Thanks largely to the efforts of Past President Maggie Mottesheard, Idylwood is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Texas Historical Commission (THC) assisted in the nomination of this property in recognition of its importance to the history of Houston and the State of Texas. Noted for its historical significance, the district joins other properties in Harris County and around the state with National Register status.
Idylwood was platted in 1928 by Idylwood, Inc., and developed by Embry and Gillette as a garden suburb development in east Houston. The developer promoted the neighborhood’s “beautiful, lovely, and natural surroundings” along Brays Bayou in order to attract middle-class families. The district features streets and lots arranged along the curves of the bayou, generous regular setbacks, and space for garages. Houses reflect a variety of popular revival and modern architectural styles, including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Minimal Traditional, and Ranch. The neighborhood also contains a number of innovative and unique houses designed by Houston architects. The Idylwood Historic District has escaped much of the development pressures that have affected neighborhoods elsewhere in the city, and retains a high degree of integrity.
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a federal program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect the country’s historic and archeological resources.