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Market Square Park

Market Square  

64 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think Market Square is attractive in its current state?

    • Yes
      24
    • No
      36
    • Don't Know
      5
  2. 2. Do you think that it could reasonably be improved upon?

    • Yes
      60
    • No
      3
    • Don't Know
      2
  3. 3. If you responded 'Yes' to question #2, how would you improve it?

    • Add more trees/shrubs
      31
    • Add more benches
      30
    • Add picnic tables
      19
    • Allow a few concession stands
      35
    • Add a small restaurant with window orders (similar to Champ Burger or Someburger)
      27
    • Add a playground
      8
    • Add a dog trot
      13
    • Add a pond
      13
    • Add one or multiple small fountains
      20
    • Add one central large fountain
      29
    • Other, please explain
      11


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Root Memorial was updated into a very useful and attractive setting, and Discovery Green promises to be a major amenity, but Market Square doesn't really jump out at me in the same way despite its prime location. As an open question to everyone, I'd like to ask how you think Market Square might be improved (if you think it needs improvement).

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the park is nice but i think the biggest distraction for me is that in the past, it really was a "square" with businesses surrounding it. now, you have one side that is a parking lot, and another that is 1/2 lot/1/2 parking garage. having smaller business fronts all around would improve the park atmosphere IMO.

the negatives for me are the pet owners sure use it and leave the dog "residue" there and sometimes the homeless become aggressive.

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I like Market sqaure, I would replace or get rid of that awful sculpture though. Maybe add a chess table and concessions. I think the development of the surrounding buildings (that defunct Mexican restaurant)and surface lots is key to the park's vibrancy.

Edited by Houstonian in Iraq

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Funny, I didn't know they cleaned up Root Square Park. That might be worth checking out.

When I look at Market Square, I try to imagine it when the City Hall/Market was there. I came along a little too late to remember it as the Bowen Bus Center, but still, it must have really been a hub of activity during all those decades.

Now, I don't think I would walk through there at night. Lots of panhandlers in the area.

But, yeah, I'd like to see something done with it. Converting it for nighttime use would be difficult. Other than another Jones Plaza, I'm not sure what uses the park would have at night.

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I have to admit I have never been attracted to the actual park at Market Square. I think one thing is the view that is from the "square". It feels to open if that makes sense. Do a flickr seacrh of "market square houston" to see what I mean. Adding more mature trees wouldn't hurt either. Not just on the square but on the sidewalks that are in the vicinity of the sqaure. Too much concrete is visible from that place. Baldwin Park in Midtown has a more enclosed feel than Market Square.

Edited by WesternGulf

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I like Market sqaure, I would replace or get rid of that awful sculpture though. Maybe add a chess table and concessions. I think the development of the surrounding buildings (that defunct Mexican restaurant)and surface lots is key to the park's vibrancy.

If you're talking about the former La Tapatia at the corner of Milam and Congress, that place has already been converted into a new restaurant called Sofia's. I don't know the cuisine but I believe they've been open a few weeks now. I just saw a bunch of luncheoneers there this past week. But otherwise, I agree. If The Niche's hint that there's at least the possibility of a hotel being developed on the parking lot south of there proves to be true, then that would help a lot.

As for the park itself, I agree that the statuary seems subpar. I'd also like to see more fountains. Something that mists, maybe.

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They need to start from scratch and do a total redesign. They current design practically screams "keep out!! You may walk on the path/tunnels around and through, but this grass is just here to look at; don't even think about climbing up on to it." Something like DuPont Circle would be good there. A large fountain in the middle, surrounded by paths, benches, chess tables, trees, some open lawn space. Then patrol it so it's safe and clean (ie. enforce the pooper scooper laws).

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They need to start from scratch and do a total redesign. They current design practically screams "keep out!! You may walk on the path/tunnels around and through, but this grass is just here to look at; don't even think about climbing up on to it."

That's what squares are supposed to scream. Just like Leicester Square in London. It's by design. It's a square, not a park.

And they close off Leicester Square at 10:00.

