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New Park/Green Space at 424 Westheimer


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Saw this in Cohen's enewsletter- 

$25,000. Doesn't seem like much to begin developing a park.The "future Park" is one city lot, covered in black top and surrounded by wrought Iron fence, Cyprus trees in the ROW on Whitney street side.COH/parks is beginning  to hold community meetings to gather residents input. Hopefully a name will be chosen. Seems most residents would like simple, minimalist park because of size--something that might pay tribute to Avondale development in 1907. I took that to mean that everyone is hoping  it won't be a grass lot with many 20 gallon ubiquitous live oaks trees.

Some of the residents were concerned about the "current" trend in developing green spaces after watching the "beautification" MMD is putting in on west side median at Lovett and Montrose? Yep, a n updated green space of concrete and  live oaks. 

The developers of Avondale pooled their money in 1911 to have a box card  load of palm trees delivered brought to Houston.many were planted down the middle of MEDIAN down Montrose  Blvd south towards museum district( all were removed last time MONTROSE Blvd got redone--MONTROSE Blvd conservancy would like to put back the median but won't consider replanting palm trees due to COH restrictions.)  and a few can still be seen within Avondale.So everyone is hoping Live Oaks won't be the tree of choice.

Not sure if there will be access to water at this park, so probably xerescaping should be considered plus keeping the wrought iron fencing might not be a bad idea either. Would using recyclable materials keep costs down? no idea. Still everyone seems to love the idea of recycling so guess that should be considered also.

 

That seems a lot to keep in mind when developing a park, the next open meeting  is Aug. 16 upstairs at The Women's Home 6:30pm.I was hoping the Civic association would offer a money prize  to university architecture students to submit a plan for this park, keeping all those restrictions in mind.  It would be great to see what the young talent of Houston could come up with. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic  but it seems an opportunity is presenting itself why not take advantage of it.

 

 

_________________________

PARK UPGRADES - $355,000

This funding provided for new park design costs, playground equipment replacement, sidewalk repair, and other improvements to parks throughout District C.

$240,000 - TC Jester Park: Playground equipment replacement
$60,000 - Meyerland Park: Playground equipment repair
$25,000 - Future Park at 424 Westheimer: Design costs
$20,000 - Oak Forest Park: Tennis court repair                  
$10,000 - Peggy Shiffick Park: Sidewalk repair

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would love to see this corner become an actively-engaging public hub for our Montrose community! The best and safest parks include design elements that elicit many uses by many people throughout the day, afternoon, and evening. For a great local example on a similar small-ish scale, consider Bagby Park on Gray at Bagby. 

 

What elements would you enjoy? What will make it a great community gathering spot? What will feel open and invitating to our community members, including oldest and youngest? How can we activate it?
- cafe or snack/drink kiosk
- public bathrooms
- variety of benches, chairs, and tables for eating, reading, games
- multi-purpose greenspace for gathering
- shade structure and/or additional trees for comfort/respite from sun
- stage for performances or events/speaking
- Bcycle station or bike rental
- sprayground or splash pad for kids/adults/dogs
- playscape or climbing structure for kids and/or adults?
- public sculpture or mural 
- interactive art
- dog run
- water feature?

I hope some of you will attend the public meeting Tuesday night (August 16) and share your ideas!

park_424_westheimer_existing.PNG

park_bagby_gray.PNG

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From Cohen's enewsletter

Design Phase Underway for Future Westheimer Park

   
   

Mayor Pro Tem Cohen hosted a public meeting to discuss community priorities for a future park at 424 Westheimer in District C’s Montrose area. She successfully advocated for the purchase of land for this park in 2014 and to fund the park’s design costs through the Council District Service Fund. Conversation at the meeting centered on the benefits and costs of incorporating spaces such as a tree-lined “promenade” area and a dog run. Those interested in providing suggestions may email lisa.johnson@houstontx.gov or districtc@houstontx.gov by no later than August 31st.

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  • 7 months later...

 

avatar-default-34.png

 

http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases...

Houston was awarded an urban outdoor grant of $1 million for its Avondale Promenade Park project. Proposed development for the park include a community plaza, pedestrian promenade, pavilion, landscaping with irrigation, interpretive signs, playground, picnic tables, benches, porch swings, dog park.........

Edited by trymahjong
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  • 11 months later...

Ellen Cohen hosted her annual district C update meeting last night. Lisa Johnson, division manager of Parks/CIP related that the pocket Park (424 Westheimer) will go forward as planned with completion in 2019. This was good news as rumors circulated that it would be postponed and used as a staging place for COH machinery used in Lower Westheimer Renovation. Both of these projects were completely funded before Harvey. The lower Westheimer renovation will be pushed back a year.—- Many funds from COH projects were diverted towards Harvey stuff apparently— 

 

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  • 7 months later...

