s projects and goals. Through this process, the following core values emerged: Authenticity, Connectivity, Inclusivity, and Resiliency.
This master plan encompasses the four-mile stretch from US 59 to the Port of Houston Turning Basin.