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yes, i agree. total redesign. the sunken walkways and messy presentation of houston's past do nothing for the square.

i think the square should be an extension of existing restaurants/bars facing it. i don't mind the sculpture. use it as a centerpiece for a large fountain. surround the fountain with chess tables (as earlier mentioned) and cafe tables; leave room for trees and landscaping and make sure it is well lit at night. allow a hot dog vendor or two and make the square "street musician friendly" (whatever that means). it will be a great place to meet before/after eating or hanging out at one of the bordering establishments.

i believe the surface parking lot across the street from market square is being discussed for a potential new development. hopefully it will have retail space on the first floor, facing the square.

edit: park edited to square :)

Edited by bachanon

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I have to admit I have never been attracted to the actual park at Market Square. I think one thing is the view that is from the "square". It feels to open if that makes sense. Do a flickr seacrh of "market square houston" to see what I mean. Adding more mature trees wouldn't hurt either. Not just on the square but on the sidewalks that are in the vicinity of the sqaure. Too much concrete is visible from that place. Baldwin Park in Midtown has a more enclosed feel than Market Square.

I searched on flickr. One person said that they have booths that you can set up every Saturday I think, to sell art for $15. Cool.

Other than that, does someone have a block I can search for on live.com? I've never been to this park and want to check it out.

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I searched on flickr. One person said that they have booths that you can set up every Saturday I think, to sell art for $15. Cool.

Other than that, does someone have a block I can search for on live.com? I've never been to this park and want to check it out.

try preston at travis, 77002

look for the counter-clockwise swastika

oops - here's the local.live link

Edited by sevfiv

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try preston at travis, 77002

look for the counter-clockwise swastika

oops - here's the local.live link

Thanks for doing that, I appreciate it.

Do yall know what that is to the north-west of the lot? That looks weird.

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Thanks for doing that, I appreciate it.

Do yall know what that is to the north-west of the lot? That looks weird.

if you're talking about the fan-blade-looking-thing, i think it is/was a bank

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if you're talking about the fan-blade-looking-thing, i think it is/was a bank

it is a bank. that is one of my most used atm machines

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it is a bank. that is one of my most used atm machines

Is that what it was originally built to be or was it converted? That's weird lookin, but cool too. At least from an arial view.

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Is that what it was originally built to be or was it converted? That's weird lookin, but cool too. At least from an arial view.

only a bank drive thru.

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It's not a park, it's a square!

It's a square park ;-)

It's part of the City of Houston PARKS department. They seem to think it is a PARK: "The PARK at Market Square is a sylvan oasis near the busy Harris County Courthouse complex and the Theater District."

Market Square

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I'd like to ask how you think Market Square might be improved (if you think it needs improvement).

Not a very good photo but I would definetely fill in with tons of dirt to create a slope then place foliage throughout. That way visitors have a good view of their surroundings from all angles to matter where they stand or sit. In other words no obstruction of views by passing busses/cars. I would then add turn of century lighting fixtures and just make the whole thing look antique like, as in the Gilded Age. To heck with modern.

45.jpg

Edited by Vertigo58

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It's a square park ;-)

It's part of the City of Houston PARKS department. They seem to think it is a PARK: "The PARK at Market Square is a sylvan oasis near the busy Harris County Courthouse complex and the Theater District."

Market Square

There have been suggestions to improve Market Square by making it more lively. The idea that it is a park seems to be the reason why it wasn't. At least according to these guys:

http://www.pps.org/info/newsletter/decembe...erperforming_us

"Several years ago, PPS developed recommendations to locate an actual public market in Market Square. But we were told that Market Square was a "park," and as such, no commercial activity could take place there. Decision makers chose a silly design that did nothing but continue to keep people away. "

I think I remember reading that a market was tried here in recently but it didn't catch on, though, so who knows, maybe the city allowed commercial activity eventually.

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if you're talking about the fan-blade-looking-thing, i think it is/was a bank

I forget which bank initially built it in the early 80s, but it was prominently featured in the 1984 movie "Paris, Texas".

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I think I remember reading that a market was tried here in recently but it didn't catch on, though, so who knows, maybe the city allowed commercial activity eventually.

They tried it last year and the year before, but nobody ever showed up...there we booths and some food vendors. Downtown is trying, but people aren't participating.

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I forget which bank initially built it in the early 80s, but it was prominently featured in the 1984 movie "Paris, Texas".

Isn't it a Chase Bank now?

That would make me wonder if wasn't originally a Texas Commerce Bank. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Texas Commerce eventually became Chase. Was TCB morphed from something previous?)

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(Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Texas Commerce eventually became Chase. Was TCB morphed from something previous?)

Correct. Original name of Chase Tower was Texas Commerce.