HBJ posted an article on the park at Westheimer and Whitney:

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/news/2018/11/28/houston-to-transform-montrose-lot-into.html

 

"The city of Houston bought the quarter-acre tract of land in May 2015, according to county clerk records, and plans to start construction on the project in August 2019, a city official said.

 

Avondale Promenade Park will feature Craftsman-style architecture to blend in with the surrounding neighborhoods, said Lisa Johnson, a division manager in the city’s general services department. Elements will include a brick promenade with trees and light fixtures, a garden area, benches, play and exercise area, dog run and custom-designed Craftsman-style pavilion with a chimney swift tower."

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  • 3 months later...

Ellen Cohen is having her annual CIP (capitol Improvements) meeting this Thursday at the Multiservice Center on Gray 6:30

 

I’m hoping she brings her usually cadre of COH people and can shed some light on this Parks process and when construction will start.

Last November the COH parks people gave a status report at Neartown that all things were a  go, fully funded etc but after hearing a Councilman “rebrand” the 100% funded ( from Bagby to Montrose) lower Westheimer improvements to partially funded improvements from Bagby to  Shepherd; the Park project seems stymied.

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  • 5 months later...

At most of the neighborhood meetings, this park is always spoken about as being “ already have100%money needed” “ready” “green lighted” etc just need to approve  contractor contract by COH—- weeks and months of this talk, no one could figure out the hold up..... but then I heard a few neighbors grumbling and now I might have  a bit of insight into the delay.

TheMayors office sets the agenda. Somehow theMayor is very busy and caught up in campaigning, suddenly it’s difficult to get new items on the agenda. This seems  plausible but it’s hard to believe it would actually be true. If true, I’m sad.

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On 9/14/2019 at 8:21 AM, trymahjong said:

At most of the neighborhood meetings, this park is always spoken about as being “ already have100%money needed” “ready” “green lighted” etc just need to approve  contractor contract by COH—- weeks and months of this talk, no one could figure out the hold up..... but then I heard a few neighbors grumbling and now I might have  a bit of insight into the delay.

TheMayors office sets the agenda. Somehow theMayor is very busy and caught up in campaigning, suddenly it’s difficult to get new items on the agenda. This seems  plausible but it’s hard to believe it would actually be true. If true, I’m sad.

 

Not shocked if true. Election is only a couple months away right? If in his position, that would be my focus as well.

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On 9/17/2019 at 4:46 PM, Luminare said:

 

Not shocked if true. Election is only a couple months away right? If in his position, that would be my focus as well.

 

Except (1) he has a staff, and (2) the best campaign material for an incumbent is a well-run city, and it also took many months for them to get the market-based parking on to the council's agenda (and that was well before campaign season). If he can't manage to run the Mayor's office (and the City) while campaigning for reelection, that seems like pretty strong evidence he may not be the person for the job.

Edited by Houston19514
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  • 2 months later...
9 hours ago, gene said:

It's a done deal! 

 

https://communityimpact.com/houston/heights-river-oaks-montrose/government/2019/11/20/houston-city-council-greenlights-montroses-avondale-promenade-park-contract/

A forthcoming public park on Westheimer Road in Montrose, Avondale Promenade Park, reached a new milestone Nov. 19.

Houston City Council approved the acceptance of a $900,000 grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and a $14,000 landscape architecture contract funded by the city of Houston.


 

Such a great park for the area and the history of the neighborhood.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • Highrise Tower changed the title to New Park/Green Space at 424 Westheimer

Hard to believe but entire crew came down with COVID.

 

BTW

Did you notice the electronic board at the back by dog park part?
That wasn’t in the original plans.......now my fear is that some city muckity-muck has a notion that installing that thing in Montrose will not lead to some sort of  Computer mischief......really that’s not  limited to  suburbanite bored computer pranksters.......there’s plenty gifted mischief devilry  in Montrose.  Who knows what the daily “motto of the day” will end up being on that sign🤪.

Edited by trymahjong
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  • 3 weeks later...

I might tip-toe In here and gently remind everyone  of the dozens of community input meeting ( where IMO) all voices seemed to shout “ park should reflect the neighborhood” .
 Hence the “Gazebo like structure” in the smack-dab middle.  😄

A reverie of nostalgia among the shiny new structures along Westheimer, of course when anticipating the “ porch swings” Which will be the last things to be installed lol😇

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Sure, but there are less lame ways to do that. Although I'll hold my final opinion until it's actually complete, it honestly seems like it's more meant to reflect some people's perception of the history neighborhood rather than its actual specific history.

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3 hours ago, Texasota said:

Sure, but there are less lame ways to do that. Although I'll hold my final opinion until it's actually complete, it honestly seems like it's more meant to reflect some people's perception of the history neighborhood rather than its actual specific history.

