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LAKE PLAZA AT MCGOVERN LAKE


HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Prepared for HERMANN PARK CONSERVANCY Doreen Stoller President Ethan Beeson Project Manager Jane Anderson Curtis Director of Horticulture Julia McGowen Marketing and Communications Manager Meghan Miller Director of Development CITY OF HOUSTON The Honorable Sylvester Turner Mayor Steve Wright Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department Rick Dewees Assistant Director Park Administration, Houston Parks and Recreation Department Lisa Johnson Division Manager – Parks Capital Program, General Services Department

HERMANN PARK CONSERVANCY BOARD OF DIRECTORS Phoebe Tudor Chair PROJECTS COMMITTEE Natalye Appel Jay Baker David L. Benson Seth Borland Joe Cleary Marley Lott Ryan McCord Joe Meppelink Sarah Newbery David Enrique Ruiz Louis Sklar Joe Weikerth L. Burke Windham III Holly Alvis Robert W. Antablin John Bishop Gloria Luna Bounds Kristy J. Bradshaw Russell D. Brightwell Danny David Valerie Palmquist Dieterich Steve Dolman Milane Duncan-Frantz Luis Elizondo-Thomson Cece Fowler Brent Friedman Morgan Garvey Cyndy Garza-Roberts Glen Gondo Gregg Hollenberg Linda C. Hunsaker Linda Kelly Ann Kennedy

Rebecca Mark-Jusbasche Anne C. Mendelsohn Kunio Minami Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell Terrylin G. Neale H. Joe Nelson III Judy Nyquist Adrian Patterson Linsay Radcliffe Ken Redding Brian Rollins Akemi Fuji Saitoh Anne-Marie Schlumberger Shavonnah Roberts Schreiber Terry Smith Y. Ping Sun Marvin Taylor Troy Thacker Keith Watson Wade

Prepared by MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH ASSOCIATES INC. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS Michael Van Valkenburgh Matthew Urbanski Chris Matthews Jesse Nicholson Richard Conte IN COLLABORATION WITH Michael Hardy, Author Nelson\Nygaard, Mobility Consultants Jason Schrieber Alyson Fletcher Sherwood Design Engineers, Civil Engineer Tom Bacus Steven Albert

III


LAKE PLAZA HERMANN PARK AT MCGOVERN LAKE


TABLE OF CONTENTS A Park for All Houstonians

1

Hermann Park Milestones Hermann Park Users The Master Plan Engagement Process

2

Community Priorities Play

8

Nature

12

Access and Connection

14

Mobility and Parking

16

Park Improvements

18

2017 Master Plan Project Areas Park Center Hermann Park Family Commons Bayou Parkland Park Perimeter

20

Conclusion

6 7

10

31

V


HERMANN PARK DEDICATION, 1914


A PARK FOR ALL HOUSTONIANS On June 7, 1914, businessman George Hermann stepped to the microphone at the old City Auditorium in downtown Houston and formally announced the donation of his property in South Houston for the creation of a new city park “for the benefit of the poor and the rich.” Today, Hermann Park is visited by millions of Houstonians each year from every walk of life. They come to relax, play golf, run, fish, visit the zoo, ride the miniature train, or catch a show at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The verdant, 445-acre Park sits at the heart of Houston’s cultural district — bordering Rice University, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Children’s Museum — and is just across the street from the Texas Medical Center. Although much progress has been made, George Hermann’s dream of a park for all Houstonians remains unfulfilled. Great public spaces like Hermann Park are never “finished”— they must continually improve to meet the needs of new generations of users. To meet that challenge and look forward to the next 20 years, Hermann Park Conservancy, in partnership with Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department, commissioned a new master plan in 2015 from the world-renowned landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. (MVVA), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Building on the work undertaken by the recent Centennial Campaign and a succession of historic plans, the new master plan envisions a more welcoming, dynamic, and diverse Park — one that better serves its current users and attracts a generation of new users. MVVA’s plan proposes making improvements to 233 acres of the Park— more than half its total size. The plan reclaims 21 acres of land at the Park’s center— twice the size of Discovery Green—by replacing the current surface lots with a hilly play landscape concealing an at-grade parking center. It adds 2,000 new trees and 20 miles of new and improved trails, and reintegrates and naturalizes the 70 acres of land along Brays Bayou, including adding shade trees for bicyclists and joggers. The master plan is guided by the goals of access, play, and nature. To achieve George Hermann’s dream of a democratic public space, the Park must invite people in, not keep them away. It must provide an integrated experience rather than a fragmented one. It must provide more opportunities for both children and adults to play. And it must remain an oasis of nature in the heart of a growing city. With your help, we can ensure that Hermann Park remains a place for all Houstonians—now, and in the future.

Sylvester Turner Steve Wright Phoebe Tudor Mayor Director Chair City of Houston Houston Parks and Recreation Department Hermann Park Conservancy

Executive Summary

Doreen Stoller President Hermann Park Conservancy

1


HERMANN PARK MILESTONES

1915 KESSLER PLAN The City of Houston appointed celebrated St. Louis landscape architect and planner George Kessler as Hermann Park’s first consulting landscape architect. His plan included the “grand basin,” now McGovern Lake, and a landscaped elliptical island with a Sunken Garden, now the Mecom Fountain. Kessler had a talent for blending formal entrances with large swaths of unordered planting to create natural landscapes in an urban setting. He was able to balance open lawn areas for recreation with wooded areas that felt natural to Houston’s ecology.

2

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

1923 HARE & HARE PLAN The Kansas City landscape architecture firm Hare & Hare added the zoo and golf course in their master plan, while incorporating the vision of Kessler’s earlier plans for Park entry and a grand basin. The zoo opened in 1924, with the original Houston Museum of Natural Science located within the zoo grounds. The Hare & Hare plan called for a wide oval drive circumscribing the zoo area, establishing a clear organization for the center of the Park.


1943 COHESIVE ELEGANCE The Park matured around a system of gently curving carriage trails flanked by oak allees, making it easy and pleasurable to move around. The curving trails both organized the Park and defined the landscape experience for those promenading or driving along them. The overall effect was a cohesive experience created by an elegant form. The zoo continued to develop within a simple oval form with the lake, Reflection Pool, and Grand Gateway united by the series of curving frames.

Executive Summary

DETERIORATION AND COMMUNITY ACTION The second half of the twentieth century was a period of stagnation for the Park. A large section of the Park containing ballfields was transferred to the Texas Medical Center for development. Other than Miller Outdoor Theatre, which opened in 1968, few major improvements were made, and underinvestment by the City of Houston allowed the Park to deteriorate. After decades of decline, the first organized group of Houstonians to take an active interest in Hermann Park was incorporated in 1987 as the Hermann Park Joggers, Runners, and Walkers. Soon afterwards the Friends of Hermann Park, known today as Hermann Park Conservancy, was formed with a goal to preserve, restore, and enhance Hermann Park. The group’s first charge was leading “The Heart of the Park,” a 1992 national design competition to restore, enhance, and strengthen the Park’s center. 3


HERMANN PARK MILESTONES

1993-2015 HANNA OLIN PLAN To address the needs of the entire 445-acre Park, in 1993 the Conservancy commissioned a new master plan from renowned Philadelphia-based landscape architect Laurie Olin. Olin’s plan imagined a Park that was “greener and bluer,” an “urban sanctuary, alive with wonder and mystery,” and a physical realization of “equity and justice, beauty, and the delight in each other’s company.” The plan called for restoring the Park’s historic coherence and bringing life back to underutilized areas to ensure that the “civic role of Hermann Park would be celebrated.” Olin’s plan also called for enhanced vehicular access and increased stewardship. 4

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

HERMANN PARK CONSERVANCY Since the Olin plan was adopted by City Council in 1997, Hermann Park Conservancy has raised more than $122 million in Park improvements in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD). Over the last 25 years the Conservancy’s responsibilities have grown to include stewardship initiatives such as reforestation and the operation and maintenance of the McGovern Centennial Gardens. In addition, the Conservancy has created programs to attract volunteers, who now contribute over 20,000 hours of maintenance support each year. The Conservancy also operates the Hermann Park Railroad, pedal boats, food services, and facility rentals to gain crucial earned income to assist HPARD in maintaining the Park.


MAJOR IMPROVEMENTS The Conservancy has undertaken key restoration projects including the Jones Reflection Pool and McGovern Lake. In 2009 it built Lake Plaza—which includes the Kinder Station, a cafe, and the Tiffany & Co. Foundation Bridge — to provide a vibrant new public space. In 2011 it restored the Marvin Taylor Trail and built the Bill Coats Bridge to provide additional opportunities for active recreation. And in 2012, to improve access to the 70-acre natural area along Brays Bayou, it built a pedestrian underpass under MacGregor Way connecting visitors to the main body of the Park to Bayou Parkland.

Executive Summary

CENTENNIAL CAMPAIGN To mark Hermann Park’s centennial in 2014, the Conservancy launched a major capital campaign to fund a series of improvements, including the $31 million McGovern Centennial Gardens, the $5 million restoration of the Park’s historic main entrance, known as the Grand Gateway, and the renovation of the Park’s Japanese Garden and historic clubhouse. While the completion of these projects will effectively complete the project list identified in the Olin plan, there is still much to be done to complete the historic vision for the Park and respond to the evolving needs of the City.

5


HERMANN PARK USERS Hermann Park is one of Houston’s most vital public parks, drawing a diverse array of visitors from every Houston zip code and from across the socioeconomic spectrum. Visitor demographics closely match Houston’s overall demographics, making the Park a microcosm of the larger city. The Park also provides a geographical connection between neighborhoods as different as the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, and the Third Ward.

Zipcode Count 1 2-4 4-8 8-16 16-23

A 2016 study by Rice University, commissioned by the Conservancy, studied Park patrons and usership and found virtually no difference in usage patterns between ethnic groups (“Understanding Usership in Hermann Park,” Rice University, 2016), supporting the idea of the Park as a shared experience.

8%

1%

15% 16%

29%

6%

23%

26% 44%

32%

Asian Black Hispanic White Multiple/Other

WHO USES THE PARK

CITY OF HOUSTON DEMOGRAPHICS

The diagram shows the racial demographics of Hermann Park (Understanding Usership in Hermann Park, Rice University, 2016)

The diagram shows the racial demographics of The diagram shows the number of park users per zip code Houston, Texas (2015 American Community Survey (Understanding Usership in Hermann Park, Rice University, 2016) 1-year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau)

6

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF PARK USERS


THE MASTER PLAN ENGAGEMENT PROCESS To better understand how Houstonians use the Park, and what improvements they would like to see, the Conservancy undertook a two-year-long public engagement process that included consultations with numerous stakeholders and a series of well-attended public meetings. The Conservancy also gathered online comments from the Houston community through digital platforms.

(A) Activities & Programs Concessions More Events Playground

(O) Operations Homeless/Security McGovern Centennial Gardens Extended Hours

(E) Environment Wilderness/Wildlife Trees/Plants Water Re-Use/Drainage

(NF) New Feature Dog Park Walking/Running Trails Water Fountains

(M) Mobility Accessibility Parking Traffic Biking (I) Infrastructure Power Lines Sewer Smell

I 1.0%

NF 25%

A 24% E 7%

O 16% M 27%

(A) Activities & Programs (E) Environment (M) Mobility (O) Operations (NF) New Feature (I) Infrastructure

COMMUNITY PRIORITIES

Executive Summary

7


COMMUNITY PRIORITIES Based on community feedback, the Conservancy settled on three broadly defined priorities for the new Hermann Park master plan.

1 EXPAND THE SPECTRUM OF PLAY The Park needs a greater variety of play areas—for children, adults, and even pets. 2 INVIGORATE THE PRESENCE OF NATURE The Park needs to preserve and add to its existing biodiversity, as well as adding more shade trees. 3 IMPROVE ACCESS & VITAL INTERNAL CONNECTIONS The Park needs to be more accessible to the public, whether they come by car, light rail, bus, bicycle, or on foot. Within the Park itself, better connections are needed between various sections to encourage visitors to explore. The new plan proposes a number of specific projects, all designed to fulfill George Hermann’s dream of a Park for all Houstonians.

8

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


WHAT WE HEARD More events, specifically nature related

Safer crossing into Park

Distribute the water fountains better throughout the Park and on the running trails

More food trucks and options for places to buy small items like coffee and tea

More activities such as Zumba, Kayaking, Ice Skating, etc.

Better parking stategy

More play spaces

Provide information on things like park activities and pedal boat rental hours

Hammock rentals

Improved playgrounds More trails More food venues More drainage

Add a dog park

More events that are friendly for children More places to sit on the weekend

Cleaner lake and cleaner water

Circulation needs to be reconsidered to better accommodate places to drop-off heavy picnicking supplies


PLAY Play is fundamental to childhood development and has been proven vital for physical, emotional and social growth. Because Hermann Park is so widely used by Houston families, it is essential to offer expanded and updated recreational opportunities throughout. The master plan envisions a new, state-of-the-art playscape built atop the central parking center that will become Houston’s premier public playground. It also calls for a reimagined Playground for All Children with improved and expanded water play area. The master plan calls for enhanced picnic areas and party pavilions on the west side of the Park, as well as an improved drop-off area to accommodate food trucks. Two new dog parks will also be added, expanding the opportunities of play for both humans and their pets.

