North of Buffalo Bayou lies Fifth Ward, historically an ethnically and racially mixed working-class counterpart to the East End. West of downtown and north of Buffalo Bayou is Sixth Ward along the axis of Washington Avenue, which connects downtown to West End, Houston Heights, and the other “heights” neighborhoods whose development occurred in the early twentieth century. These inner-city, blue-collar neighborhoods have undergone disinvestment, deterioration, and depopulation. Yet some among them are where grassroot counterefforts of various kinds have been attempted in the early twenty-first century, often using architecture to advance programs for urban reclamation that seek to take advantage of the sense of place and cultural depth these neighborhoods conserve.
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