 

These kind of takes are my favorite on HAIF, discussing the architecture of a park. I love the Lamp posts with the hanging lantern but the brick they are on, not so much. If we're talking taking in motifs from the surrounding homes, then yeah, alot of the houses closer to 59 have older looking brick in them. Is there such a thing as distressed looking bricks? They shoulda used that. If there really are some porch swings, that is v montrose-y based on the surrounding homes lol. 

 

And the gazebo being to the side, and not directly in the middle is a weird, but then if you think of connectivity and allowing people to stroll through the park, it makes sense. It help the gazebo be a little more private. Having the park be well lit is smart because in Montrose you have people walking around at all times of day. I really like it, seems like a lot of thought went into it and it will serve the community well. When do we get to play here? 😁

 

 

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I guess COH/PWE must have anticipated many people walking around at all hours and having their dogs with them.

We were told those Park visitors with their canine friends Utilizing the dog park would act as a passive safety measure.

 

Alas there was little faith in nearby residents remembering to regularly water plants so COH/PWE nixed the idea of flower planters.........sigh

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22 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

These kind of takes are my favorite on HAIF, discussing the architecture of a park. I love the Lamp posts with the hanging lantern but the brick they are on, not so much. If we're talking taking in motifs from the surrounding homes, then yeah, alot of the houses closer to 59 have older looking brick in them. Is there such a thing as distressed looking bricks? They shoulda used that. If there really are some porch swings, that is v montrose-y based on the surrounding homes lol. 

 

And the gazebo being to the side, and not directly in the middle is a weird, but then if you think of connectivity and allowing people to stroll through the park, it makes sense. It help the gazebo be a little more private. Having the park be well lit is smart because in Montrose you have people walking around at all times of day. I really like it, seems like a lot of thought went into it and it will serve the community well. When do we get to play here? 😁

 

If i remember correctly from driving by, the gazebo isn't off to the side per say...

the whole park is at an angle facing towards the corner/stop sign! 

 

22 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

 

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On 10/20/2020 at 8:24 AM, Texasota said:

Sure, but there are less lame ways to do that. Although I'll hold my final opinion until it's actually complete, it honestly seems like it's more meant to reflect some people's perception of the history neighborhood rather than its actual specific history.

 

Agree with all of this. The design is pretty pedestrian. If people want to see a great balance between more traditional design with contemporary flare, then check out the Eastern Glades. Love that park. Love the stone, like the path layout, and like the contemporary approach to pavilions etc... This park comes off as something one would find out in Bridgeland or one of those masterplanned communities. Oh well. I'll take a park than no park. Looks great for the area which is already seeing a bunch of activity. The future is bright.

23 hours ago, X.R. said:

 

These kind of takes are my favorite on HAIF, discussing the architecture of a park. I love the Lamp posts with the hanging lantern but the brick they are on, not so much. If we're talking taking in motifs from the surrounding homes, then yeah, alot of the houses closer to 59 have older looking brick in them. Is there such a thing as distressed looking bricks? They shoulda used that. If there really are some porch swings, that is v montrose-y based on the surrounding homes lol. 

 

And the gazebo being to the side, and not directly in the middle is a weird, but then if you think of connectivity and allowing people to stroll through the park, it makes sense. It help the gazebo be a little more private. Having the park be well lit is smart because in Montrose you have people walking around at all times of day. I really like it, seems like a lot of thought went into it and it will serve the community well. When do we get to play here? 😁

 

 

 

Agree with the lamp posts. Looks craftsman inspired. Giant brick podium...a bit fat. Like I said before your quote. I applaud the effort. Just lacks creativity. They were clearly focused on utility.

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I walked by today. The forma that separate dog park part from rest of park are laid along with the beginnings of a fence 10” or so from brick 2 story wall of apartment next door.

 

That apartment brick wall was never part of any plan proposal but now thatI see it as a backdrop of the park fence! And eventually the porch swings that will be installed.........I wish  the owners of Apartment could have been contacted and proposed a huge mural courtesy of PWE; something bright  that could have “ told” the story of history and future of that space in that part of Houston.

 

alas

 

now I can only hope for some urban guerilla vine plantings to add a bit more green to the park.  Lol 

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On 10/20/2020 at 6:48 PM, trymahjong said:

We were told those Park visitors with their canine friends Utilizing the dog park would act as a passive safety measure.

That makes sense.
And if there's an uptick in crime, try slipping your neighbors' dogs some mild laxatives as a precautionary measure.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Walked the park again today.

that round thingy kids can climb is installed. And a piece of equipment to do pull ups on.

but I didn’t notice any structure for porch swings and didn’t notice any irrigation structure. There’s a rumor of artificial grass.....wondering about that.