BUDDY CARRUTH PLAYGROUND FOR ALL CHILDREN

PARK FOR HUMANS AND DOGS, HOUSTON, TX

10

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


MAGGIE DALEY PARK, CHICAGO, IL, MVVA

“Houston has very few destination playgrounds. The Conservancy should go all out on a large, new, cohesive playground with themed equipment, maybe even providing shade structures above the whole thing.”


NATURE Ever since Frederick Law Olmsted designed New York’s Central Park in the 19th century, public parks have been valued as antidotes to the hustle and bustle of city life, a respite from the concrete jungle. Hermann Park comprises 445 acres of natural landscape, providing Houstonians an irreplaceable oasis in the middle of an increasingly built-up urban environment. Over the 20th century, however, the Park’s natural resources have slowly been whittled away by new roadways, drainage projects, and land sales. To ensure the Park remains one of Houston’s premier public spaces, we must conserve and increase its biodiversity, especially in the 70-acre Bayou Parkland area. While the lower channel of Brays Bayou is lined with concrete for flood control, the mown grass of the upper channel can be enriched with wildflowers and native grasses. Ecological diversity can also be added to the paths from the bayou to the Park Center, and on the margins of McGovern Lake.

POST OAKS NEAR BRAYS BAYOU

Poor existing connection between the Bayou and the park

Finally, Hermann Park has a diverse and largely healthy tree canopy, which provides much-needed shade in the summer. The master plan calls for planting the next generation of tree canopy, concentrating on providing shade along roads and paths where it is most needed.

EXISTING CONNECTION FROM GOLF COURSE TO BRAYS BAYOU

12

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


“Would like to see as much natural growth as possible, which is welcoming to wildlife.” BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK, BROOKLYN, NY, MVVA


ACCESS AND CONNECTIONS

A FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE Despite all the improvements undertaken by the Conservancy, Hermann Park remains a work in progress. Inefficient parking lots continue to dominate the Park Center, cutting off circulation to various parts of the Park. The Bayou Parkland area remains cut off from the rest of the Park by MacGregor Way. Roads with high traffic volumes form the perimeter of the Park on all sides, creating barriers to pedestrian and bicycle access and decreasing the sense of welcome. The master plan will create new crossing points and will narrow intersections where possible. New pedestrian signals and improved crosswalks will draw more people into the Park. 14

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

STITCHING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER This vision of Hermann Park will emphasize continuity and diversity, areas for families, areas for large events and gatherings, quiet areas for contemplation and areas where nature takes center stage, all tied together with a stronger network of pathways, bike paths and shaded driveways. Putting the Park back together with the city that surrounds it will emphasize safe and welcoming street crossings, and clear connections between the internal pedestrian and bicycle networks and those surrounding the Park.


“Hermann Park is very cut up and segmented into unusable and isolated pods, especially at the perimeter.” EXISTING PARK CENTER


MOBILITY AND PARKING Visitors come to Hermann Park from all over the Greater Houston region, arriving primarily by car. Current problems with traffic and parking dramatically affect the visitor experience, and are at the top of the list of visitor concerns. Arriving at the Park can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even unsafe. Lines of traffic waiting to enter the central parking lots can stretch around the Park’s perimeter on a busy day. Cambridge Street is often blocked by cars waiting to enter the Park, impeding emergency traffic to the Texas Medical Center. Arriving at the Park on foot or by bicycle can also be a challenge. Over time Hermann Park has become ringed by roadways that are difficult to cross on foot, with most carrying tens of thousands of cars every day. The Mecom Fountain traffic circle has some of the worst crash statistics in Houston. Comprehensive mobility improvements to all modes are needed to transform the visitor experience of the Park.

CLOSED DOWN CAROLINE STREET

PEAK WEEKEND PARKING INEFFICIENCIES CONGESTION AT THE PARK CENTER

16

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


PARKING REDISTRIBUTION

MUSEUM DISTRICT

MECOM FOUNTAIN HE

MA I FA N ST RE NN E IN ST T RE ET

A 2016 study by mobility consultants Nelson\Nygaard found that the Park’s 2,300 parking spaces are more than enough to accommodate visitor needs on all but the busiest days, due to major inefficiencies in the central parking lots cause cars to back up on Hermann Park Drive and around the Park perimeter. The Houston Police Department (HPD) regularly enforces a one-way-only route through the Park from Caroline Street to Cambridge Street, further restricting Park access. The master plan calls for building a new, smaller, high-efficiency at-grade parking garage at the Park Center.

RICE UNIVERSITY

RM

HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE

AN

ND

RIV

E

MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE

MCGOVERN LAKE

P

HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE

REDUCED PARKING CA

MB

RID

GE

ST

RE

ET

HOUSTON ZOO

RM A

NN

TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER

Pedestrian Exit

BR AY SB AY OU

PAR KD

RIV E

With parking below

HE

McGovern Lake

PRIMARY CAR ACCESS (50% OF ALL TRAFFIC) STATE HWY 288

Hermann Park Golf Course

Vehicular Entrance/Exit

AY REGOR W

N. MACG

D

P ALME

PARKING AT GRADE UNDER A HILLY PLAY LANDSCAPE

RELOCATED PARKING

DA RO A

Pedestrian Exit Houston Zoo

Executive Summary

17


PARK IMPROVEMENTS

233 ACRES OF PARK IMPROVEMENTS

21 ACRES OF NEW LANDSCAPE

18

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

20 MILES OF NEW & IMPROVED TRAILS

55 ACRES OF NEW & IMPROVED HABITAT

26 NEW & IMPROVED ACCESS POINTS

2,000 NEW TREES


NEW ACCESSIBLE PLAYGARDENS

IMPROVED PARKING & MOBILITY

Executive Summary

2 NEW DOG PARKS

NEW & IMPROVED FOOD AND PICNIC AREAS

NEW PARK WIDE BICYCLE NETWORK

IMPROVED HYDROLOGIC SYSTEMS

19


2017 MASTER PLAN

MUSEUM DISTRICT

MECOM FOUNTAIN

MA I FA N ST RE NN E IN ST T RE ET

17

RICE UNIVERSITY

HE

RM AN HOUSTON ND MUSEUM OF RIV E NATURAL 18 SCIENCE

20 3

MASTER PLAN LEGEND

4 19

6

Central Bayou Connection

7

Hermann Park Family Commons

8

Playground for All Children

9

McGovern Lake Lawn

10 Bayou Parkland West 11 South Bayou Portal 12

North Bayou Portal

13

Dog Park and Exercise Field

CA

7

MB

RID

GE

ST

RE

ET

5

HOUSTON ZOO

TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER

14 Nature Play Area 15 Nature Pavilion 16 Tupelo Wetland Habitat 17 Grand Gateway 18 Caroline Street Arrival Landscape 19 Main Street Promenade 20 Hermann Drive Improvements 21 Dog Park

20

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

6 12

HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE

15 10 AY REGOR W

N. MACG

13

D

Historic Clubhouse

2

11

16

14

DA RO A

5

8

ALME

Picnic Grove

BR AY SB AY OU

Miller Outdoor Theatre

4

RIV E

3

21

HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE

1

PAR KD

Central Arrival Landscape

MCGOVERN LAKE

NN

2

9

RM A

Play Hills

HE

1

STATE

HWY 2

88


4 PROJECT AREAS

MUSEUM DISTRICT

MECOM FOUNTAIN

MA I FA N ST RE NN E IN ST T RE ET

GG

RICE UNIVERSITY

HE

RM AN HOUSTON ND RIV MUSEUM OF E NATURAL CS SCIENCE

AT HD

MT

MASTER PLAN LEGEND MCGOVERN LAKE

MS

Park Center Hermann Park Family Commons

PC

Bayou Parkland Park Perimeter CA

FC

MB

GG

Grand Gateway

FC

Hermann Park Family Commons

MS

Main Street Promenade

AT

Allee Trail Improvements

EB

Eastern Bayou Enhancements

WB

Western Bayou Enhancements

HD

Hermann Drive Improvements

MT

Miller Outdoor Theatre

Executive Summary

WB BW

EB AY REGOR W

N. MACG

D

Central Bayou Connection and North Portal

TEXAS MEDICAL CENTER

DA RO A

BC

10

ALME

Caroline Street Arrival Landscape

HOUSTON ZOO

BR AY SB AY OU

CS

ET

RIV E

Park Center

RE

PAR KD

PC

BC

ST

NN

Bayou Parkland West

GE

RM A

BW

RID

HE

MASTER PLAN LEGEND

HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE

21

STATE

HWY 2

88


PARK CENTER PC - PARK CENTER

The Park Center will be transformed from a series of large surface parking lots 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. BC - CENTRAL BAYOU CONNECTION

This project will enhance the existing pedestrian connection through the center of the golf course by providing pedestrian and bicycle trails between Brays Bayou and the Park Center. A pedestrian bridge over Hermann Park Drive will allow grade-separated access to the new play hills at the Park Center. The new North Bayou Portal, in combination with the existing South Bayou Portal, will create pedestrian and bicycle circulation loops between the bayou and the center of the Park.

ZOO ARRIVAL LANDSCAPE

MAGGIE DALEY PARK, CHICAGO, IL, MVVA

22

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


Miller Outdoor Theatre

PROPOSED PARK CENTER

“We love Hermann Park! We live a block away, have a 4-year-old and are at Hermann Park almost every day of the year and the continued improvements are awesome.”


HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS FC - HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS

This currently neglected Park corner at the intersection of Fannin and Cambridge Streets will be transformed into a welcoming civic area, drawing in visitors from the Texas Medical Center and Rice University. Food service and shaded benches will provide a graceful new entrance into the Park. From the corner, visitors will be guided down a series of curving pathways planted with flowering tree allees and sloped picnic lawns. The drop-off on Fannin Street at the historic pavilion will be improved to provide access for families to a series of new party pavilions and the restored historic pavilion, which will be available to rent for parties and small events. The Playground for All Children will be updated with new water play and landscape features. An elevated, sloped lawn will create views across McGovern Lake to the Park Center’s new play hills. A lawn will provide a venue for events that are too small or informal for the Miller Outdoor Theatre.

A GATHERING PLACE, TULSA, OK, MVVA

CIVIC PLAZA AT ALAMEDA CENTRAL, MEXICO CITY

24

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


“Hermann Park should employ a huge nature-themed playground. Completely reconstructed and fenced-in playgrounds, surrounded by fresh and new picnic and restroom pavilions, would vastly improve the northern park zone.�

A GATHERING PLACE, TULSA, OK, MVVA


BAYOU PARKLAND This project will improve connections between Brays Bayou and the center of Hermann Park, improve trails along both sides of the bayou, and improve the habitat value of the bayou. BW - BAYOU PARKLAND WEST

A 600-car parking garage at MacGregor Way and Cambridge Street will accommodate relocated cars from the Park Center. The garage will be integrated into the landscape with a green roof terrace and screening landforms. Trails below MacGregor Way and over Cambridge Street will provide seamless and safe connections. WB - WESTERN BAYOU ENHANCEMENTS

A braided network of pedestrian and bicycle trails will provide improved connections along the bayou through improved habitat. An exercise field and dog park with a small parking lot will increase activity between MacGregor Way and the bayou.

SOUTH BAYOU PORTAL AND BAYOU PARKLAND WEST

EB - EASTERN BAYOU ENHANCEMENTS

A similar braided trail system will connect a number of new landscape elements, including a new wetland habitat at Almeda Road and Holcombe Boulevard, a nature pavilion reusing the Park maintenance shed, and a nature play area in the existing oak grove.

NEW AND IMPROVED TRAILS ALONG BRAYS BAYOU

26

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


Ca

mb rid ge S

tre

et

“This portion (South Bayou Portal and Bayou Parkland West) is so picturesque and cute but there is no safe way to access it because of the high speed traffic cutting it off.”

PROPOSED BAYOU PARKLAND WEST


PARK PERIMETER This project will enhance pedestrian and bicycle crossings around the Park perimeter and improve traffic flow at the Grand Gateway, Caroline Street, and Cambridge Street. MS - MAIN STREET PROMENADE

A new Main Street crossing will be added, the existing church parking lot between Fannin and Main Streets will be expanded, and new shade trees will be planted along Fannin Street. HD- HERMANN DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS

Pedestrian and bicycle access across Hermann Drive will be enhanced and new street trees planted. A new dog park will be created at the corner of Hermann Drive and Almeda Road. GG - GRAND GATEWAY

IMPROVED ACCESS TO HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS

Traffic safety and flow patterns will be improved at the Park’s historic entrance while strengthening pedestrian connections to the Museum District and Mecom Fountain. CS - CAROLINE STREET ARRIVAL LANDSCAPE

A more welcoming entrance to the Park will be created with improved traffic flow, and pedestrian and bike safety.

CYCLE TRACK AND ENLARGED SIDEWALK ALONG HERMANN PARK DRIVE

28

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


PROPOSED WESTERN ZOO ENTRANCE

“This stretch of the trail (along Cambridge between Fannin and Hermann Park Drive) is totally bottle necked and hazardous, and completely inaccessible to disabled and overgrown with bamboo from the zoo. Could be a much wider sidewalk with a feature or graphic walls with murals depicting the zoo or zen views into the zoo.�


CONCLUSION

Over a century since George Hermann made his big announcement at City Auditorium, Hermann Park that bears his name has grown into Houston’s premier public space, one that attracts six million visitors a year from every zip code and walk of life. Successful as the Park is, much remains to be done to fulfill Hermann’s dream of a place for all Houstonians. The master plan created by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. lays out a bold vision for a greener, more accessible, and more cohesive Hermann Park, a Park that will serve the needs of all Houstonians well into the future. It’s in our power to bring that vision to life. Please consider joining the thousands of Houstonians who have donated their time and money to support the Conservancy as it works to implement the new master plan. With your help, Hermann Park will continue to thrive for the next hundred years.

