Meyerland was developed by George Meyer in the mid-1950s. Actually, three generations of the Meyer family were instrumental in its ultimate development, beginning with Joseph F. Meyer, who was five when his family came to Houston after the Civil War. In the 1890s, Meyer started buying land southwest of Houston, eventually accumulating 6,000 acres of real estate.
George Meyer divided 1,200 acres into 2,700 lots with 80 acres reserved for a shopping center. He built brick, Contemporary-style homes with three and four bedrooms and two baths that were affordable enough to attract middle-income Americans. Meyer enacted and maintained stringent deed restrictions and strong architectural controls during and after development. Homes were required to have copper plumbing and covenants prohibited apartments and commercial enterprises.
In 1957, Meyerland Shopping Center was launched with an “Around the World in 80 Days” celebration by Meyer’s daughter, Leota Meyer Hess, the center’s manager. Look magazine called Meyerland a “state-of-the-art neighborhood” and, in 1958, House and Home claimed it was the “ideal plan for a subdivision.”
There are 2,300+ homes in Meyerland, a mix of one-story ranch style and newer construction. Many of the 1950-60s homes have been renovated and, thanks to sustained deed restrictions, the neighborhood has maintained its residential integrity. New and younger families are moving in, and many second-generation Meyerlanders are moving back. Meyerland Shopping Center was renovated in the 1990s and returned to a successful, bustling hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment.