Residents of Southside Place cherish the small town atmosphere of their community. Bordered on three sides by West University Place with University Boulevard at its north end, and shaped like a backward L, Southside Place has approximately 405 homes and 1,400 residents. It has only nine streets from one end to the other with street names in alphabetical order (from Bellaire to Jardin), and is only one block wide (between Edloe and Auden). The tiny town was created in 1924 when E.L. Crain developed the community with Colonial, Spanish and English bungalows. Edloe, in fact, was named for Crain’s son, Edward Lillo Crain, Jr.
When the Inner Loop building boom began in the mid-1980s, builders shied away from Southside Place because it didn’t have the sort of name recognition that its neighbor, West University Place, enjoyed. Not only that, Southside Place lots were larger and more expensive. Soon, however, new construction spilled over and those roomy lots became a strong selling point as buyers demanded room for yards or pools to go along with the big houses they built. As the bungalows have been replaced by new construction, property values have skyrocketed.
Even though it is small, Southside Place elects a city council and hires a police force. The fire department is a volunteer force. The city uses its organized civic associations, including a park club and a garden club, as a way to socialize. Southside Place’s city park, located between Farber and Garnet streets, has its own clubhouse, tennis courts, softball field and swimming pool.
Among the organizations in the community are a Women’s Civic Club, Men’s Civic Club, Garden Club and the Park Association. Activities include tennis leagues and children’s swim team. Each year, everyone is invited to a progressive dinner that begins at the clubhouse and branches off to different homes.