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Park Center


SUB-HEADER First paragraph Second Paragraph


Miller Outdoor Theatre

PARK CENTER TODAY Today most visitors to Hermann Park arrive by car and use the Park Center, a series of inefficient and confusing parking lots. The arrival experience can be frustrating and time-consuming, which is a poor introduction to the Park. On busy days the parking lots generate long lines of stationary traffic along Hermann Park Drive, while on quiet days the 21 acres of asphalt creates an unappealing arrival experience to the Park. The fragmented layout of the lots leads to multiple conflict points between vehicles and pedestrians as well as compromises the function of Lake Plaza, the zoo entrance, access to the Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the historic clubhouse arrival experience.

6 McGovern Lake

3 3 2 3 1

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Hermann Park Golf Course

5

Zoo Entrance Lake Plaza Parking Lots Hermann Park Drive Miller Outdoor Theatre Service Drive Picnic Grove Connection to Brays Bayou Golf Clubhouse Arrival

4

3

3

7

8

Houston Zoo 34

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Hermann Park Golf Course


1: ZOO ENTRANCE

3: PARKING LOTS

3: PARKING LOTS

4: HERMANN PARK DRIVE

5: MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE SERVICE DRIVE

8: HISTORIC CLUBHOUSE ARRIVAL

Park Center

35


Miller Outdoor Theatre

PARK CENTER IMPROVEMENTS The master plan proposes replacing existing parking with a high-efficiency garage built at grade and with a major new play landscape of hills created over the top of it, commanding spectacular views over the center of the Park in all directions. A large new arrival landscape for the zoo will include a long one-way driveway for car and bus drop-off. Visitors will then be able to walk directly to large new arrival plazas, thereby reducing the congestion of Lake Plaza. Miller Outdoor Theatre will be reconfigured as part of the ongoing master plan, more seamlessly integrating the surrounding Park landscape. The picnic grove behind the theatre will be improved and connected to the central play landscape. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

8

6 McGovern Lake

6

6

1

4

5

2 3

10

Houston Zoo HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

9

5

Enlarged Zoo Entrance Plaza Extended Drop-off Central Arrival Landscape Parking Garage Entrance Pedestrian Garage Exits Play Hills Enlarged Picnic Grove Miller Outdoor Theatre Arrival Landscape Narrowed Hermann Park Drive Historic Clubhouse Arrival Garden

36

Hermann Park Golf Course

7

Hermann Park Golf Course


““A high-efficiency parking garage will be built at grade with a new landscape of play hills above it””

MAGGIE DALEY PARK: CHICAGO, IL


PARKING INEFFICIENCIES Because the parking lots were built incrementally, they are arranged in a series of areas that are inefficiently connected. The time that patrons spend searching for an open parking spot and waiting for pedestrians to cross causes congestion in the lots, which quickly extends to affect Hermann Park Drive. The pedestrian conflicts cause safety issues and are particularly difficult for families arriving with the typically large amount of equipment required for a day at the Park. Additionally the lack of drop-off space increases pedestrian conflicts within the parking lots.

3

5

2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Drop-off Conflicts Re-circulation Conflicts Train Crossing Conflict Lefts In vs. Drop-Off Exits Re-circulation Merge Two-way Conflicts Entry/Exit Conflict

38

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

4

6

1

7

7


TRAFFIC CONGESTION

X X 1

On busy days the central parking lots generate delays and lines of traffic impact Hermann Park Drive, which often wraps around the Park perimeter. This congestion impacts traffic flow most acutely on Hermann Drive, Main and Cambridge Street. The heavy traffic often requires HPD to close off access to the Park at the Grand Gateway and Hermann Park Drive at Cambridge Street. In addition to severely compromising the Park experience, these heavy traffic days become a major burden on surrounding neighborhoods and wider city traffic flow, particularly impacting access to the Texas Medical Center.

2

1

4

3

4 1. 2. 3. 4.

Hermann Park Drive Closures Controlled Access at Caroline One Way Flow on Hermann Park Drive Congestion on Adjacent Roads

X 1

Park Center

4


7

PLAY HILLS

Desert Ruin

A new 21 acre landscape of play hills will be created over the parking garage and will be a major new regional attraction at the center of the Park. On arrival, visitors will be able to walk up an accessible path directly from the parking garage to the play hills. A series of high points give panoramic views over Hermann Park and define a series of play areas with different activities and landscape themes. The combination of imaginative landscape spaces and play equipment will create an environment for exploratory and active play like no other in Houston.

5

Slide Bluff

6 Sensory Maze

9 Creature Forest

Picnic Plaza

6 8

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Enlarged Zoo Entrance Plaza Extended Drop-off Arrival Landscape with Lakes Parking Garage Entrance Pedestrian Garage Exits Hilltop Play Areas Enlarged Picnic Grove Sloped Path from Parking Lot Narrowed Hermann Park Drive Pedestrian Bridge to Brays Bayou

6 Swing Marsh

2 5 1

10 3

40

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

4


CENTRAL PARKING Pedestrian Exit

The capacity of the central parking lot will be reduced and the number of removed spots will be relocated to Bayou Parkland West. The parking garage is designed for a combination of high efficiency and positive visitor experience. Vehicular circulation is concentrated towards the center of the lot, with pedestrian circulation towards the edges in order to minimize conflicts. Natural light enters the lot from above and from wide openings on either side, oriented towards the zoo and the Miller Outdoor Theatre. The increased efficiency of this lot will eliminate traffic delays on Hermann Park Drive and beyond.

3

1 6 2

2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Parking at Grade Vehicular Circulation Pedestrian Circulation Skylight Landscape Drop-Off Driveway

1 Vehicular Entrance/Exit

3 Pedestrian Exit

5

Park Center

4


CENTRAL PARKING CHARACTER The central parking is designed to be an integral part of the landscape and arrival experience. The 12’ ceilings create a spacious feeling that allow ample light to enter the open sides, inviting visitors either towards the main entrance of the zoo or the outdoor Miller Outdoor Theatre. The Skylight Landscape in the center brings natural light in from above, helps with natural ventilation and guides visitors towards the accessible path that leads to the play hills above. The level floor, ceiling heights and column spacing would allow the structure to be repurposed if all or part of the garage becomes surplus to requirements in a potential future of self-driving cars.

PEREZ ART MUSEUM, MIAMI, FL

PEREZ ART MUSEUM , MIAMI, FL

42

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


SECTION

12’ 260’

Park Center

43


CENTRAL ARRIVAL LANDSCAPE Replacing the existing sea of parking with limited space for a drop-off area, the central arrival landscape will transform first impressions of Hermann Park for Park visitors, especially those coming to the zoo. On busy days there is significant congestion in Lake Plaza with those waiting to buy tickets for the zoo impeding access for other Park users. The master plan proposes enlarging the zoo entrance plaza and moving it out of Lake Plaza. An expanded dropoff area will allow visitors with young children, those with mobility impairments, and those coming with large amounts of equipment to conveniently stop at the entrance plazas before parking. The arrival landscape has a series of lakes running through the center, which connect McGovern Lake with Brays Bayou through the golf course, slowing and filtering stormwater, while providing an attractive setting for picnicking around the edges.

EXISTING

44

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


Play Hills

Play Hills

Central Parking Arrival Landscape with Lakes Picnic Lawn

Zoo Arrival Plaza


MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE ARRIVAL LANDSCAPE The central parking serves the Miller Outdoor Theatre too, and is connected through the existing grove of mature trees by a series of pedestrian paths. The driveway and service area that serve the theatre are relocated to the rear of the building and screened from the Park with vegetation, removing the current barrier between the theatre and the wider Park landscape. The Hermann Park Railroad is also relocated, removing the conflict between it and the service driveway, which has been a cause of safety concerns. The existing picnic area is enlarged, with new furniture, connecting the play hills above the central parking and adding additional shade trees.

Picnic Grove

EXISTING

46

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


Play Hills Central Parking


HERMANN PARK DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS Hermann Park Drive bisects the center of the Park from north to south and contributes to the separation of Park elements. A reduction in width of the drive, with 11’ drive lanes and an expanded drop-off lane will improve the function for cars, while creating space for dedicated pedestrian and bicycle paths and trees. The planting of a double allee of trees will provide much needed shade along the drive, making patrons more comfortable in summer months and better integrating the Park landscape. In the area to the east of the zoo, the drop-off lane can accommodate school buses, providing a convenient place for them to wait away from the central parking area.

Zoo Fence

EXISTING

48

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


Double Oak Allee

Jogging Trail Cycle Trail Bus Parking Narrowed Hermann Park Drive

Shaded Sidewalk


BEFORE

HERMANN PARK

HOUSTON ZOO

8'-0"

40'-0" HERMANN PARK DRIVE

FOOT PATH 8'-0"

AFTER

FOOT PATH

40'-0"

8'-0"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

FOOT PATH

GOLF COURSE

8'-0"

FOOT PATH

HERMANN PARK HOUSTON ZOO

GOLF COURSE

8'-0" FOOT PATH

9'-0" LANDSCAPE

8'-0"

BUS / DROP-OFF 9'-0"

11'-0"

11'-0"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

11'-0"

10'-0" LANDSCAPE CYCLE TRACK

11'-0"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE SOUTHLANDSCAPE HERMANN PARK DRIVE LANDSCAPE FOOT BUS / PATH DROP-OFF Alongside the zoo, Hermann Park Drive is reduced from 40’ to 31’ wide, a double row of shade trees is planted and dedicated bicycle and pedestrian paths are provided with generous landscape buffers. A stormwater swale is created along the edge of the golf course. 50

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

10'-0" CYCLE TRACK

STORMWATER SWALE

8'-0" FOOT PATH

0

5

10

0

5

10

8'-0" FOOT PATH


BEFORE

MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE

AFTER

MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE

HERMANN PARK DRIVE SOUTH Alongside the Miller Outdoor Theatre, Hermann Park Drive is increased slightly from 27’ to 31’ wide, a row of shade trees is planted and dedicated cycle track is provided. A drop-off lane is created along the edge of Miller Theatre for accessible car and bus drop-off. Park Center

0

10

51

20

40


Hermann Park Family Commons


HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS TODAY Located near the Texas Medical Center and Rice University, this area of the Park has tremendous potential to attract high levels of use, but currently feels disconnected from the rest of Hermann Park, lacking a sense of welcome and strong character. The fragment of the historic oak allee, the historic picnic pavilion, statue of George Hermann, and children’s play area feel disconnected from each other, while the low levels of use can lead to an unsafe feeling at times. The edges of Hermann Park Family Commons, including the back side of the zoo service area, the busy streets of Fannin and Cambridge, as well as the poor pedestrian crossings, detract from the landscape experience. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Japanese Garden Rice University

McGovern Lake

4

Oak Allee Fragment Cambridge Street Crossing Hermann Park Family Commons Entry Plaza Picnic Areas Picnic Pavilion Water Play Area Train Building

5 6 1 3 2

54

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Texas Medical Center

7

Houston Zoo


1: OAK ALLEE FRAGMENT

2: CAMBRIDGE STREET CROSSING

3: HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS ENTRY PLAZA

4: PICNIC AREA

5: PICNIC PAVILION

6: WATER PLAY AREA

Hermann Park Family Commons

55


HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS IMPROVEMENTS Hermann Park Family Commons will be transformed into a welcoming corner of the Park, designed to attract families and the Texas Medical Center population. A civic threshold on the corner of Fannin and Cambridge Streets, with plaza space, shaded places to sit, animated with fountains and with improved Park services including rest rooms and food offerings will draw visitors into the Park. Family-friendly program will include picnic lawns, a renovated party pavilion and new children’s play dell complete with ADA accessible play equipment and a theme of water play. The Lake View Lawn will visually connect this part of the Park to the Park Center and provide views to the proposed play hills on the east side of McGovern Lake. Connections to the Texas Medical Center and to Rice University will be improved.

Rice University

McGovern Lake

5

3 4 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Civic Threshold Picnic Lawns Party Pavilion Children’s Play Dell Lake View Lawn Food Service Offering

56

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

2 1

2 6

Texas Medical Center

Houston Zoo


“This area will become a welcoming threshold to Hermann Park with family-friendly program including fountains, play areas and improved park amenities including food services.”

ALAMEDA CENTRAL PARK: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO


A WELCOMING CIVIC THRESHOLD The current approach to the Park from the Texas Medical Center and Rice University across Cambridge and Fannin Streets offers little enticement to enter the Park. The master plan proposes improved street crossings, but perhaps more importantly creates a strong sense of welcome and Park identity at this corner. Fountains arranged in a series of plaza spaces will encourage people to congregate beneath the shade of the historic oak trees; the George Hermann statue will be relocated to be more prominent in the space and will be surrounded by play fountains. The edges of the Park will be more richly planted to help soften the effect of the busy roads. This area will be designed to attract Texas Medical Center staff and visitors at lunchtimes and after work, and has the potential to become one of the liveliest and most visible areas of the Park.

EXISTING

58

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED VIEW ACROSS CAMBRIDGE STREET


IMPROVED PARK SERVICES Most of the services and amenities in Hermann Park are located in the center and are invisible to those passing by. Hermann Park Family Commons presents a unique opportunity in the Park to provide park services that are highly visible and will draw people in. A variety of food offerings including a small cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, a coffee stand, and space for food trucks at the Fannin Street drop-off, could complement each other and create a critical mass of activity. Restrooms will be an important element with these, particularly given the family-friendly program envisioned here. New pathways and visual connections to the Park Center will encourage visitors to venture further into the Park, and will make the new services at Hermann Park Family Commons more accessible to the overall Park.

EXISTING

60

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED ENTRANCE PLAZA


FAMILY-FRIENDLY PROGRAM Hermann Park Family Commons will be enhanced as an area for families in the Park. The historic picnic pavilion and existing play and picnic areas will be reconfigured and improved to encourage greater use and better integration with the overall Park. For those wanting to celebrate a birthday or family event in the Park, the picnic pavilion will have an enlarged plaza space in front of it opening onto a new play dell with a water play theme and richly planted landscape frame. Raised picnic lawns afford views over this part of the Park and are shaped to integrate the Hermann Park Railroad into the landscape, with a new bridge over the tracks providing children a place to look down on the trains and a safe crossing point for the main pedestrian path leading to the Park Center.

EXISTING

62

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED PICNIC LAWNS


INTEGRATION WITH THE REST OF THE PARK McGovern Lake is a major asset for this section of the Park, but is hard to see and feels somehow separated from the landscape to its west. The creation of a raised “Lake View Lawn” sloping down to the water’s edge will create views over the lake to the new play hills beyond and will much more strongly connect Hermann Park Family Commons to the Park Center. To reinforce the visual connections new pedestrian and cycle paths will strengthen the circulation networks and help in the overarching goal of “putting the Park back together.” The lawn will be sloped to accommodate events too small for the Miller Outdoor Theatre, bringing a higher level of activity to this currently under-used part of the Park.

EXISTING

64

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED LAKE VIEW LAWN


Brays Bayou


BRAYS BAYOU TODAY

rk D rive n Pa man Her

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7

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Brays Bayou

da Ro a

4

Alme

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HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Cam

S ge

68

Texas Medical Center

Hermann Park Golf Course

rid

Bayou Channel Bill Coats Bridge Upper Channel Bayou Trails Bayou Parkland West Cambridge Street Parks Maintenance Facility Harris Gully

Houston Zoo

mb

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Hermann Park Golf Course

Ca

Brays Bayou has been a significant part of Hermann Park from the very beginning, comprising over 70 acres of the eastern side of the Park. However it has never been successfully integrated with the rest of the Park in terms of character, function or physical connections. With the development of the Bayou Greenways 2020 plan to transform more than 3,000 acres of land, including over 150 miles of hike and bike trails throughout the city, Brays Bayou has the potential to be a major access point and recreational amenity for Hermann Park. The bayou currently has a relatively low habitat and landscape experience value, and is separated from the Park Center by MacGregor Way. A recently constructed pedestrian underpass below MacGregor Way and the Bill Coats Bridge have made connection improvement, but Bayou Parkland West will provide a particularly exciting opportunity for further improved connections and Park amenities.

McGovern Lake

Dixie

3

Hol com

be B oule vard

.

Drive

rive


1: LOWER CHANNEL

2: BILL COATS BRIDGE

3: UPPER CHANNEL

4: BAYOU TRAILS

5: BAYOU PARKLAND WEST

6: CAMBRIDGE STREET

Brays Bayou

69


BRAYS BAYOU IMPROVEMENTS

Hermann Park Golf Course

Houston Zoo

Her

man

n Pa

rk D rive

4

2

3 d tre

S ge

6

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HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

10

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Wa

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1

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70

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1 . Enhanced Grassland Habitat 2. Enhanced Upland Habitat 3. Braided Hike and Bike Trails 4. North Bayou Portal 5. South Bayou Portal 6. Parking Garage 7. Cypress Tupelo Habitat 8. Exercise Field and Dog Park 9. Cambridge Street Improvements 10. Nature Pavilion 11. Nature Play Area

Cam

Alme

Texas Medical Center

Hermann Park Golf Course

Ca

The bayou will be the richest habitat in the Park, with a variety of grassland and upland plant communities established including a nature center and play areas to bring Park users into close contact with nature. A braided system of hike and bike trails will connect along the bayou in the upper and lower channels, and will connect under MacGregor Way at two new portals, allowing Park patrons to get to the Park Center without crossing any roads. Bayou Parkland West will become a major new trail head, with a parking garage for 600 cars that will be integrated with the landscape. This garage will reduce parking supply at the Park Center and will encourage use of the zoo’s west entrance, with improved pedestrian connections along Cambridge Street. Other new amenities at the bayou include an exercise field and dog park.

McGovern Lake

Dixie

8

5

11 7 Hol com

be B oule vard

.

Drive

rive


“Brays Bayou will become fully integrated with the rest of the Park, with new pedestrian and bike connections, enhanced habitat and recreational program to serve the surrounding neighborhoods� HERMANN PARK: HOUSTON, TX


BAYOU PARKLAND As Brays Bayou passes through Hermann Park, it will be experienced as a seamless connection to the Park landscape. While the concreteclad lower channel and the slopes of the upper channel should be maintained for stormwater conveyance, there are many opportunities to improve the landscape experience and habitat value of this stretch of Brays Bayou. Expanding the hike and bike trails and connecting the upper and lower levels into a braided network will vary the landscape experience as users transition between grassland habitats on the lower slopes and the upland habitats with more trees. The corner of Almeda Road and Holcombe Boulevard presents an opportunity to create a Tupelo wetland habitat and to daylight an existing underground gully, providing a new dimension to the bayou as it passes through Hermann Park.

EXISTING

72

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


NORTH BAYOU PORTAL The existing gully that connects McGovern Lake through the center of the golf course to the bayou provides minimal pedestrian connection from the Park Center to MacGregor Way. Enhancement of this connection and the addition of a pedestrian and bicycle underpass at MacGregor Way will create a welcoming portal that will greatly increase the integration of the Park and the bayou, and would allow the gully to be daylighted to the bayou.

EXISTING

74

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


BAYOU PARKLAND WEST Bayou Parkland West is an underused 31 acre area of Hermann Park at a pivotal location between Brays Bayou, the Texas Medical Center and the Park Center. Relocation of around 600 parking spaces from the Park Center will reduce congestion in the Park, and encourage the 50% of visitors approaching the Park on MacGregor Way and Cambridge Street to park here. The garage would be built above grade and integrated into the landscape, creating a rooftop viewpoint over the Park and bayou. A pedestrian and bicycle path would connect from the bayou, under MacGregor Way and over a bridge on Cambridge Street to Hermann Park Drive, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to connect to the Park Center and the zoo’s west entrance without crossing a road.

EXISTING

76

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


SOUTH BAYOU PORTAL Just downstream from Harris Gully, the South Bayou Portal below MacGregor Way will allow pedestrians and cyclists to connect to Bayou Parkland West and then, via a pedestrian bridge over Cambridge Street, to the Park Center without crossing a road. The combination of the North and South Portals will create circulation loops through Hermann Park, encouraging users of the Brays Bayou Greenway trail system to use the Park as a part of their journey along the bayou. Having both portals also allows direct connections to the Park Center for those coming from upstream or downstream along the bayou.

EXISTING

78

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


BAYOU TRAIL HEAD

Ca et

tre

S ge rid mb

The parking garage will serve the whole of Hermann Park and will complement the major distributed parking facilities at the Park Center and at the McGovern Centennial Gardens, as well as smaller lots throughout the Park. The structure will be integrated with the landscape and will serve as both a trail head for Brays Bayou and as parking for the zoo’s west entrance. A green roof landscape on top of the structure will afford sweeping views over the Park, bayou and city beyond. A grand staircase will connect from the South Portal to the roof landscape, creating a dramatic urban element, to mark one of the major entrance moments to the Park at the corner of MacGregor Way and Cambridge Street.

Water Feature

Green Roof Landscape Grand Staircase

ay MacGregor W

South Portal

80

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


PARKING GARAGE AND LANDSCAPE

tre

1

et

Vehicular Entrance/ Exit Parking Decks Pedestrian Entrance/ Exit Grand Staircase (external)

S ge rid mb

1. 2. 3. 4.

Ca

The garage will be arranged over four decks of approximately 150 cars. Each deck will have a single entrance leading to a four-way signalized intersection with Cambridge Street and Hermann Park Drive. The pedestrian exit will be on the north east corner of the garage and should connect directly to the accessible pathway between the South Bayou Portal and the pedestrian bridge over Cambridge Street.

3

4 2

Possible Second Entry/Exit

Brays Bayou

ay MacGregor W


PARKING GARAGE AND LANDSCAPE SECTION A-A’

The long sides of the garage facing the bayou and the Park area behind will be integrated into the landscape. Towards the bayou the Grand Staircase will create a dramatic urban feature that marks the entrance to the Park. Facing away from the bayou a gently sloped landform will bring an ADA accessible path up to the landscape roof terrace from street level.

B’

SECTION B-B’

A’

B

A

82

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

The short ends of the garage will be open allowing for natural ventilation and sunlight to enter at all levels. The landforms around the garage will bring accessible Park paths to all levels.


Brays Bayou

83


CAMBRIDGE STREET REALIGNMENT

Houston Zoo

ree idge St Cambr

Limit of Realignment

t

Houston Zoo West Entrance

84

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

man

n Pa

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rive

Existing Cambridge Street Alignment

Hermann Park Golf Course

Ben Taub

EXISTING

Proposed Cambridge Street Alignment

Her

The current pedestrian sidewalks on the north side of Cambridge Street running along the back edge of the zoo are too narrow, and unprotected by street trees. There is no continuity of the Park experience on Cambridge Street between Hermann Park Drive and the Hermann Park Family Commons, although both the street and the land on either side is part of the Hermann Park property. This is a problem that will be exacerbated as the zoo’s west entrance becomes more heavily used by visitors approaching from the parking garage on Bayou Parkland West. The solution would be to shift Cambridge Street away from the edge of the zoo between Hermann Park Drive and just beyond the zoo entrance to create a more generous pedestrian sidewalk with street trees. This extra space allows for a more adequate entrance plaza at the zoo’s west entrance, with an enlarged drop-off area and more shade trees and under-planting to screen Cambridge Street.

Limit of Realignment


HOUSTON ZOO

HOSPITAL

BEFORE

11'-0"

8'-0" FOOT PATH

11'-0"

5'-6"

11'-0"

11'-0"

7'-0" FOOT PATH

49'-6" CAMBRIDGE STREET

BEN TAUB HOSPITAL

HOUSTON ZOO

8'-0"

AFTER

11'-0"

FOOT PATH

11'-0"

5'-6"

11'-0"

11'-0"

7'-0" FOOT PATH

49'-6" CAMBRIDGE STREET

BEN TAUB HOSPITAL

HOUSTON ZOO

8'-0"

10'-0"

10'-0"

FOOT PATH

10'-0"

10'-0"

10'-0"

16'-0"

FOOT PATH

66'-0" CAMBRIDGE STREET

16'-5"

12'-0"

20'-0" FOOT PATH

DROP-OFF

Cambridge Street will be moved away from the edge of the zoo to create a widened sidewalk and planting zone with a double row of street trees.

Brays Bayou

85 HOUSTON ZOO


CAMBRIDGE STREET PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE The southern end of Hermann Park Drive will be moved away from the edge of the zoo to create more pedestrian space and an efficient fourway intersection with the entrance driveway to the Bayou Parkland West garage. A pedestrian bridge with bike accommodation will cross Cambridge Street at this point, landing on the north side of the street and descending to the sidewalk down a gentle landform, making an accessible and attractive connection to Hermann Park Drive sidewalk and the improved Cambridge Street sidewalk to the zoo’s west entrance. The bridge will also serve as an iconic gateway element to the Park.

EXISTING

86

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


ZOO WEST ENTRANCE The ongoing zoo master plan has a goal of increasing the use and quality of the west entrance. The proposed parking garage on Bayou Parkland West and the improved pedestrian environment on Cambridge Street supports that goal. The realignment of Cambridge Street also allows for the arrival plaza at the zoo’s west entrance to be enlarged and improved. The visitor experience here will be an introduction to the zoo itself, so the plaza will be richly planted with shade trees and under-plantings to extend the landscape character of the zoo. Cambridge Street will be screened with large planted islands and the drop-off for cars and buses will be expanded.

EXISTING

88

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


Park Perimeter


Mecom Fountain

THE PARK’S PERIMETER TODAY Hermann Park has become increasingly separated from its surrounding neighborhoods to the north and east, and the Rice University campus to the west by wide roads with poor pedestrian crossings. This series of projects will enhance pedestrian and bicycle crossings around the Park perimeter and improve traffic flow at the Grand Gateway, Caroline Street, and Cambridge Street.

E

Grand Gateway B Rice University

Caroline Street Entrance Houston Museum of Natural Science McGovern Centennial Gardens

Main Street Promenade

Hermann Drive Improvements

Miller Outdoor Theatre

F

D

McGovern Lake

MS - MAIN STREET PROMENADE

A new Main Street crossing will be added, the existing parking lot between Fannin and Main Streets will be expanded, and new shade trees will be planted along Fannin Street.

Hermann Park Golf Course

HD- HERMANN DRIVE IMPROVEMENTS

Pedestrian and bicycle access across Hermann Drive will be enhanced and new street trees planted. A new dog park will be created at the corner of Hermann Drive and Almeda Street.

Houston Zoo

A

Texas Medical Center

GG - GRAND GATEWAY

Traffic safety and flow patterns will be improved at the Park’s historic entrance while strengthening pedestrian connections to the Museum District and Mecom Fountain. CS - CAROLINE STREET ARRIVAL LANDSCAPE

A more welcoming entrance to the Park will be created with improved traffic flow, and pedestrian and bike safety. 92

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Hermann Park Golf Course

Bayou Parkland West

Brays Bayou

C


C A: PARK THRESHOLD ON N MACGREGOR WAY

B: PEDESTRIAN THRESHOLD AT SAM HOUSTON MONUMENT

C: NEW DEVELOPMENT ALONG ALMEDA ROAD

D: NEW DEVELOPMENT ON HERMANN DRIVE

E: MECOM FOUNTAIN TRAFFIC

F: FLOODING ON MARVIN TAYLOR TRAIL

Park Perimeter

93


2

REDEFINING THE PARK’S PERIMETER The current condition on the north, west and east edges of the Park is dominated by busy roads with poor pedestrian crossings, creating a barrier to Park access by foot or bicycle from the surrounding neighborhoods. A series of improvements at street intersections, a reconfiguration of traffic patterns at the Mecom Fountain to improve vehicular and pedestrian safety, a new entrance sequence at Caroline Street, and landscape improvements at Almeda Street and MacGregor Way will better connect the Park to its surrounding neighborhoods. The creation of lively threshold spaces within the Park, with improved programming, places to sit and gather, or to meet before entering the Park will further increase the sense of welcome and break down the barriers at the Park’s edge. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Main Street Enhancements Mecom Fountain Grand Gateway Sam Houston Monument Caroline Street Improvements Marvin Taylor Trail Dog Park Judson Robinson Jr. Community Center Hermann Park Golf Course

94

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Grand 3 Gateway

4

Rice University

5

McGovern Centennial Gardens

Miller Outdoor Theatre

1

6

McGovern Lake

7 8

Hermann Park Golf Course

9

Houston Zoo

Texas Medical Center Hermann Park Golf Course

Bayou Parkland West

Brays Bayou


A: HARVARD YARD

B: JARDIN DES TUILERIES

C: BRYANT PARK

D: BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

E: ALAMEDA CENTRAL PARK

F: ALAMEDA CENTRAL PARK

Park Perimeter

95


GRAND GATEWAY The Grand Gateway has recently undergone significant improvements that provides the major connection from the Museum District to the Park Center. However, it remains dominated by wide roadways along its flanks. In the future the Grand Gateway could be transformed into a pedestrian mall, with traffic diverted to an improved Caroline Street entrance. New allees of shade trees would frame views between the Mecom Fountain and the Sam Houston Monument creating a true park environment from this entry to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston campus.

EXISTING

96

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


BEFORE

AFTER

MECOM FOUNTAIN Traffic will be routed around the west side of the Mecom Fountain on a reconfigured Main Street, creating a safer and more efficient four-way intersection with Montrose Boulevard. The east and south side of the fountain will become a pedestrian plaza and generous threshold to the Park.

98

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


BEFORE

12'-4" 12'-0"

10'-4"

FOOT PATH 12'-0"

12'-4"

12'-4"

48'-8" CENTRAL LANDSCAPE 31'-0"

PARK DRIVE 12'-4" 12'-4" HERMANN 12'-4" 10'-4"

FOOT PATH

10'-9"

31'-0"

37'-2"

37'-2"

10'-9"

32'-4"

11'-4"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE 10'-9" 10'-9" 10'-9"

FOOT PATH

32'-4"

48'-8" CENTRAL LANDSCAPE

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

10'-9"

11'-4" FOOT PATH

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

AFTER

LANDSCAPE

LANDSCAPE 10'-0"

3'-0"

25'-0"

FOOT 10'-0" PATH

3'-0"

LANDSCAPE CENTRAL25'-0"

3'-0"

10'-0"

3'-0"

FOOT 10'-0" PATH

51'-0" LANDSCAPE

LANDSCAPE

51'-0" FOOT PATH

CENTRAL LANDSCAPE

FOOT PATH

GRAND GATEWAY Vehicles will be removed from the Grand Gateway to create a pair of wide pedestrian and bicycle paths in a Park setting shaded by two new allees of trees framing views to the Sam Houston Monument.

Park Perimeter

99


MECOM FOUNTAIN The Mecom Fountain is an iconic and historic element at the threshold to the Grand Gateway, but is an unsafe vehicular environment at the intersection of Main Street, Montrose Boulevard and Hermann Drive. The roadways surrounding the fountain are considerable obstacles to pedestrians entering the Park from the Museum District. A long-term proposal would be to reconfigure Main Street and Montrose Boulevard into a four-way signalized intersection, which would be safer for vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. New crosswalks to a pedestrian plaza on the east and south side of the fountain would allow Park patrons to approach the fountain basin and then walk to the Grand Gateway without crossing another road.

EXISTING

100

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED


CAROLINE STREET IMPROVEMENTS Caroline Street has become one of the major vehicular entrances into the Park, and on busy days it is the one entrance point that HPD directs all vehicles towards as they close the Grand Gateway and the Cambridge Street entrance. The current configuration of Caroline Street does not have the capacity to accommodate this level of traffic and is not a welcoming experience for Park visitors. Caroline Street will be reconfigured to provide more efficient drop-off and arrival at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, more efficient vehicular flow between Hermann Drive and Hermann Park Drive, and improved pedestrian and bicycle paths into the Park and particularly to the Miller Outdoor Theatre. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

2 1

5

Houston Museum of Natural Science Hermann Drive McGovern Centennial Gardens Miller Outdoor Theatre Caroline Street

102

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

3

4


“Caroline Street will be reconfigured to provide a more welcoming entrance to the park with more efficient vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian flows ” CAROLINE STREET: HOUSTON, TX


CAROLINE STREET ENTRANCE EXISTING CONDITIONS

Inefficient and unsafe road configuration at Mecom Fountain

Mecom Fountain

Grand Gateway

Grand Gateway: Four lanes of traffic

Museum frontage is separated from the Park by 4 lanes of roadway

He

rm

an

nD

riv e

Conflict between garage access & vehicles entering Caroline Street

F Sa anni nJ n ac Stre int o S et tre et

Ma

in

Str ee t

Sam Houston Monument He

rm

No crosswalks

an

No drop-off at Park edge

Weak connection from museum to Park Center

104

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Caroline Street

Houston Museum of Natural Science

nP ark

Dr

ive

Conflict between perpendicular parking & traffic on Caroline Street

Lack of visibility to main museum entrance from Caroline Street Inefficient intersection at Caroline Street to Hermann Park Drive

Train station restricts access from Caroline Street to Miller Theatre Field


CAROLINE STREET ENTRANCE IMPROVEMENTS

More efficient and safer road configuration

Mecom Fountain

Pedestrian plaza at Mecom Fountain

Grand Gateway

New walkways and shade trees at Grand Gateway

Single lane driveway connection to San Jacinto Street

Improved wayfinding to Mecom Fountain and Park He

rm

Houston Museum of Natural Science

an

nD

riv e

New slip lane to improve garage access

New cycle track

F Sa anni nJ n ac Stre int o S et tre et

Ma

in

Str ee t

Relocate parking and drop-off

New cycle track

Park Perimeter

Sam Houston Monument

New crosswalks Drop-off & parking on both sides of the street New pedestrian connection between museum & Park Center

Landmark to improve museum entrance visibility Improved connection between Caroline Street & Hermann Park Drive Raised pedestrian Pedestrian plaza as threshold table to Miller Outdoor Theatre field New train station location connects Park users to Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Jones Reflection pool.Â

105


17'-8"

BEFORE

12'-5"

FOOT PATH

12'-5"

6'-0"

11'-10"

24'-10"

12'-5"

FOOT PATH

3'-2"

23'-8"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

17'-8"

11'-10"

12'-5"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

6'-0"

11'-10"

24'-10"

11'-10"

3'-2"

23'-8"

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

HERMANN PARK DRIVE

AFTER

17'-8"

LANDSCAPE

FOOT PATH

10'-0"

9'-0"

15'-0"

11'-0"

11'-0"

9'-0"

LANDSCAPE

FOOT PATH

40'-0" HERMANN PARK DRIVE

CYCLE TRACK

10'-0"

HOUSTON MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE The improvements around the Houston Museum of Natural Science will include more efficient drop-off and short-term parking, with improved pedestrian sidewalks and connections between the museum and the Miller Outdoor Theatre field.

106

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

17'-8"

LANDSCAPE

10'-0"

9'-0"

11'-0"

11'-0"

9'-0"

10'-0"

LANDSCAPE


BEFORE

AFTER

CAROLINE STREET Caroline Street will be reconfigured to improve the efficiency of vehicular flows, remove the conflicts with short-term museum parking, improve the pedestrian sidewalks around the museum and improve the Park landscape. New bicycle and pedestrian paths will be added between Caroline Street and McGovern Centennial Gardens. Park Perimeter

107


EASTERN CONNECTIONS The neighborhoods to the north and east of the Park have seen new development in recent years, but pedestrian connections across Hermann Drive and Almeda Road need to be improved. The Park landscape at its north eastern corner at the Judson Robinson, Jr. Community Center will be enhanced with new planting, pedestrian paths, and a new dog park at Almeda Road and Hermann Drive to serve the new residential population in this area. Improvements around the Golf Course Clubhouse and the Marvin Taylor Trail will create a more contiguous Park landscape and encourage pedestrian and bicycle flows towards the Park Center.

2

1

3 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Marvin Taylor Trail Improvements Hermann Drive Improvements Dog Park Judson Robinson, Jr. Community Center Hermann Park Golf Course Clubhouse

4

5

108

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


“The park edges will be improved to be more welcoming and accessible for the neighborhoods to the north and east” POTENTIAL DOG PARK SITE AT ALMEDA ROAD: HERMANN PARK, HOUSTON TX


MARVIN TAYLOR TRAIL CONDITIONS

15’ Typical

110

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


MARVIN TAYLOR TRAIL IMPROVEMENTS

Park Perimeter

7.5’

10’

PEDESTRIAN TRAIL (Decomposed Granite)

BIKE TRAIL (Concrete)

7.5’ PEDESTRIAN TRAIL (Decomposed Granite)

111


Marvin Planting Improvements MARVIN Taylor TAYLORTrail TRAIL- IMPROVEMENTS

+18�

The Marvin Tailor Trail runs along one of the most beautiful sections of historic oak allees in the Park. Over the years, changes in grade on 1 in repeated either side of the trail have resulted flooding of the trail, making it impassable after even modest rain events. Raising the grade of the trail and creating swales on either side to allow stormwater to drain into the golf course will alleviate the problem. The addition of a central paved pathway into the decomposed granite trail will provide a smoother surface for bicycles.

2 1

2 1

Metal grate3bridge at golf course.

2 Groundcovers under existing Oak allee. Hermann Park | Marvin Taylor Trail Drainage Hermann Park Conservancy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects 28 January 2016

18� 1 Evergreen Screening parking lot from Marvin Taylor Trail hedge and perennial massing at 2parking lot. Concrete Hermann Park | Marvin Taylor Trail Drainage 112 ParkHERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017 Hermann Conservancy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects 28 January 2016

culvert at trail.

3

Golf course water feature.


BEFORE

Rain falling directly on the trail and stormwater runoff from adjacent areas cause localized flooding of the trail.

HP

Storm from a water receiv e djacen t area d

ived r rece ea e t a w Storm djacent ar HP from a

Marvin Taylor Trail - Proposed Solution LP

AFTER

Hermann Park | Marvin Taylor Trail Drainage Hermann Park Conservancy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Landscape Architects 28 January 2016

HP

Hedge to screen parking lot

Raise side paths to meet trail Groundcover planting

LP

LP 4:1 Park Perimeter

HP

8”

Raise Trail 0”-18”

8”

4:1 113


ALMEDA ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

BEFORE

New residential development to the east of Almeda Road has increased the pedestrian traffic across the road to the Park. Reconfiguring existing parking, a reduction in the road width, improvements to crosswalks and the addition of shade trees will create a more pedestrianfriendly environment on Almeda Road and encourage people to walk and cycle to the eastern side of the Park. ALMEDA ROAD

AFTER

ALMEDA ROAD

ALMEDA ROAD Existing on-street parking will be reconfigured, street trees added and crosswalks improved to enhance the pedestrian environment along the Park edge.

114

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

0 0

5 5

10 10


ALMEDA ROAD: HOUSTON, TX


MAIN STREET ENHANCEMENTS

5

2

Fannin and Main Streets are a considerable barrier between Hermann Park and Rice University’s campus to the west. Landscape and circulation improvements to the area between these streets will reduce the sense of disconnection. The addition of a larger parking lot north of the Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, screened by new planting, will serve both the church and the proposed Family Commons at the southwest corner of Hermann Park. Improved pedestrian crossings at Sunset and Cambridge Streets will more strongly connect the Park to the Rice University campus and the Texas Medical Center.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Improved Parking Improved Intersection Herman Park Family Commons McGovern Lake Rice University

1 4

3

116

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


BEFORE

AFTER

MAIN STREET A proposed cycle track and reduction in the vehicular lanes on Main Street will improve the pedestrian and bicycle environment and encourage connections between Hermann Park and the Rice University campus

Park Perimeter

117


Putting The Park Back Together


PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER MOBILITY GOALS, AN INTEGRATED APPROACH Improve the sense of welcome at Park edges and connections to surrounding neighborhoods. Improve bicycle routes in the Park and connections to city networks. Improve internal walkways, including historic tree allees. Create an integrated parking plan with Museum District, Texas Medical Center and Hermann Park. Diversify plantings and adjust maintenance practices to increase ecological resilience. Increase night-time use of the Park to take advantage of cooler evening temperatures. Integrate stormwater management, and irrigation with landscape water features to improve sustainability.

