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Mecom Rose Garden?


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I received an e-mail today from someone who remembers that the space that's now the Mecom Fountain used to be a sunken rose garden. Can anyone corroborate this?

Does anyone know the impetus for replacing the garden with the fountain?

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I received an e-mail today from someone who remembers that the space that's now the Mecom Fountain used to be a sunken rose garden. Can anyone corroborate this?

Does anyone know the impetus for replacing the garden with the fountain?

Not sure why they did it, but it happened between 1957 and 1964 according to historicaerials.com.

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I saw a photo from 1961 that shows the rose garden intact, so the arrival of the fountains can now be narrowed down to the 1961-1964 timeframe.

I was told that the rose garden was there in the thirties. My grandfather had a wreck there.

Folkore that I heard in the 1960s was that the fountains were put in at public expense but were actuall the cooling mechanism for the Warwick.

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I saw a photo from 1961 that shows the rose garden intact, so the arrival of the fountains can now be narrowed down to the 1961-1964 timeframe.

Now that is interesting and makes sense. One day our kindergarten class took a field trip to the museum & Hermann Park and I recall us kids going gaga as we passed those fountains so they must have been fairly new (this was in 1966). They always had that modern 60's look too.

Seperately:

If any one can divulge what year the Sam Houston statue was placed there, who created it, etc that would be great. :blush:

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  • 7 months later...
  • 2 months later...

I don't want to post it here out of respect to Story's copyright, but there is a very good view of the Sunken Garden (and Cullinan's house Shadyside) from the roof of the Warwick in Story Sloane's book of Houston images from the 20's and 30's.

I wouldn't wish to do this either, but there's a picture on the website here. Bottom row.

Edited by Simbha
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I wondered if this had anything to do with the establishment of the Rose Garden in Hermann Park just about a block away. Didn't find an answer but did find this from Stephen Fox's History of Hermann Park - basically the sunken garden proved to be a traffic hazard. Plans as early as 1948 called for replacing it with a fountain and this was apparently completed in 1964.

A couple of paragraphs from pps. 11-12:

"Hare and Hare proposed, at the time the Fannin extension was being designed, that a museum center be built in Shadyside on the estate of former governor William P. Hobby and his wife. Oveta Culp Hobby. This would incorporate a new Museum of Natural History, axially aligned with the Sunken Garden and Hermann Drive. At the same time they proposed that a large fountain be constructed in the Sunken Garden. Because of its depressed, bowl-like configuration, the Sunken Garden had proved to be something of a traffic hazard, a problem that could be rectified by building above the curb line. None of these proposals was carried through, although the city did acquire an additional nine acres along Brays Bayou to compensate for the loss of the Hogg tract.

Between 1967 and 1969 a new Miller Outdoor Theater, designed by Eugene Werlin and Associates, was constructed on the site of the old Doric proscenium. A high, bermed lawn provided amphitheater-type seating in front of the new stage and orchestra. The columns of the old theater were salvaged and grouped around a circular pool to form the Mecom-Rockwell Colonnade in 1968. Four years earlier, the donors of this fountain, Mr. and Mrs. John W. Mecom, had constructed the Mecom Fountain in the Sunken Garden, sixteen years after Hare and Hare advanced their fountain design."

I seem to also remember some talk, perhaps only among my relatives, that there was a p'ing match going on over installing public fountains. This was roughly the same time period the R.E. Bob Smith fountain was erected I think.

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I seem to also remember some talk, perhaps only among my relatives, that there was a p'ing match going on over installing public fountains.

Could you elaborate on this further? I'd like to better understand what the historical reasons for opposition to fountain installations might have been...

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  • 2 months later...

Legend has it that Bob Hope once said that the view from the Presidential Suite at the Warwick was one of the most beautiful in the world.

I wonder when he stayed there, and whether the view would have included the Sunken Garden or the Mecom Fountain.

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  • The title was changed to Mecom Rose Garden?

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