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Houston Zoo Centennial - current master-planned projects

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The new Texas Wetlands exhibit opened earlier this year at the Houston Zoo...  (May be worth an Admin merging that 'Wetlands' exhibit thread into this one, somehow.)

 

Found some high-res images of the forthcoming 'South America's Pantanal' (opening next year) and 'Galapagos Islands' exhibits (opening in 2022) at a designer's website.  Scroll down a bit, here, for those:

http://www.studio-hansonroberts.com/on-the-boards

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I always thought it would be smart to make the golf course a 9 hole one and turn the other 9 holes into an expansion to the zoo they could have even built a nice pedestrian bridge over the road to connect the old part of the zoo to the new.

Edited by cougarpad
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, cougarpad said:

I always thought it would be smart to make the golf course a 9 hole one and turn the other 9 holes into an expansion to the zoo they could have even built a nice pedestrian bridge over the road to connect the old part of the zoo to the new.

The golf course doesn't bring in more revenue to the park then the zoo does. Plus you can make more open habitats for the African animals.

Edited by cougarpad

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Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2019 at 8:28 AM, txtiger said:

The new Texas Wetlands exhibit opened earlier this year at the Houston Zoo...  (May be worth an Admin merging that 'Wetlands' exhibit thread into this one, somehow.)

 

Found some high-res images of the forthcoming 'South America's Pantanal' (opening next year) and 'Galapagos Islands' exhibits (opening in 2022) at a designer's website.  Scroll down a bit, here, for those:

http://www.studio-hansonroberts.com/on-the-boards

 

 

Thanks for the link, but the end result of the "Texas Wetlands"  compared to the "as presented" are vastly different.  I hope the new exhibits fare better.

 

 

 

Edited by Toopicky
typo

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On 8/15/2019 at 11:17 AM, cougarpad said:

The golf course doesn't bring in more revenue to the park then the zoo does. Plus you can make more open habitats for the African animals.

 

Love the idea, Cougarpad ...golf has been over emphasized in CoH parks with the end result being  to crowd much larger numbers of park goers into a small fraction of the overall park area. I would hate to think the Park Board members emphasize THOSE activities that they themselves prefer to use rather than what the majority of taxpayers actually use.

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7 hours ago, Toopicky said:

 

Love the idea, Cougarpad ...golf has been over emphasized in CoH parks with the end result being  to crowd much larger numbers of park goers into a small fraction of the overall park area. I would hate to think the Park Board members emphasize THOSE activities that they themselves prefer to use rather than what the majority of taxpayers actually use.

The golf course at Hermann Park has been there since the 1920's, as long as the Zoo has existed. It isn't crowding out anyone, and is popular, especially with folks who can't afford the higher end courses.

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1 hour ago, Texasota said:

Can the City eminent domain the River Oaks golf course? Because that would be pretty great.

That would only cost $80 million at fair market value. 

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technically  the zoo could  expand to the park across  from the zoo next on the other side.  It a public park owned by the city but is never used

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 8:22 PM, Ross said:

The golf course at Hermann Park has been there since the 1920's, as long as the Zoo has existed. It isn't crowding out anyone, and is popular, especially with folks who can't afford the higher end courses.

 

I didn't know you were so into historic preservation. I say let the market determine things. The zoo gets 2.5 million visitors a year and is crowded onto 55 acres. How many visitors does the golf course get?

 

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I didn't know you were so into historic preservation. I say let the market determine things. The zoo gets 2.5 million visitors a year and is crowded onto 55 acres. How many visitors does the golf course get?

 

alot

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13 hours ago, Brandon55 said:

alot

 

"Alot" is the same as "very few" in comparison. Time to cut it back to a 9-hole.

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How about they replace the large surface lots that are mostly zoo parking with underground garages and put more park and zoo on top of them?

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:28 AM, cspwal said:

How about they replace the large surface lots that are mostly zoo parking with underground garages and put more park and zoo on top of them?

 

Underground garages in a large park would attract undesirables and would not appeal to many visitors.

 

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Underground garages in a large park would attract undesirables and would not appeal to many visitors.

 

 

Does not seem to be a issue for Discovery Green.

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2 hours ago, Fortune said:

 

Does not seem to be a issue for Discovery Green.

 

Not a large park. Small and high volume.

 

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6 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Underground garages in a large park would attract undesirables and would not appeal to many visitors.

 

How many underground garages have you heard of this problem? Most underground garages have private security guards. I've even been to the downtown public library, the mecca of homeless people wandering, and I've never seen one of them down there or heard of any problems in the underground parking garage there.

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8 hours ago, Triton said:

How many underground garages have you heard of this problem? Most underground garages have private security guards. I've even been to the downtown public library, the mecca of homeless people wandering, and I've never seen one of them down there or heard of any problems in the underground parking garage there.

 

How many underground garages have you heard of in large parks? Your second sentence answers your first. If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary. Downtown library is forced to go this route by their small land size.

 

I should note that "undesirables" in my earlier comment did not primarily mean "homeless." I am generally a pro-homeless person. 

 

I am also pro-underground garage (in high density, high traffic areas), fwiw.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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4 hours ago, Houston19514 said:

Before we start grading the golf course land, perhaps someone should ask:  Does the zoo WANT more land?

 

I imagine they would, in the long term if not the short term. They are on the small side for zoos. 

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1 hour ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I imagine they would, in the long term if not the short term. They are on the small side for zoos. 

 

If so, one would think they would let that be known to the people in charge of Hermann Park master planning.  There is no hint of any desire to expand the Zoo in the Hermann Park Master Plan, and there doesn't seem to be anything about expansion in the Zoo's own 20-year master plan.