120

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


FRAGMENTATION OF THE PARK OVER TIME

COHESIVE ELEGANCE During the early twentieth century the Park developed around a system of gently curving carriage trails flanked by oak allees, making it easy and pleasurable to move around. The curving trails both organized the Park and defined the landscape experience for those promenading or driving along them. The overall effect was a cohesive experience created by an elegant form. The zoo continued to develop within a simple oval form with the lake, Reflection Pool, and Grand Gateway united by the series of curving frames. 122

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

A FRAGMENTED LANDSCAPE The second half of the twentieth century was a period of stagnation for the Park. A large section of the Park containing ballfields was transferred to the Texas Medical Center for development. Few major improvements were made, and underinvestment by the City of Houston allowed the Park to deteriorate. The large central parking lots, the growth of the zoo and increasing domination of roads resulted in the fragmentation of the Park landscape.


PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER The master plan vision of Hermann Park will emphasize continuity and diversity, areas for families, areas for large events and gatherings, quiet areas for contemplation and areas where nature takes center stage, all tied together with a stronger network of pathways, bike paths and shaded driveways. “Putting the Park back together” with the city that surrounds it will emphasize safe and welcoming street crossings, and clear connections between the internal pedestrian and bicycle networks and those surrounding the Park. PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

MASTER PLAN Hermann Park is Houston’s premier public space, attracting six million visitors a year from every zip code and walk of life. Successful as the Park is, much remains to be done to fulfill George Hermann’s dream of a place for all Houstonians. The master plan lays out a comprehensive vision for a greener, more accessible, and more cohesive Hermann Park, a Park that will serve the needs of all Houstonians well into the future.

123


PARK IMPROVEMENTS

124

233 ACRES OF PARK IMPROVEMENTS

20 MILES OF NEW & IMPROVED TRAILS

26 NEW AND IMPROVED ACCESS POINTS

2,000 NEW TREES

21 ACRES OF NEW LANDSCAPE

55 ACRES OF NEW & IMPROVED HABITAT

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


INTEGRATING THE PLAN

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

RICE UNIVERSITY

MILLER OUTDOOR THEATRE

MCGOVERN LAKE

CA

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HOUSTON ZOO

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HERMANN PARK GOLF COURSE

RM A

Arriving at the Park on foot or by bicycle can also be a challenge. Over time Hermann Park has become ringed by roadways that are difficult to cross on foot, with most carrying tens of thousands of cars every day. The Mecom Fountain traffic circle has some of the worst crash statistics in Houston. Comprehensive mobility improvements to all modes are needed to transform the visitor experience of the Park.

RM AN HOUSTON ND RIV MUSEUM OF E NATURAL SCIENCE

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Visitors come to Hermann Park from all over the Greater Houston region, arriving primarily by car. Current problems with traffic and parking dramatically affect the visitor experience, and are at the top of the list of visitor concerns. Arriving at the Park can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even unsafe. Lines of traffic waiting to enter the central parking lots can stretch around the Park’s perimeter on a busy day. Cambridge Street is often blocked by cars waiting to enter the Park, impeding emergency traffic to the Texas Medical Center.

HE

MA I FA N ST RE NN E IN ST T RE ET

The improvements proposed by the master plan are comprehensive, and centered around three major community priorities; to expand the spectrum of play, invigorate the presence of nature and improve accesss and internal connections in the Park. Of those, the latter will be key in “putting the Park back together”.

MUSEUM DISTRICT

MECOM FOUNTAIN


PARKING VOLUME COUNTS

0 - 10,000 10,001 - 15,000 15,001 - 25,000 25,001 - 40,000

126

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

PROPOSED CAR ARRIVAL

Masterplan Counts (2016) TAMU Saturation Counts (2012) TAMU ATR Counts (2007-2010) City ADT Counts (2011) Park Study (2007)

Redistributing some parking from the Park Center to Bayou Parkland West will encourage visitors arriving by vehicle on MacGregor Way, which is the predominant feeder road, to turn off Cambridge Street into the new garage and not enter the center of the Park. Caroline Street will be redesigned to become the major, and more efficient, vehicular entry from the north.


PARKING EXISTING PARKING SUPPLY AND PEAK OCCUPANCY

WEEKEND PARKING AVAILABILITY

Neighborhood

Neighborhood 4,869

368

Museum Park Super Neighborhood

374

Rice University

50

82

69

0

2

64

82

125

0

5

283

0

0

163

315

9

143

50

43

2

68

0

37,523

10,557 26

Texas Medical Center Main Campus

12

Texas Medical Center Main Campus

Circles are roughly scaled to the size of the parking supply.

Less Than 30% Full 31-60% Full 61-80% Full 81-90% Full 91% or Greater

Museum Park Super Neighborhood

0

No Weekend Data

8,000

487

2,094 144

Rice University 235

78

No Weekend Data

- 1,274 parking spaces in the Center - 1,100 on Periphery - Only 400 empty spaces during peak hours - 3,000: 15 minutes walking distance to Museum District - 8,3000 at TMC within 15 minute walk

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

Circles are roughly scaled to the number of parking spaces available. Traffic and Parking Management Study (2007) Museum District Parking Management Plan (2014) Texas Medical Center Mobility Study (2014) Rice University Master Plan (2009)

127


CAR PARKING EXISTING CAR PARKING

PROPOSED CAR PARKING

374 124

374

50

82

124

235

82

39

50 235

69 487

82

78

780

163

315 283

163

300 74

143

143

50 68

68 24

26

600

46 14

2,629 Spaces

128

Existing Parking

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

3,116 Spaces

Proposed Parking


SCHOOL BUS PARKING AND SIGNAGE PROPOSED SCHOOL BUS PARKING

VEHICULAR SIGNAGE

19

9

41

17

D

D

24

16 43

The existing school bus parking takes over a significant proportion of the central lot, causing conflict and reduced parking supply for other Park visitors at peak times. The proposed redistribution of school bus parking will alleviate pressure on the Park Center. Enlarged driveways at the main zoo entrance will allow for more efficient drop off and pick up. PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

D

D

Digital Parking Availability Driving Arrows Static Sign

129


BICYCLE NETWORK CITY-PLANNED BICYCLE FACILITY NETWORK

PROPOSED HERMANN PARK BICYCLE NETWORK

Multiuse Trail

Off Street Shared on Street

Shared on Street

1" = 200'

N

Dedicated on Street

130

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017





Separated off Street



Bike Share Location Bike Parking Location

1" = 200'

N 








PEDESTRIAN ACCESS EXISTING PEDESTRIAN ACCESS

PROPOSED PEDESTRIAN ACCESS

Proposed and Improved Access Points

Existing Access Points 1" = 200'

1" = 200' N

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER







131








PEDESTRIAN NETWORK EXISTING PEDESTRIAN NETWORK

X Linear Feet of Proposed Pedestrian Network PROPOSED PEDESTRIAN NETWORK

Pedes

Hermann Park Master Plan

Pedestrian Network

132

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

28 November 2016

Pedestrian Network

0


PARK CENTER NETWORK

Miller Outdoor Theatre

McGovern Lake

Hermann Park Golf Course

LEGEND Major Pedestrian Route

Houston Zoo

Minor Pedestrian Route Bicycle Route

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

Hermann Park Golf Course 133


HERMANN PARK FAMILY COMMONS NETWORK

Rice University

Japanese Garden

McGovern Lake

LEGEND Major Pedestrian Route Minor Pedestrian Route

Houston Zoo

Bicycle Route

134

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

Texas Medical Center


Houston Zoo

BAYOU PARKLAND WEST NETWORK

Hermann Park Golf Course

Texas Medical Center

Brays

LEGEND Major Pedestrian Route Minor Pedestrian Route Bicycle Route

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

Bayou


HYDROLOGY EXISTING WATERSHEDS

PROPOSED HYDROLOGY

2

1 20

20 IN

4

NN

NI

FA

19

12

MA

IN

MA IN

ST

18

12

14

19

ST .

FA N

13

ST .

4

N

ST .

13

.

18

2

1 3

15

15 11

11A

17B

5

5

11B

6 10

16B

16A

6

10A 10B

9

9

8C

136

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

YO

U

GO

R

8

There are nearly 400 acres of Park land located within these numbered watersheds. The Park drains in three directions: towards the northwest, the northeast, and the southeast. The northwest Park areas (watersheds 1, 11-13, 16-19) drain into large storm sewers located along Main and Fannin Streets. The northeast Park areas (watersheds 2-4, 6) drain into storm sewers along Hermann Drive. The remainder of the Park drains towards the southeast. All three outfalls eventually discharge into Brays Bayou.

S

BA

RE CG

7A

S.

MA

AE

S

CG

BR

MA S.

7B

8A

BA

RE

YO

U

GO

R

W

W

AY

AY

7

7C

AE

16

BR

17

8B

Reconstruction of Park areas provides opportunities to adjust watershed boundaries to augment the capacity of McGovern Lake to serve as a harvesting pond for the Park. The north and south sections of the golf course also have watershed expansion potential. All these areas can be connected by a “chain of lakes” providing improved stormwater management through the center of the Park. 1" = 200'

1" = 200'

N





N










CHAIN OF LAKES SYSTEM MCGOVERN LAKE +44

+43

+42 +41

MCGOVERN LAKE 9” HARVESTING BOUNCE

PROPOSED OVERFLOW STRUCTURE

+44

B BARAY YO S U

Refer to Sherwood Design Engineers - Hermann Park Rainwater Harvesting Study: Master Plan Background Information

WATER QUALITY WETLAND SHELF

+43

EXISTING HARD EDGE SHORELINE

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

FLOW CONTROL WEIR

+42

OVERFLOW PIPE

NATURALIZED CHANNEL

+41 BRAYS BAYOU

137


TREE CANOPY EXISTING VEGETATION

PROPOSED VEGETATION

Hermann Park is home to some of Houston’s most stately mature trees, whose canopy creates in large part the character of the Park and provides much-needed shade for Park users. The master plan proposes planting over 2,000 large trees in the Park to reinvigorate the canopy for future generations. 138

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


Over the 20th century, the Park’s natural resources have slowly been whittled away by new roadways, drainage projects, and land sales. To ensure the Park remains one of Houston’s premier public spaces, we must conserve and increase its biodiversity, especially in the 70acre Bayou Parkland area.

Hermann Park Golf Course Prairie

While the lower channel of Brays Bayou is lined with concrete for flood control, the mown grass of the upper channel can be enriched with wildflowers and native grasses. Ecological diversity can also be added to the paths from the bayou to the Park Center, and on the margins of McGovern Lake. Finally, Hermann Park has a diverse and largely healthy tree canopy, which provides muchneeded shade in the summer. The master plan calls for planting the next generation of tree canopy, concentrating on providing shade along roads and paths where it is most needed.

East Texas Hardwood Forest

Prairie Oak Motte Oak Motte Prairie

MacGregor Way

Oak Motte

Prairie

Cypress Tupelo Swamp Prairie

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

Br ay sB ay ou

HABITAT

Oak Motte


COASTAL PRAIRIE The coastal prairie is the most extensive ecological typology of the Houston region, originally covering around 9 million acres in southeastern Texas and Louisiana. The southern terminus of the tallgrass prairie that extends from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, is similar to midwestern tallgrass prairie, but with much greater rainfall and a hard clay layer below the topsoil that limits percolation. The dominant grasses are little bluestem, indiangrass and brownseed paspalum, and the main forbs include coneflower and blazing star. Fire was historically the main inhibitor of woody growth and many prairie species depend on fire for germination. Although generally flat, slight topographic variations and soils favor different plant mixes with mottes of trees in higher, better drained areas and forested riparian corridors along stream and riverbeds. Less than 1% of the original coastal prairie remains, and less than 0.1% in an undisturbed state.

140

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017


POST OAK SAVANNAH The post oak savannah is the transition zone between the piney woods to the east and the drier blackland prairie to the west. The composition ranges from fairly open prairie with isolated motts to fairly continuous woodland with a predominantly grass understory. The bottomland is the most heavily forested. Soils range from slightly acid sandy loams over firm clay subsoils in the uplands to loamy and clayey alluvial soils in the bottomland, but hardpan inhibits percolation throughout. Post oaks, the dominant tree of the post oak savannah, are slow growing trees that are adapted to drought, poor soils and fire. Other common trees include blackjack oak, live oak and texas hickory, but there has been a significant increase in persimmon, cedar elm, hackberry and yaupon holly.


