Archive for the ‘Small Spaces’ Category

Pocket Park at the Ball Park

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

IMG00272-20110729-1325.jpgAt Minute Maid Baseball Park–home of the Houston Astros–there is a privately maintained park space open to the sidewalk with perfectly maintain grass, plants, trees, statuary, and covered benches that are actually dug outs in the simulated ball field setting. As you walk to the edge and glance in the park you will get the feeling of neighborhood baseball games.  Next time you are going to a game take a moment, step off the sidewalk and enjoy the space, the baseball history and a serene moment. (more…)

The Fulbright Public Space

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Fullbright Tower EntryWhen Chevron moved their corporate headquaters to downtown Houston they moved into the two towers on Smith St. and out of Houston Center 3 that was known as the Chevron Building. So that made a great property available and the law form of Fullbright and Jaworski grab it. The space is at the Fubright Tower at the corner of McKinney and Caroline. (more…)

A Quiet Place under an Oak Tree

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

CIMG5870.JPGThis small space on the edge of the much larger Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston is not one you can plan ahead unless someone began 100+ years ago by planting the oak tree.  The space gives me the feeling I think a rabbit would have when scurrying out of site under a bush.  The rabbit would look up through the stems and leaves to see if the humans were still there.

The rabbit and I have that in common as while sitting on the bench and looking past the tree’s canopy to the skyscrapers on the other side of the street and beyond I realize the giants are not going away and I have to go back to work. (more…)

Benches below the traffic

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

The two benches in this photo are below Smith St. and on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The concrete walkway was one of the initial pathways along the bayou that winds through the north end of Downtown Houston. In very heavy rains the water can rise almost to the bottom of the bridge. When it recedes the next day the benches have a small collection of debris and the trees look like they have been in a washing machine.Buffalo Bayou under Smith St.

 

The trail is used often by joggers and bike riders. The interesting part to me is how different the city seems from down below. Of course it depends on when one as during morning rush cars and buses race by as Smith is a heavily used route. You are only one block from the end of the IH-10 Eastbound exit ramp from the Katy Freeway.

When the water recedes the big issue is removal of the silt and sand that washes onto the walkway and the grass. The areas where the grass is not solid is actually silt that filled in the sod. As you can see the wall that holds back the street is lush.

An interesting thing about the area, as evidenced by the wall, is that downtown was once at the bayou level when cotton was put on barges and other freight was shipped out on sailing ships from this same location. Someone then surely sat on the docks where this bench is and saw a very different view than one does today.

Victory Gardens for Sustainability

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

SDC10341.JPGThe City of Houston is working to encourage sustainable aspects of life in the big city and one is to show how “victory gardens” can easily be started and enjoyed. In the case of the latest demo the garden adds a new dimension and reason for enjoying a great public space–Tranquility Park.

The first area created for container gardens is at the corner of Walker and Smith Streets in front of the City’s building known as 611 Walker. The latest location is in Tranquility Park across the street from the first. Click for Map. (more…)

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