Here at TM5 properties, we talk a lot about Southside Historic District and how it’s a desirable community to live in. All the talk about this community got me thinking. What makes a community a historic district? Why are historical districts desirable to live in? Historic districts require better upkeep of homes and yards which leads to better home values, community unity, neighborhood pride, and a spike in local tourism. These qualities drive people to want to live in historic districts, and Southside is no exception. Historic districts possess a concentration of sites, objects, buildings, and structures that are aesthetically or historically pleasing. Historic districts are traditionally residential areas that have several buildings constructed in the same unique style, and business districts that aided in the town's early development. Sometimes included are villages and industrial complexes, college campuses, and large estates or farms.
Becoming a nationally recognized historic district requires that the area meets specific criteria. First, the property must be at least 50 years old. It must also be significant, meaning that it represents an important piece of history, engineering, culture, archaeology, or architecture. The significance of a property is evaluated compared to the historic context, which is the pattern or trend in history that gives the site meaning.
The National Register considers four historic contexts:
1. Association with the life of a significant person
2. Association with historical events
3. Distinctive characteristics related to a certain architectural period or method of construction i.e. historic victorian style
4. Presence, or possibility of a presence of information that is historically important
Southside Historic is technically considered an area, not the "Southside Historic District" as most people refer to it as. I got in touch with the College Station Landmark Commission and talked to them about the difference between an area and a district. A place becomes a historic district when they file paperwork for local or national recognition of the area. Southside Historic Area is not actually a historic district. The sign designation actually says area and not district also. I was surprised to learn that nothing in College Station actually has historic status.
Southside Historic Area might not be a registered an historic district but that doesn’t mean it lacks historical charm. With mature live oaks that line the streets, ornate street lamps, four parks within close proximity, a great ambiance, the location to a tradition rich campus, and houses that have a rich history, this neighborhood is anything but ordinary. This residential area is one of the earliest in College Station. The construction of the houses ranges from turn-of-the-century to present day with remodels and tear downs occurring regularly. In fact in the last five years, 91 new single-family building permits were issued and 162 additions and remodels have been approved. WOW! You just read that. This area has become the most desired dirt in Bryan/College Station by far. It appeals to the investor, the Aggie parent, the professor, the historic conversationist, the Aggie tailgaters, weekend home owners, students and many more. The demand is very high in this area, a lot of properties never even go on the MLS, and agents often don't even put signs in the yard before it is already under contract.
Architecture ranges from Vernacular to Modernist, with homes ranging from historic to modern which provides something for everyone looking in this area. The oldest house in the area was built in 1880 in the College Park subdivision which is the oldest subdivision or section in Southside.
One of the reasons that make the Southside Historic Area so popular is its historic ties to Texas A&M University. Prior to 1938, A&M faculty housing was mostly located on campus. As the college expanded over the years, faculty housing was forced to be moved off campus. This move occurred from 1938-1941. Many of these homes were moved to the Southside area and Eastgate within the one mile radius of campus. Children of faculty and staff members attended school on A&M campus prior to the opening of the first off-campus public school in 1949. Southside area is the home to the first A&M Consolidated off-campus school, which is currently the College Station Conference Center. No other real estate brokerage in town has a greater understanding of the Southside Historic Area than TM5 Properties. If you are interested in leasing or purchasing a property in this area give us a call today at 979-703-1979. To get more info on the Southside Historic Area contact the specialist in this area Terrence Murphy at 979-820-7036.