Pearland’s development began in 1892 when William Zychlinski, a Polish Count, bought 2,560 prime acres of land surrounding the Mark Belt outpost along the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe rail lines. Zychlinski platted out the original town site in 1894. The Old Townsite district consists of the land area bordered by Orange Street to the north, Walnut Street to the south, Galveston Street on the east and Austin Street on the west in what is now the eastern quadrant of Pearland.
In an effort to retain and redevelop the central core of the old town, the City of Pearland completed a Historic District Revitalization Plan in 2006 with H3 Studio. The plan identified $160 million in total improvements over a 25-year period, of which $34 million are currently being completed in the city’s current Capital Improvements Plan through 2013. Among those improvements are new road constructions, stormwater upgrades and sidewalk, streetscape and decorative lighting additions to the historic district.
A local farmer’s market now operates year-round and a Business Coalition, comprised of the businesses in and around the district, helps the city prioritize investments for future growth. The Pearland Independent School District also recently relocated to the northern part of the district by acquiring a former retail site and investing $12 million in improvements to renovate the building and relocate the district’s headquarters offices to the space.