Covering some 524 acres (and 100 city blocks), this historic district is located just north of downtown and is roughly bounded by West and East Hildebrand Streets, San Pedro Avenue, West Ashby Place, McCullough Avenue, and Trinity University. The district encompasses some fourteen distinct subdivisions established in the early twentieth century. Once used as a goat pasture, the area was acquired by investors in 1889 and soon divided into blocks, with developers building and selling homes street by street. The area’s growth is attributable to mule-drawn streetcars that first arrived in 1878, running routes along San Pedro and McCullough Avenues and soon to be replaced by electric trollies.
There are eighteen distinct architectural styles in the district, including Georgian, Renaissance Revival, Colonial Revival, Art Moderne, and Queen Anne, which reflect the many well-known architects who designed homes here between 1890 and 1930, including Atlee B. Ayers, Alfred Giles, James Riely Gordon, and Harvey Young. While the district exhibits a wide range of designed landscapes, many properties have generous setbacks with grand front lawns accented by plantings along walkways or used as perimeter privacy buffers. Ornamental trees, such as crepe myrtle, are found throughout the area, and live oaks often line the sidewalks. The Monte Vista Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.