West University Place, often called West University or West U for short, is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area and southwestern Harris County. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,787. It is nicknamed “The Neighborhood City” and is mainly a bedroom community for upper-class families. West University Place is surrounded by the cities of Bellaire, Houston, and Southside Place. As of 2011, West University Place has the state’s fifth highest concentration of households with incomes $150,000 or greater.Almost all street names in West University Place are allusions to universities, colleges, and poets.
The city was developed in 1917 by Ben Hooper, a former Tennessee governor. The name “West University Place” originated from its proximity to Rice Institute, now known as Rice University. The first lots in the community were sold in 1917. Portions of West University were previously within the Harris County Poor farm, which extended from an area between Bellaire Boulevard and Bissonnet Street, eastward to an area near the “poor farm ditch.”In the 1920s, Lillian “Lilly” Nicholson, a Rice University English major, lived with a friend whose father was a city planner. The city planner asked Nicholson and her friend to name the streets of West University Place. Nicholson took names from her English literature book and gave them to the streets in West University Place.
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