So, we have a tiny street here at UHD, between the Main building and the Student Life Center, called Girard Street. But why is it called that? How did it get its name?
I was posed this question by a staff person here at UHD and so I set out to find the answer. I knew that in 1837, this area was not surveyed and there were no streets on this side of the Buffalo Bayou.
See how poor and empty it was all along the north bank of the bayou?
And I also knew that by 1847, the streets had been laid out.
You can see Girard named at the very far right of the image, but it was a “broken” street that continued on either side of the bend of White Oak Bayou (this drawing is post 1847, but I am not sure when it was drawn).
So, I knew that at some point between 1837 and 1847, something happened.
Eventually I discovered that the street was named for the man who surveyed the land in 1839. Auguste Girard was the Chief Engineer of the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution, and after Independence he drew up a new map of Houston for the Allen Brothers, which included platting our area around the current UHD campus, and Frost Town, just to the east of Allen’s Landing. Probably accurately predicting that no one else was going to name a street for him so he might as well do it, he named one of the streets after himself and ensured his place in our history.
His 1839 map is accessible from the Rice Digital Scholarship Archives. He was also deeded land by President Anson Jones which would later form part of the Heights area.