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Before 9/11 you could ride to the very top of Chase tower and get a perfect birds eye view of the city looking south/southwest, but you had to have a strong stomach on winding days as that sucker would sway big time. I recall speaking to a secretary/attendant and the venetian blinds were hitting the glass window behind her. She was ever so calm. :blink:

Ooops were drifting from the topic! Yikes! :o

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You can still go up there, just not to the very top. Just go into the lobby, take the elevator to the sky lobby and enjoy the view. I've never felt it swaying before.

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but you had to have a strong stomach on winding days as that sucker would sway big time.

I want some of what you were smokin' on those days. J/K. Butr I never had the feeling of the building swaying.

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from 13, looks like changes are in the works beginning in nov with a goal opening of memorial day weekend. money will be from TIRZ funds.

depiction is here.

Edited by musicman
  • Like 2

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It seems like they're trying to create a considerable amount in that one block. It would be great if they could extend it to the next block south. They could replace the current surface lot with underground parking. Maybe the major foundations could take a stake in such a project. Ooo! They could rename it Deja Vu Green!

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It seems like they're trying to create a considerable amount in that one block. It would be great if they could extend it to the next block south. They could replace the current surface lot with underground parking. Maybe the major foundations could take a stake in such a project. Ooo! They could rename it Deja Vu Green!

hahaha

one of the cool things I liked about the current Market Square was that they incorporated the tile floors of older building in the walkways, a very subtle nod to the history of Houston, if they lose that, we'll be losing out on that bit of history.

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Bleh, another design by committee and yet another redesign in ~20 years. This should have been an international design competition.

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It's hard to tell, but it would be nice if they could keep the existing trees in place. "Lauren's Garden" is a "contemplative area".

I liked the old Market Square pre the current version. Nothing there that I recall except for a knoll near the north side. The small hill managed to draw its share of sunbathers and hangers-out.

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one of the cool things I liked about the current Market Square was that they incorporated the tile floors of older building in the walkways, a very subtle nod to the history of Houston, if they lose that, we'll be losing out on that bit of history.

the historical items are nice but that sunken area has been the location of quite a few muggings. hopefully the new design will help eliminate that.

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there really doesnt seem to be a captivating water feature at the proposed park.

to me, water features are what draw the people in. hint: disco greens shoot water, ponds, etc

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there really doesnt seem to be a captivating water feature at the proposed park.

to me, water features are what draw the people in. hint: disco greens shoot water, ponds, etc

with the problems they have with homeless taking baths (and stealing parts) in the current fountains, it's probably a good thing. it looks like the circular ones will remain.

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with the problems they have with homeless taking baths (and stealing parts) in the current fountains, it's probably a good thing. it looks like the circular ones will remain.

Cop horses drink out of those too.

They removed that ugly, propeller-looking sculpture this week. I remember reading that it would be incorporated into the new park design. Maybe they are getting ready to start construction.

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Not about the park, but it is Mkt Sqr.

Something is going on at the western end of the Henkle Bldg. There's paper on the windows and a permit that says something about minor restaurant remodel. I don't even recall what was in there previously. It's to the left of Les Givrals.

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Per the HBJ, construction is supposed to start this month. And they've provided us with a few details of the redesign as well.....

Linkage

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VERY COOL....

Redesign features will include a dog run and a historic walking area.

In addition, there will be a water feature dedicated to Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a local passenger on United Flight 93, which crashed after being taken over by hijackers during the 9/11 attacks, as well as seasonal flowers, trees and a memorial to all victims of 9/11.

Art will remain a major component in the redesign, according to a statement from Downtown District officials. The existing Market Square Park is a collaboration of artists coordinated by DiverseWorks.

The same artists — Richard Turner, Paul Hester, James Surls, Malou Flato and newcomer Ketria Scott — will incorporate some new pieces as well as update older works. Artwork in the park will be managed by the Houston Arts Alliance.

The Downtown District is negotiating with Niko Niko’s Greek & American Café to operate a small restaurant in the park with outdoor seating, a trellis providing shade and a dual plaza/performance area on the Travis Street side.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of the year and be completed in mid-2010.

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Call me a bit heartless, but I don't think a 9/11 memorial isn't very fitting condidering how small the connection it is. Name it after an someone local who did something noble or an officer that died in the line of duty. Hell, name a bench after Marvin.

Edited by ricco67
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Agree on the memorial bit. Niko Nikos is brilliant. It's about time they expanded. I just hope they can stay in business at that location. It seems a lot of food joints have come and gone on Market Square.

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