CYPRESS TUPELO BOTTOMLAND Cypress-Tupelo swamps are a common and important ecosystem in southeast Texas, providing habitat for many plant and animal species. Their ability to store and slow excess stormwater benefits not only the species they support, but urban areas as well. They act as a giant sponge, absorbing water and trapping sediment. The cypress trees’ extended, raised root systems help this process by slowing and spreading floodwaters as they flow through a swamp, allowing the water to soak into the soil. The two most common trees in this eco-system are the bald cypress and the aquatic tupelo tree. Many of the bald cypress trees throughout the southern U.S. were cut down in the late 1800s and the early 1900s for building material because of the timber’s termite-resistant qualities. As a result little of this once common plant community remains in east Texas.


EAST TEXAS PINE-HARDWOOD FOREST The pine-hardwood forest is a temperate coniferous and hardwood forest terrestrial ecoregion in the Southern United States covering 54,400 square miles of East Texas, southern Arkansas, western Louisiana, and southeastern Oklahoma. These forests are dominated by several species of pine as well as hardwoods including hickory and oak. Historically the most dense part of this forest region was the Big Thicket though the lumber industry dramatically reduced the forest concentration in this area and throughout the Piney Woods during the 19th and 20th centuries. The pines dominate most in the sandy meanders and give way to hardwoods in the heavier soils.


GOLF COURSE ADJUSTMENTS 16

15

17

17

18

16

14

Park Center

Park Center

15

13

18 13

14 12

Driving Range

Driving Range

Club House

Club House

11 Houston Zoo

11

2 7

12 8

1

Houston Zoo

10

8

5

10

5

3

3 9 4

6

EXISTING GOLF COURSE The Hermann Park Golf Course is an important element of the Park, but it is an impediment to connectivity between Brays Bayou and the Park Center. The walkway between holes 1 and 12 has recently been added, and provides a safe connection through the middle of the course, but it is too small and hard to find at both ends to make a significant contribution to Park connectivity.

144

1

2 7

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

9 4

6

PROPOSED GOLF ADJUSTMENTS By moving hole 12 and reconfiguring holes 15 and 16 a far more generous connection for bicycles and pedestrians can be made through the center of the course. Holes 2 and 3 should also be moved slightly to make space for an improved Hermann Park Drive, with more generous pedestrian and bicycle connections along the eastern edge of the zoo.


MAINTENANCE

EXISTING MAINTENANCE FACILTY Moving the HPARD maintenance facility from its location on Brays Bayou towards the center of the Park will allow for the reuse of the structure as the center piece of a new nature learning facility, associated with enhanced habitat areas in the exising woodland areas, post oak grove and prarie established on the channel slopes of the bayou.

PUTTING THE PARK BACK TOGETHER

PROPOSED MAINTENANCE FACILTY The proposed location for the HPARD facility is an expansion of the existing golf course maintenance yard. Bringing the two operations together will create operational efficiencies, allowing the whole Park to be maintained from a convenient central location.

145


Community Input


HERMANN PARK USERS Hermann Park is one of Houston’s most vital public parks, drawing a diverse array of visitors from every Houston zip code and from across the socioeconomic spectrum. Visitor demographics closely match Houston’s overall demographics, making the Park a microcosm of the larger city. The Park also provides a geographical connection between neighborhoods as different as the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center, and the Third Ward.

Zipcode Count 1 2-4 4-8 8-16 16-23

A 2016 study by Rice University, commissioned by the Conservancy, studied Park patrons and usership and found virtually no difference in usage patterns between ethnic groups (“Understanding Usership in Hermann Park,” Rice University, 2016), supporting the idea of the Park as a shared experience.

8%

1%

15% 16%

29%

6%

23%

26% 44%

32%

Asian Black Hispanic White Multiple/Other

WHO USES THE PARK

CITY OF HOUSTON DEMOGRAPHICS

The diagram shows the racial demographics of Hermann Park (Understanding Usership in Hermann Park, Rice University, 2016)

The diagram shows the racial demographics of The diagram shows the number of park users per zip code Houston, Texas (2015 American Community Survey (Understanding Usership in Hermann Park, Rice University, 2016) 1-year Estimates, U.S. Census Bureau)

148

HERMANN PARK MASTER PLAN 2017

REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF PARK USERS


THE MASTER PLAN ENGAGEMENT PROCESS To better understand how Houstonians use the Park, and what improvements they would like to see, the Conservancy undertook a two-year-long public engagement process that included consultations with numerous stakeholders and a series of well-attended public meetings. The Conservancy also gathered online comments from the Houston community through digital platforms.

(A) Activities & Programs Concessions More Events Playground

(O) Operations Homeless/Security McGovern Centennial Gardens Extended Hours

(E) Environment Wilderness/Wildlife Trees/Plants Water Re-Use/Drainage

(NF) New Feature Dog Park Walking/Running Trails Water Fountains

(M) Mobility Accessibility Parking Traffic Biking (I) Infrastructure Power Lines Sewer Smell

I 1.0%

NF 25%

A 24% E 7%

O 16% M 27%

(A) Activities & Programs (E) Environment (M) Mobility (O) Operations (NF) New Feature (I) Infrastructure

COMMUNITY PRIORITIES

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COMMUNITY PRIORITIES Based on community feedback, the Conservancy settled on three broadly defined priorities for the new Hermann Park master plan.

1 EXPAND THE SPECTRUM OF PLAY The Park needs a greater variety of play areas—for children, adults, and even pets. 2 INVIGORATE THE PRESENCE OF NATURE The Park needs to preserve and add to its existing biodiversity, as well as adding more shade trees. 3 IMPROVE ACCESS & VITAL INTERNAL CONNECTIONS The Park needs to be more accessible to the public, whether they come by car, light rail, bus, bicycle, or on foot. Within the Park itself, better connections are needed between various sections to encourage visitors to explore. The new plan proposes a number of specific projects, all designed to fulfill George Hermann’s dream of a Park for all Houstonians.

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WHAT WE HEARD More events, specifically nature related

Safer crossing into Park

Distribute the water fountains better throughout the Park and on the running trails

More food trucks and options for places to buy small items like coffee and tea

More activities such as Zumba, Kayaking, Ice Skating, etc.

Better parking stategy

More play spaces

Provide information on things like park activities and pedal boat rental hours

Hammock rentals

Improved playgrounds More trails More food venues More drainage

Add a dog park

More events that are friendly for children More places to sit on the weekend

Cleaner lake and cleaner water

Circulation needs to be reconsidered to better accommodate places to drop-off heavy picnicking supplies


WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT HERMANN PARK?


WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT HERMANN PARK? *

These comments are shown as they were delivered to the Hermann Park Conservancy

I have been a Spires owner resident since 1990 and I proudly baptized  my  near, beautiful Hermann Park  “My back yard Estate” It has been a blessing in all these year to keep me moving  along the Bayou enjoying the greenery , flowers  trees , woods, birds, the Hill of  Miller Theater  shows, eccetera  eccetera.I always thank from my  heart  he generous benefactor Mr Hermann. Not only ,in recent days you have  built a new Bridge and even a Pyramid ! How innovative you are! After 26 years  I am aging  and  my walks are shorter ,therefore I suggest one or two  closer benches closer  to te Spires  before the new bridgeI!   (I am setting on a rotten  small log to rest) and also to reactivate properly the  fountains sprouts. and some liking of the  fountains ... These are  suggestions of small details ,nothing major and expensive! Consider that the benches, if fixed with cement, cannot be stolen! I thank you for the sumptuous   gifts of the past and for your attention  now! With my best wishes and regards

Hello! I live within walking distance of the park and we love it and use it often. With the hope that it helps, here is our feedback for the open house. We love: The zoo, the train, feeding the ducks, Miller Outdoor Theater, the green space around the theater hill, and the new garden with the big spiral hill to climb (so fun and lovely!). My young children, husband and I use all of those parts of the park often and comfortably. The adult crowds at the pavilions by the playground, however, are a big concern for me. I’ve debated not doing the train anymore with my kids because of it (if they look closely they might see some disturbing stuff) and we have not dared to

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try to use the playground (which is filled with such fun and unique equipment!) since a few years ago when a fight broke out in the pavilions while we were there on the playground with our kids. The police came. It was very unnerving. I pray that our city and the Conservancy can find ways to actually meet the needs of those people instead of just tolerating their presence at the pavilions. And maybe free up the playground for families to use again! Thank you for your time and efforts. Overall it is an incredible space and I am very grateful for it! •

Ladies & Gentlemen: As some of you will know, my wife Carolyn and I have been, and in her case, are involved on the Conservancy’s Board. She and I frequent the Park weekly, walking around the golf course and through the Cherie Flores Garden, taking our grandchildren to the zoo, attending events at Miller Theatre, going to events at the Museum of Natural Science and playing a few rounds of golf at Hermann Park Golf Course.  The Park is a vital part of our life in Houston and we want to be of benefit to it through sharing of ideas and of course monetarily. As to the existing facilities, I have some thoughts: ·         Parking remains the constant issue.  While multi-family housing is being brought on in the surrounding area which will inevitably lead to pedestrian access, it seems to me better than 50% of the people who come to the park on weekends do so by car presently.  Those people experience difficulty as all of us know.  While surely much thought has been given to this on-going issue, I suggest more thought needs to be concentrated here as well as possibly unpopular plans to provide

more parking which I realize is both expensive and not in keeping with the serenity of the park. (By the way, my observation over the summer is the new Cherie Flores parking area, which is possibly the most handsome I’ve ever seen, is full weekends). ·         The Golf Course, assuming as I do that it is an iconic preserve, can benefit from upgrades enhancing the golfing experience and the view of those who only walk around it.  I feel certain there are those in the community who would join in the sponsorship of its beautification. ·         Use of Brays Bayou land.  Obviously, that portion of the park is ripe for development and land use studies are in order. ·         Park to Port.  My family enjoyed participating on the Park to Port ride.  I don’t know what thought has been given to a better connection between the two or if this would even be within the purview of Hermann Park Conservancy or the Park Board.  I would like to learn more about this as a possibility to be developed along the model of the Buffalo Bayou Park. I hope to attend but those are quick thoughts of whatever value. •

Kudos for the progress thus far, and thank you, Doreen, for your dedication, creativity, energy, and level-headedness! I particularly appreciated your statement to help defuse the flap over the Mecom fountain limestone perimeter that there was no evil intent on anyone’s part, but I’m glad that that design was abandoned in favor of the mid-century look that was executed.  Love the outdoor sculpture installations, walking paths, the Centennial Garden (despite its de-emphasis of roses), zoo, and Miller


Outdoor Theater.    As an oldtimer, I do miss the various garden events and plant sales in the old Garden Center.  I hope you will continue to bury the power lines and grapple with parking.   I heard Laurie Olin’s talk a couple of years ago, and remember his recommendation that we put parking underground.   That may not be practical in our climate when such facilities are prone to flooding and it is very much more costly, but we do need to consider options other than surface lots.   I am also very concerned about the kush scene and intermittent crime in the park.   You can’t build a wall, but creative minds need to figure out how to make the park as safe as possible and less attractive to those who engage in illegal activity.  Glad the Japanese garden is being upgraded.  I was recently at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI, with its spectacular Japanese garden.   Ours is much smaller but should be as beautiful as possible. As a Midtown resident and frequent Hermann Park visitor, I can’t thank you enough for your work to enhance this municipal treasure. •

Hello, We have been patrons of Hermann Park for years. We regularly go to the Zoo and Miller Outdoor Theater, and we have picnics in the park each time.  We would love to be able to attend other events such as July 4th and maybe NYE, but parking is a huge problem.  Whatever attractions, events, or activities are planned in the future, none of it will be really valid unless the parking issue gets resolved.  At least that is my take.  I know it can be an eyesore, but maybe a parking garage located between the zoo and Miller is in order.  There may be other potential locations, but the garage should model what was done (perhaps inadvertently)

COMMUNITY INPUT

at Discovery Green. Some of the parking is underground.  That may make the parking garage itself less of an eyesore.  Part of the garage can be paid for by selling sponsor bricks just like the zoo did a few years ago.  We bought one such brick, and we visit that brick every time we are in the area.  Just my two cents. PS: I do blueprint work for a living, and I’d be happy to donate my time to draw the prints for a prototype in AutoCAD.  I would need something to work off of if and when the time came, and an architect would need to do the final drawings for more accuracy. 1) Bayou 2) Allee of trees (oaks) in golf course 3) Location, Location, Location! 4) Diversity 5) Civic presence •

We love the Demonstration Garden in McGovern Garden

• • • • •

Miller Outdoor Theater - wonderful programs! Pinewood Café Beautiful gardens Wonderful trails with variety Golf Course Club House

Good park for a picnic (picnic tables need to be replaced - need more picnic tables) Good place to see plants for Houston climate

The great volunteer programs and coordinator! She cares so much about each volunteer & their experience.

Temporary installations like tree branch maze

Serenity of grass surrounding lake plaza

Thank you for thinking about ecosystem improvement, better stormwater collection/ management. Great & exciting work!

• • •

Duck pond & Nature trail Japanese Garden Would like more “nature” like trails with trees

I love the lake areas & gardens

I love the migratory bird sanctuary/island. I love seeing rabbits, ducklings, etc.. It is disturbing to see so many dead bunnies on Hermann Park Drive (by golf course).

• • •

The history The lake area Centennial

• • •

Open running trails Miller Outdoor Zoo

I adore the gardens and newest addition! When it’s cooler, I walk along the trail beginning on Hermann, near HMNS. It’s tranquil despite some of the foot (and car) traffic.

• • • •

Broad use of park by residents all over the city Running trail Centennial Gardens Miller Outdoor Theater

I love that there are seasonal plants blooming throughout the year

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT HERMANN PARK?

