History of Twin Lakes Subdivision
Harris County, Texas
Harris County, Texas
The land which now contains the Twin Lakes subdivision was farmland for generations. A 1957 aerial photograph shows Eldridge and Tanner Road with a farmstead located where the current church is now (behind CVS). On all sides of the farmstead, including land across Eldridge, are fields.
Other aerial photos throughout the years show that much remained unchanged through 1981 as the area remained rural.
Click an image to enlarge. Photos courtesy of http://www.historicaerials.com
Twin Lakes began in 1989 as the brainchild of former Houston mayor Bob Lanier (term 1992-1998). Bob sold the lots to Vincent Kickerillo who was the sole builder for the majority of lots. Near the end of the development, remaining lots were sold to Parkwood Builders.
The two largest lakes serve for storm water retention as can be seen by the rising and falling of water levels from storms. All four lakes are supplied from ground water wells when drought conditions persist. Lake De La Sol (#1), by the clubhouse, drains into Sunset Lake (#2) with the large waterfall. From there, both lakes drain into Horsepen Bayou and Langham Creek through two storm water pipes located in the easement between Frensham Circle and Climber Court.
The street names are the product of Bob Lanier's wife, Elysie, who named each street based on a variety of roses. Bob and Elyse lived in a River Oaks mansion with a large rose garden.
The streets are public streets maintained by Harris County. Twin Lakes was designed with a security entrance to control access as is common in many neighborhoods. A planned gated entrance was overruled by Harris County because public roadways cannot have access restrictions. It is the only roadway entrance/egress from the neighborhood.
"There were no other subdivisions, shopping centers, or grocery stores in the first few years. The only places to shop were the Valero gas station and the Fuel Depot strip center (owned by a Twin Lake resident - my next door neighbor) at the northwest and southwest corner of Little York and Eldridge." - Paul Kwan, early resident
During the development of the second phase, two additional small lakes, Tranquility Lake (#3) and Mystic Lake (#4), were added. These two lakes do not act as storm water retention, and their water level does not vary. They were included in the expansion because of the premium price waterfront homes brought.
Kickerillo insisted on very strict architectural requirements. He headed the architectural controls committee and made changes to accommodate his business and buyer demands. For example, the first homes all were required to have side loading three car garages with a minimum of 3,100 square feet.
As market conditions changed, these were relaxed, and smaller homes with front loading garages were constructed. When Parkwood Builders finished out the remaining lots, the architectural controls were once again modified. Some examples are stucco, metal, and red tile roofs.
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Contributors: Henry Goyette, Paul Kwan, David Dronet