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

How many underground garages have you heard of in large parks? Your second sentence answers your first. If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary. Downtown library is forced to go this route by their small land size.

 

I should note that "undesirables" in my earlier comment did not primarily mean "homeless." I am generally a pro-homeless person. 

 

I am also pro-underground garage (in high density, high traffic areas), fwiw.

 

 

Boston Common and Grant Park come to mind. 

I think they already have security patrols in the existing surface parking lots.

Per your earlier post, the Zoo alone attracts 2.5 million visitors per year, plus the rest of the park including Miller Outdoor Theatre attract millions of visitors every year... sounds like a pretty high-traffic area.

 

FWIW, the Hermann Park Master Plan includes the transformation of the large surface parking lots in the Park Center into "a new play landscape built over and concealing a single-story at-grade parking garage. The project also creates new arrival landscapes for the Park, the zoo, and Miller Outdoor Theatre."

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1 hour ago, Houston19514 said:

 

If so, one would think they would let that be known to the people in charge of Hermann Park master planning.  There is no hint of any desire to expand the Zoo in the Hermann Park Master Plan, and there doesn't seem to be anything about expansion in the Zoo's own 20-year master plan.

 

I guess the fact that the zoo doesn't come out and say "we would like to expand into the golf course" must mean that they are not ever interested in expanding. Because if they were interested in someday expanding, in the long term if not the short term, I am sure they would just come right out today and say it.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

Boston Common and Grant Park come to mind. 

I think they already have security patrols in the existing surface parking lots.

Per your earlier post, the Zoo alone attracts 2.5 million visitors per year, plus the rest of the park including Miller Outdoor Theatre attract millions of visitors every year... sounds like a pretty high-traffic area.

 

FWIW, the Hermann Park Master Plan includes the transformation of the large surface parking lots in the Park Center into "a new play landscape built over and concealing a single-story at-grade parking garage. The project also creates new arrival landscapes for the Park, the zoo, and Miller Outdoor Theatre."

 

Still think a below-grade garage in Hermann Park wouldn't be appealing, but it sounds like they're making it at grade somehow.

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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10 minutes ago, gmac said:

 

https://www.q-park.co.uk/en-gb/cities/london/park-lane/

 

It's in Europe, so it has to be a great idea! They do everything better there.

 

The three exceptions that have been cited seem if anything to prove the rule that underground garages are pretty rare in large parks. I think that a significant portion of park users would rather not unload the kids, the dog, and the cooler in an underground concrete cave and then carry them up an elevator or concrete stairwell to the surface. This could just be my outdated mindset. I also think that the people managing the park would rather not pay for the additional security. It is more likely to me that if the zoo ever expands, it will be into the golf course or the land to the east of Ben Taub. But maybe we will join the Chicagos and Londons of the world and build a vast underground garage.

 

Edited by H-Town Man

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

If this problem did not exist, then garages would not need to hire private security guards. Private security is expensive and is not undertaken unless necessary.

 

 

That is a completely false statement. Private security can be found everywhere across town whether the property owners want it or not. I've been to parking garages across town for certain things related to CBRE, particularly areas like Memorial City and Katy where there is not any noticeable homeless population (except the guy with the bent leg at the Gessner/I10 intersection) and all of those parking garages have security. There aren't any high break in rates but they provide security for a sense of calm and safety for their customers and patients.

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1 minute ago, Triton said:

 

That is a completely false statement. Private security can be found everywhere across town whether the property owners want it or not. I've been to parking garages across town for certain things related to CBRE, particularly areas like Memorial City and Katy where there is not any noticeable homeless population (except the guy with the bent leg at the Gessner/I10 intersection) and all of those parking garages have security. There aren't any high break in rates but they provide security for a sense of calm and safety for their customers and patients.

 

Ok, it's completely false. I just don't care very much about this. I don't have any problem with an underground garage in Hermann Park, just don't think it will happen for reasons stated. You can have the last word if you want.

 

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I remember reading this a few years back. I’m glad I was able to locate the article. 

 

The Zoo does want to expand just not in its current area.

 

“And he wishes for a satellite zoo outside the city.

 

Already, more than 2.4 million guests visit the zoo annually.

 

"We do remarkably well with our 55 acres, but we need more space," he says. He mentions San Diego, which has a 100-acre zoo in the city and another 1,800 acres in the suburbs. "Think of a wild animal park - a safari park - that would allow for more conservation and more breeding."

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/New-Houston-Zoo-CEO-takes-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-6746267.php

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1 hour ago, Fortune said:

I remember reading this a few years back. I’m glad I was able to locate the article. 

 

The Zoo does want to expand just not in its current area.

 

“And he wishes for a satellite zoo outside the city.

 

Already, more than 2.4 million guests visit the zoo annually.

 

"We do remarkably well with our 55 acres, but we need more space," he says. He mentions San Diego, which has a 100-acre zoo in the city and another 1,800 acres in the suburbs. "Think of a wild animal park - a safari park - that would allow for more conservation and more breeding."

 

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/amp/New-Houston-Zoo-CEO-takes-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-6746267.php

 

So we can put to bed the idea of expanding on to the golf course or elsewhere into Hermann Park

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On 9/9/2019 at 3:59 PM, Houston19514 said:

 

So we can put to bed the idea of expanding on to the golf course or elsewhere into Hermann Park

 

The quote clarifies that they need more space and it mentions that they would like a satellite park. It does not say that they wouldn't want to expand within Hermann Park if space were available. They are not going to come out and say, "We sure would like some of that golf course land." It would set off a political hornet's nest. 

 

There are really few institutions of any kind that would not want to acquire adjacent land if it were available. 

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