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As of 2017 Before the 1970s, the city's gay bars were spread around Downtown Houston and what is now Midtown Houston.
Gays and lesbians needed to have a place to socialize after the closing of the gay bars.
Established in 1911, the neighborhood is a demographically diverse area with renovated mansions, bungalows with wide porches, and cottages located along tree-lined boulevards. Link and his Houston Land Corporation envisioned a "great residential addition" according to the neighborhood's original sales brochure.
Montrose has been called the "Heart of Houston," Montrose was originally envisioned as a planned community and streetcar suburb dating back to the early 20th century before the development of River Oaks. Link's planning details for the area included four wide boulevards with the best curbing and extensive landscaping.
They began going to Art Wren, a 24-hour restaurant in Montrose.
Around the time Montrose mainly included empty nesters and widows.
Montrose held the core of Mayor of Houston Kathy Whitmire's political support in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Because of the inclusion of Montrose, the Houston Heights, and the Rice University area, District C is nicknamed "hipstrict" referring to its progressive and urban ethic.
On Montrose Boulevard and Westheimer Road, there are few original homes remaining—a majority have been converted to businesses and/or restaurants since 1936.
Examples of Houston's historic residential architecture including century-old bungalows and mansions can be found in Montrose.
Gay men became attracted to Montrose as a neighborhood after encountering it while patronizing Art Wren, and they began to gentrify the neighborhood and assist the widows with the maintenance of their houses. At the time at least 19% of the residents of Montrose were gay and lesbian.
In the late 1980s, AIDS affected many Montrose residents.