In the 1930s wealthy people had large home plots. The backs of these plots had horse stables, and horseback riding was a popular activity. As time passed, the owners of the stables sold them, and many were replaced with houses.
In the 1950 and 1960s, Houston was experiencing a period of suburban growth as the city expanded beyond the traditional area inside the Interstate 610 loop. After the construction of Interstate 10 through the city in 1968, the area where Memorial now resides became favorable to developers. At first, the Memorial area was sparsely populated and contained mostly empty land and farms, plus the few farm-to-market roads and thoroughfares. Development began in the late 1950s, as upper-middle-class subdivisions, mostly along the Buffalo Bayou, were built along with the accompanying government facilities (schools, police and fire services, etc.) This sudden arrival of widespread development also encouraged commercial growth along the main roads that criss-crossed the area, including the major roadMemorial Drive.
For the next four decades, the area continued to prosper. High class development in the Memorial Villages between Beltway 8 (then known as West Belt, constructed in 1968) and Interstate 610 made the area a hotspot for public figures. Homes in the Villages now sell for upwards of one million dollars.
In the last two decades, the immediate area around the Interstate 10/Beltway 8 junction has suddenly become one of Houston's main edge cities, along with theTexas Medical Center, the Galleria district and the Astrodomain. Memorial City Mall, often regarded as one of the city's most prestigious shopping malls, and the Memorial Hermann Hospital center next to it, are the main landmarks of the Memorial City area. Recent skyscraper development along Interstate 10, including the notable Memorial Hermann tower next to the hospital - the city's 29th-tallest building at 500 feet - has arrived with the completion of the Katy Freeway's renovation.
In 2006 Yushan Chang, author of Newcomer's Handbook Neighborhood Guide: Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin, wrote that the area "has still managed to retain its arboreal environment" even though by 2006 it was denser than previously.
There are many housing styles in Memorial and development in neighborhoods is not uniform. Housing styles include Georgian-style houses, bungalows, and cottages. Some areas include townhouses and condominiums. Some subdivisions in Memorial are gated.
Chang wrote that many streets "feel like winding country lanes" and follow the Buffalo Bayou's contours.
The upscale and revived Memorial City Mall is located in the area. The area is also served by the Town and Country Villageand adjacent CityCentre lifestyle center that are sought to replace the now defunct Town & Country Mall.
Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press said that "Memorial is still in many ways a sweetly sleepy suburb" despite the construction of CityCentre and expansion and redevelopment at Memorial City Mall. In terms of the neighborhood culture and the restaurants in the Memorial area Shilcutt said "[b]ut sleepy doesn't necessarily mean boring. And suburb doesn't mean chain restaurants and bland food."
Nottingham Forest (29°46′1.95″N 95°36′54.16″W and 29°45′59.3346″N 95°35′52.512″W) is a subdivision (the combined name of two middle-class neighborhoods, Nottingham Forest and Nottingham Forest VIII) located on the far west side of Houston, Texas, south of Interstate 10 and west of Beltway 8. They are both bordered by Memorial Drive to the north and the Buffalo Bayou to the south and west.
The two are members of a group of neighborhoods and apartment complexes that sprung up in the 1960s in west Houston. Much like many other neighborhoods in the surrounding area, they are populated by numerous clapboard and brick one- and two-story houses shaded by what once was thick oak forest.