Welcome to the Historic West Floral Heights!
The historic West Floral Heights area of Wichita Falls, Texas, is a neighborhood that is rich in history, culture, and architectural distinctiveness. It is the only locally designated historic district in Wichita Falls. This designation helps to protect the unique architecture and ambiance of the area. It is generally defined by the following boundaries:
- North Boundary: Tenth Street, 2700-3000 blocks
- South Boundary: H Street from Buchanan to Hayes
- East Boundary: Buchanan Street, 1300-1700 blocks
- West Boundary: Hayes St., 1400-1700 blocks, incl the 1400 block of Garfield
West Floral Heights and the HWFHNA
West Floral Heights was platted in 1909 by Frank Kell and Joseph Alexander Kemp when the city of Wichita Falls was 27 years old and boasted just 5,000 residents. That same year, streetcar service from downtown to Lake Wichita was established with the expressed purpose of helping in the development of West Floral Heights.
Two years earlier, in 1907, Floral Heights was just "a pasture, with a few wheat patches, here and there," according to Jonnie Morgan, author of History of Wichita Falls.
In 1909, the Kemps "bought the entire block on Grant between 9th and 10th. Their spacious three-story house... stood out during W.W. I and pilots from Call Field used it as a guide," wrote Louise Kelly in Wichita County Beginnings.
When West Floral Heights was platted, it featured only three main streets: Buchanan, which was platted as Van Buren; Grant, which was platted as Harrison; and Tilden, which was platted as Polk. The cross streets ran from 10th to Avenue K.
West Floral Heights is named after Flora Anderson Kemp, the wife of Joseph Kemp. In addition to being prominent area developers, in 1917, they were recognized by the community for their generous donation of a library building to the citizens of Wichita Falls.
The Historic West Floral Heights Neighborhood Association (HWFHNA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization comprised of residents, area business owners, and other concerned citizens dedicated to preserving the heritage, history and property values of the West Floral Heights area of Wichita Falls, Texas.
It has its roots in a 1927 "Neighborhood Covenant," which was established in lieu of zoning. The covenant covered "all lots fronting on Buchanan, Grant and Tilden, from 10th to Avenue H." Some of the stipulations were: no businesses, no multiple family dwellings, two lots per property, and servants only in the back apartments.
On August 9, 2001, a Neighborhood Watch meeting was organized in West Floral Heights, and by the following month, it was called the Floral Heights West Neighborhood Association. An application for historic district designation was submitted to the city in October of 2004.
By a unanimous vote of the Wichita Falls City Council on January 18, 2005, the group achieved one of its primary goals - designation of the neighborhood as a historic district. In March 2009, the association achieved its official status as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.
Today, the neighborhood association holds bi-monthly meetings, organizes neighborhood clean-ups, celebrates patriotic holidays with American flag yard displays, coordinates neighborhood-wide garage sales, and holds social events like the popular Turkey Trot run-walk event and the annual Christmas party.