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This panoramic or “bird’s eye” view map of Houston was drawn by A. L. Westyard in 1891. Houston was the third largest city in Texas at this time (behind Galveston and Dallas) and was about to experience a population explosion as the 20th century approached, eventually becoming Texas’ largest city by 1930.

This style of map was often used to promote a particular city and this one was no different. Westyard opted to show Houston from a northerly perspective, looking southwards, and used considerable artistic license to represent Galveston Bay much closer to the city than in reality. Clearly Westyard wanted to depict Houston as a city with easy access to the Gulf which was a key selling point for many industries. The Buffalo River bisects this map and numerous active factories and railroad stations can be observed along the river to further indicate Houston was a vibrant and growing industrial city. Some of these factories, along with other notable structures, are featured in a legend that numbers and labels various landmark buildings in Houston.