Downtown Houston was the original founding point of the city of Houston. After the Texas Revolution, two New York real estate promoters, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen purchased 6,642 acres (2,688 ha) of land T.F.L. Parrot (John Austin's widow) for $9,428. The Allen brothers first landed in the area where the White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou meet, a spot now known as Allen's Landing. Gail Borden, Jr., a city planner, laid out wide streets for the town.
The city was granted incorporation by the Texas legislature on June 5, 1837. Houston was made as the temporary capital of Texas. In 1840, the town was divided into four wards, each with different functions in the community. The wards are no longer political divisions, but their names are still used to refer to certain areas. By 1906 what is now Downtown was divided among six wards.