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Houston followed many of the national trends in landscape architecture. In Houston’s Forgotten Heritage, Sadie Gwin Blackburn, a Houston landscape historian, cites three trends at the turn of the century that influenced Houston and the nation as well: “the idea of integration of house and garden into a unit for domestic living; the idea of using a particular historical style as a point of departure in architecture and landscape design; and the idea of the superior value of country living over life in the city.” 67 Blackburn notes that this ideal of Country Place living did not mandate a life far from the city; its spirit and form could be recreated in “a cluster of homes in an enclave in a small community or around a country club, or even a home on a spacious lot in a planned suburb.” 68 As Houston’s booming oil-centered economy grew, a new demand for residences followed. The business center downtown expanded and began encroaching on the existing residential areas. This demand provided the opportunity for new residential developments to be built that were driven by Country Place ideals. Houston had economic and social connections to the city of St. Louis, which boasted its own models of such developments. Such residential sites “were relatively small, one or two streets by a few blocks long, conforming to the city grid pattern…” with “layout [utilizing] landscaping to create a park-like setting…” and often incorporated deed restrictions. 69

In 1906, one such Houston enclave to utilize this formula was Courtlandt Place (see fig. 3.12), and, later in 1916, Shadyside (see fig. 3.13). Both provided some of the home sites for which Fleming would later produce his designs. J. S. Cullinan, a prominent wealthy Houstonian, commissioned George Kessler to design Shadyside. Kessler incorporated this enclave into the city’s framework by extending one of Houston’s major boulevards, Montrose, so that it intersected the boulevarded Main Street, creating a traffic circle as a focal point at that intersection. Across from that circle in the newly delineated wedge of land, Shadyside was created. 70 These oak-lined boulevards formed a city-neighborhood pattern focused on vistas that would integrate well with Fleming’s residential designs in those neighborhoods. 71


A Thesis

Submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Louisiana State University and
Agricultural and Mechanical College
in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
Master of Landscape Architecture


The Department of Landscape Architecture

Paige Allred Phillips
B.A., The University of the South, 1994
December 2003