River Oaks, a landmark neighborhood and one of Houston’s most exclusive residential areas, was developed in the early 1920’s.River Oaks includes the beautiful River Oaks Elementary School, shopping centers and various upscale restaurants. Rigid building codes, deed restrictions and centralized community control assured exclusivity, and approval of house designs by an architectural panel. River Oaks became famous for impressive homes designed by the country’s foremost residential architects, including John Staub, Birdsall P. Briscoe, Hiram Salisbury, and Howard Barnstone. Its most famous house, Bayou Bend, was a collaborative design by Staub and Briscoe, and is now administered by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and houses the Bayou Bend Collection, a premier resource for American decorative arts. The subdivision’s borders are: Buffalo Bayou on the north, San Felipe or Westheimer Roads to the South, South Shepherd Drive to the east, and the Union Pacific Railroad track to the west. River Oaks Corporation has been replaced by the River Oaks Property Owners’ Association (ROPO), which maintains, from a central command center, a neighborhood security force with 24-hour patrols. ROPO also handles permanent maintenance, monitors deed restriction compliance, maintains the esplanades and parks, and contracts for trash collection services. The median home in River Oaks has more than 3,600 square feet and an appraised value of over $1,000,000; property values range too greater than $20M.
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