Historic Third Ward

Houston’s history lives in the Third Ward, which extends south of downtown to Old Spanish Trail and east to the University of Houston. It is considered the city’s most diverse African-American neighborhood and has been called a microcosm of Houston’s broader black community.

Created in 1836 when the City Council established wards as political subdivisions, the neighborhood has emerged over the years as a bustling, dynamic center of activity. Although in many ways it has preserved its heritage and character, Third Ward is also creating new economic opportunities, thanks to budding entrepreneurs, thriving small businesses, growing investment and development, and new single-family houses. Civic clubs, churches, and nonprofits continue to serve as social and cultural touchstones for the community and its residents.

Third Ward’s creative legacy is underscored by the long line of famed jazz and blues artists who have called the neighborhood home, including famed artists like Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins, Albert Collins, Arnett Cobb, and Johnny “Guitar” Watson. On a more contemporary musical note, superstar singer Beyonce also grew up in the community.

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