Turning old homes into community art: Project Row houses in Houston’s Third Ward

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HOUSTON— Gentrification and community building has become a common topic in urban communities around the US and Houston’s very own Third Ward community is among that conversation.

Many of the Third Ward homes have seen major renovation in the past three years, but one piece of history will remain the same. Thanks to seven black artists who had a vision 25 years ago to use dilapidated row houses to express their art and message to Houston.

The founding artists were mentored by Dr. John Biggers a longtime Texas Southern University Professors and renowned African-American muralist.

“There were folks in the early 1990’s saying these houses aren’t being very well used and they should just be torn down, and rather than tearing them down our founders said maybe we can do something different, maybe we can put something more effective here,” said artist and guest services representative of Project Row Houses, McKensie Watson during a tour.

Dr. Biggers traced the row house to hut style housing in West Africa, which can be reflected in the art on display inside the Project Row houses

Because of Biggers vision it’s no doubt Project Row Houses will be a staple in Third Ward for years to come.



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