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12 hours ago, trymahjong said:

Walked the park again today.

that round thingy kids can climb is installed. And a piece of equipment to do pull ups on.

but I didn’t notice any structure for porch swings and didn’t notice any irrigation structure. There’s a rumor of artificial grass.....wondering about that.


no excuse to use artificial turf here. I hope logic prevails and normal park Bermuda is used.

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Houston has a Climate Action Plan with Chief Sustainability Officer Lara Cottingham heading it up. I have seen her PowerPoint presentation.

 

Perhaps this small  patch of land could be a lab of sorts for that plan.— There are a lot of goals in that plan. Finding a way to grow grass or an  alternative plant  or xeriscaping ( or whatever) on that small space and having it thrive; would be a big plus.

For that plan. A tangible something to point to when COH presents (and re-presents) the plan.

The PWE/COH seems spread a bit thin to maintain all green space in Houston. I really am hoping for a green green space. Once PWE finishes; maintenance isn’t always what you hope for.

But if this little space, can be a successful green space—- could become a beacon for environmental changes..... wow 

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On 11/28/2020 at 6:41 PM, j_cuevas713 said:

I’m not against artificial turf since the look and feel has some a long way since the days in the Dome. 

 

Its like wearing a wig when you can have real hair.... an analogy: A wig may look good, but it is really seen as a preferable choice to real hair. 

 

Turf is one step closer to fake plants, fake trees, fake rocks... Parks, in my mind, should be about nature... Not a manicured faux nature that is just more plastic.

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37 minutes ago, Avossos said:

 

Its like wearing a wig when you can have real hair.... an analogy: A wig may look good, but it is really seen as a preferable choice to real hair. 

 

Turf is one step closer to fake plants, fake trees, fake rocks... Parks, in my mind, should be about nature... Not a manicured faux nature that is just more plastic.

In general I tend to agree, the only time I'm okay with artificial turf in a park is when it's in a small area that's going to get a lot of traffic that would wear down real grass and you'd end up with packed dirt (which becomes mud after rain). But even then it's iffy, depending on the context. An example I can think of that does kinda make sense is in City Centre, where they have a patch of artificial turf in the main plaza that fronts Town and Country Boulevard. The patch of green is a nice break from all the buildings and concrete, but real grass wouldn't have worked there, both because of the amount of foot traffic that patch would get, and because of all the buildings preventing it from getting enough direct sunlight. And am I misremembering, or doesn't Discovery Green have some artificial turf on one of the smaller lawns over next to the Grove? But yeah, in a neighborhood park like this, I'm not a fan of artificial turf.

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On 12/1/2020 at 8:00 AM, skooljunkie said:

Is artificial turf pervious? That’s a big no-no if not IMO.  I imagine there are a variety of installations but just don’t know. I’ve noticed more and more homeowners installing it for small yard spaces lately too. I think it’s ugly tbh. 

Yea, its usually placed over a draining stone aggregate base with a French drain at the bottom 

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I think there are reasonable arguments to be made that artificial turf can be more environmentally friendly than live turf, depending on the installation and type of turn, of course.  Live turf can require a lot of supplemental water, fertilizer, insecticide etc, not to mention the expense of weekly maintenance.

Edited by Houston19514
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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

I think there are reasonable arguments to be made that artificial turf can be more environmentally friendly than live turf, depending on the installation and type of turn, of course.  Live turf can require a lot of supplemental water, fertilizer, insecticide etc, not to mention the expense of weekly maintenance.

 

It's amazing grass can grow in the wilderness, being so needy and all.

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2 hours ago, Avossos said:

 

It's amazing grass can grow in the wilderness, being so needy and all.

 

 Do you seriously think grass growing in the wilderness has similar requirements to the grass we grow on lawns or that they are similar in any meaningful way?  

 

https://planitwild.com/blog/2019/1/25/whats-difference-between-native-grass-and-lawn-grass-arent-they-both-grass

 

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3 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

 

 Do you seriously think grass growing in the wilderness has similar requirements to the grass we grow on lawns or that they are similar in any meaningful way?  

 

https://planitwild.com/blog/2019/1/25/whats-difference-between-native-grass-and-lawn-grass-arent-they-both-grass

 


it was sarcasm.

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On 11/22/2020 at 7:47 PM, trymahjong said:

Walked the park again today.

that round thingy kids can climb is installed. And a piece of equipment to do pull ups on.

but I didn’t notice any structure for porch swings and didn’t notice any irrigation structure. There’s a rumor of artificial grass.....wondering about that.

Talked with someone also walking by park who seems to think there will be no porch type swings. The idea didn’t pass approval at the state level. Pity, I thought the idea of sitting on a porch swing under the shade of a crepe myrtle tree, watching Montrose life going by on Westheimer; would be  what anyone could hope for during moments of reveries.................sigh.

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