• • • • • • • •

Location Wide trails Beauty Sam Houston sculpture McGovern Lake Centennial Gardens Train Mecom Fountain

• • •

Location & expanse Miller Theater Japanese Garden

• • • •

Japanese Garden Art program Train Kite Festival

Centennial Garden -Storytime for children -Free parking -Mountain -Fountains -Smaller scale feel for easy access and enjoyment -Proximity to HMNS

• • • • • •

Native plant areas Tree cover Bird life McGovern Lake Miller Theater

The pockets of wildflower/native plantings!

Love the tree allees!

• • • • •

Sunsets! 2 hours Fun before/after zoo. 2 hours+ Long walks. 2 hours Miller (30 mins prior) Great job on improvements, habitat for birds, etc.

Trees

Love the tree allees and would love to see more of them!

McGovern Garden

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I love that the park has activities and festivals all year

Welcoming and not intimidating to all Houstonians. Diversity of offerings & programs Zoo

[Bill Coates Bridge] I love this area too. I didn’t know it was a part of the park.

I love this area of the park [MCG]

• • •

Running trails Miller Outdoor Theater Wildlife

• •

Miller Outdoor Exercise Trail

I love this park and all of our parks

MCG is the jewel of Houston!

• • • • • •

Diversity of users Miller Theater Centennial Gardens The running trail The reflecting pond The Japanese Garden

Oak tree shaded walking trails

• • •

Miller Outdoor Theater Marvin Taylor Trail Duck pond and walkways thru nature areas

Play areas for children with water

• • •

Nature Explore Site

• • • • • • •

Beauty of trails Centennial Gardens Japanese Garden Volunteers Shade Location Easy to get to if willing to use transit

Trees, extensive jog paths, free entertainment, various foliage, fountains, picnic areas

Miller Theater Family Vegetable Garden in the Cherie Flores Pavilion Love the wildflower/native plantings (those few pockets) Think of edible landscaping


Pinewood café

Centennial Park, especially circular walkway around fountain.

I love Miller Outdoor Theater. I enjoy going to the Summer Series. I love that the park has so many things to do.

• • • • •

Japanese Garden (oasis in city) Miller Outdoor Theater Variety of trails thru park Centennial Gardens grand vista Golf Club House

• • •

Vistas to see the sunset Top of Miller Theater hill Looking west in McGovern Garden or from the Mount Bring us more places to see the sunset & sky! Multi-cultural Coming together/common grounds for all of Houston Water features Ducks from all over Cool places to sit and enjoy (like the curved seat by the pond)

• • • • • • • • •

Golf Course Parking for golfers The beauty of the park

Like Hermann Dr. as 4 lane. We use it all the time. DO NOT want it MORE CONGESTED.

Running Trail under the trees by the golf course New Centennial Gardens

COMMUNITY INPUT

Run/Jog Trail Miller Outdoor •

New gardens -pyramid -water Seeing bunnies and turtles when I run around the golf course. Don’t get rid of golf course

The surprisingly diverse wildlife in this urban setting. Wide variety of entertainment options: zoo, golf, museums & free theater. Location

The semi-covered jogging trail that goes through the golf course… beautiful, especially with the gorgeous views and golf course ponds next to it. And the Cherie Flores area.

• • • • • •

McGovern Garden The “hill” Reflection pool Miller Theater Use of “water” -- moving water Less concrete, more softscape

• • •

Green space Open to all eco. families Water view areas

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE?


HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? •

Dog Park with water element. Beer Garden with food trucks, local beers, picnic tables. Like the parks in Munich, Germany.

Hi, I’m unable to make it to the open house but would still like to share the following suggestions for the park’s future build out:

Installation of tennis courts (none in the immediate area) Dog park with differentiated cells - one for small dogs, one for large More pavilioned spaces not overrun by homeless persons Speakers on the hill at Miller Outdoor Theatervery hard to hear audio if not seated under the awning More lighting especially at night Concessions We love Hermann Park! We live a block away, have a 4 year old and are at Hermann Park almost everyday of the year and the continued improvements are awesome!  However, we never use the playground, as I am sure you are aware of there is the problem on the west side of the park with homeless and vagrants in and near the playground and train stop.  I know Hermann Park is working hard to handle this problem with the churches that feed them and other organizations, it is the reason we do not use the amazing playground.   My idea is to put or move some of the equipment a play ground on the the east side of the park, the swings in the shaded area near the parking lots and on the train route is such a great place, because of the shade, it would be great to have

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some other play ground equipment there.  Thank you for keeping Hermann Park beautiful and such a wonderful place to be! •

An off-leash dog park, tennis courts Thank you!

Please include in Hermann Park bike trails, a dog park, rock climbing wall, more restraunts. Please add kayaking area. Please have more events in the park and at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Add events like art exhibits and food festivals in park. Thanks for listening. Please add more walking trails and music and art events. Thank you.

Please improve parking and/or consider parking fees :-) Cheers,

Hello, I think that the park really needs to improve its lighting at night. Improving lighting would allow people to run through the park at night before it closes but after it gets dark. It would also improve safety

I have been a Spires owner resident since 1990 and I proudly baptized  my  near, beautiful Hermann Park  “My back yard Estate” It has been a blessing in all these year to keep me moving  along the Bayou enjoying the greenery , flowers  trees , woods, birds, the Hill of  Miller Theater  shows, eccetera  eccetera.I always thank from my  heart  he generous benefactor Mr Hermann. Not only ,in recent days you have  built a new Bridge and even a Pyramid ! How innovative you are! After 26 years  I am aging  and  my walks are shorter ,therefore I suggest one or two  closer benches closer  to te Spires  before the new bridgeI!   (I am setting on

a rotten small log to rest) and also to reactivate properly the  fountains sprouts. and some liking of the  fountains ... These are  suggestions of small details ,nothing major and expensive! Consider that the benches, if fixed with cement, cannot be stolen! I thank you for the sumptuous   gifts of the past and for your attention  now! With my best wishes and regards. •

Would love to see a dog park 1.water features or a dog pool anything to fight the heat in the summer/heatwave days 2. Shade and benches for owners to relax and watch their pets play  3. Enough pet bag station to keep it clean  4. A station with hoses to wash the dog down especially during rainy days  5. Section off small dogs and big dogs for Saftey  PDwalks would love to be a part of it to help in anyway.

The Judson Robinson community Center could be opened up to be better integrated with Hermann Park.

Hello! I live within walking distance of the park and we love it and use it often. With the hope that it helps, here is our feedback for the open house. We love: The zoo, the train, feeding the ducks, Miller Outdoor Theater, the green space around the theater hill, and the new garden with the big spiral hill to climb (so fun and lovely!). My young children, husband and I use all of those parts of the park often and comfortably. The adult crowds at the pavilions by the playground, however, are a big concern for me. I’ve


debated not doing the train anymore with my kids because of it (if they look closely they might see some disturbing stuff) and we have not dared to try to use the playground (which is filled with such fun and unique equipment!) since a few years ago when a fight broke out in the pavilions while we were there on the playground with our kids. The police came. It was very unnerving. I pray that our city and the Conservancy can find ways to actually meet the needs of those people instead of just tolerating their presence at the pavilions. And maybe free up the playground for families to use again! Thank you for your time and efforts. Overall it is an incredible space and I am very grateful for it! •

Hi, I received a tip about the master plan update meeting to take place next week and thought I would email some suggestions, as I run Hermann Park often: -More of a security presence in the still-dark hours before the park opens. I’ve seen signs about how the park no longer allows people to sleep/camp in the park, but their presence seems to have still increased in recent months and this can be a bit unnerving when there aren’t very many runners present. (For the record I rarely run in the park before 6:30 a.m.) -More lighting all throughout the paths and the main parking lot near the centennial gardens in the early morning hours. -More cold water fountains like the one near the zoo gift shop. -If the barriers at the Miller Outdoor Theater hill could be opened when a show isn’t taking place, that would be awesome. Some of us love using the

COMMUNITY INPUT

is that the top floors would have condominiums. Essentially, the condominium owners would get a great residence inside the park with great views in all directions, and in exchange, they would build a parking garage for the park. Aesthetics would certainly be an issue, as you wouldn’t want an ugly parking garage right in the park.  Good architecture and plantings could certainly help.  I envisioned a large climbing wall on part of the parking garage.  Another section would have retail, probably consisting primarily of eating places.  It would be great if this included function rooms where there could be events like weddings with a view over the plaza and lake. The park would get income from garage parking and retail rental.   And just for fun, I imagined a zip line from the top of the garage over the plaza and lake to a landing point beside the lake. I doubt that this parking garage/residence idea would acceptable, but it may be more economically feasible than a lot of other ideas.

paved part for hill training! -And if we’re dreaming big...a bridge to cross over to Rice University! This would save all the countless close calls when people try to beat the light rail and oncoming traffic. And would save us runners the mild heart attack when we have the right of way and proceed only to have motorists still try to beat us to turn left... Thanks! •

Sirs, It would be really nice if the largest park in town, had a dog park. There are so many people that live close by, a dog park would be such a convenience.

Clear out all the homeless people. I have to walk past them to go to the zoo with my daughter. I don’t do it anymore because the entire corner of the park beside the Fannin at the medical center is overrun with homeless people. The area stinks and is dangerous. The same can be said for the BBQ areas next to the kids park. If you want Houston citizens to visit the park then you have to address this situation. If you do not address this situation I’d recommend you save your money, as any fountain, statue or feature is a big waste of money if its only being used as a toilet or bath for homeless people.

On days with good weather, parking is a big problem at Hermann Park. Attached is an idea I had several years ago for a parking garage by the zoo. I understand that underground parking is currently being proposed, which is a much better idea than my garage, but also much more expensive. My creative funding idea for the parking garage

Hermann Park Conservancy, I’m not able to make the benchmark Master Planning meeting, but have a few thoughts to vastly improve the park experience. I live in the Ardmore/Almeda neighborhood, and visit the park at least a few times each week (so I see its well-use) -  Hermann Park’s picnic grounds to the north (west of the Japanese Garden) should absolutely be the next, first thing to be renovated.  All of the playground equipment should be removed, and all covered picnic pavilions and restrooms should be completely re-built along the lines of the modern heavy-timber construction as the Lake Plaza

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? buildings, which continue to look so great - Houston has very few destination playgrounds maybe only a few -  the all-wood one in the Heights w/ the noteworthy train structure, and the Nature Playground venue at the renovated Eleanor Tinsley park.   The Conservancy should go all out on a large, new, cohesive playground w/ themed equipment, maybe even providing shade structures above the whole thing.  I’d scrap the water “spray ground” entirely, unless a completely new and improved one of those is also constructed.  It might be worth fencing off both playgrounds similarly as Centennial Gardens is done, so the equipment is not host to vandalism over nights. Check out Landscape Structures: https://www.playlsi.com/en/commercialplayground-equipment?st-t=google_*&gclid=CJmQ st2Zy84CFcECaQodJ8gJMg Landscape Structures’ Catalog: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/002b1ae2#/ 002b1ae2/1 Hermann Park should employ a huge naturethemed playground, maybe even at the scope of the ambitious Wizard of Oz-themed playground which shows up on this equipment manufacturer’s website. Completely reconstructed and fenced-in playgrounds (a playground and maybe spray ground), surrounded by fresh and new picnic and restroom pavilions, would vastly improve the northern park zone there at Hermann. Thanks for your consideration of this -  Additionally: A Hedge Maze - maybe along the lines of a ‘Hedge Maze Adventure’ (by Adrian Fisher) would be a

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great companion to both the experiences of the Japanese Garden and Centennial Gardens See here: http://mazemaker.co.uk/images/pdfs/Adrian_ Fisher_Hedge_Maze_Spec.pdf I’d think a hedge maze running longer than wider, parallel to the east side of the reflection pool, from the train track, lengthwise to the base of the Miller Outdoor Theater hill, would be a really great diversion. Having a monumental tower or two as part of the experience would be really great, and people otherwise standing at the top of the Miller Outdoor hill would have a neat vantage of the maze… This would be another park component, however, requiring a full fencing-off and “operating” hours.

unloading his van right next to our parking spot and it could have been impossible to get out except Sylvia found a straight parking spot rather than one you have to pull into. She was able to pull right out rather than having to back out and hope not to hit the vendor – who really should not have been there. Don’t they have their own area to unload – like the back of a grocery store? That’s another thing; there does not seem to be anyone policing the parking lots; no student volunteers for school credit or anything like that. That’s why the fight in the parking lot over a parking space went on the tv news. Parking really is your #1 problem. Thank you. •

Improving the experience would be to somehow add parking spaces. This is the #1 reason I rarely go to Miller Outdoor anymore; it is such a hassle to park! You need to get there super early and even then you can have a problem. Would there be a way to use someone else’s parking garage and have a shuttle to go back and forth with the shuttle fee included with the parking fee? I am thinking of the private hospital on the other side of the museum’s parking garage or other Medical Center garages. My group is a 55+ Sunday School group and some of us have mobility challenges. There are not enough handicapped parking spaces – not by a long shot. We’d love to come more often and enjoy Herman Park but three of us are on walkers and there are several on canes. We did manage to do the zoo earlier this year before it got quite so hot; but parking improvement could be done there as well. When we were leaving there was a vendor

Dear Sir or Madam, I write to you today with regard to your request for input on creating a sustainable park. This may sound very odd but in my job as executive director of a charitable foundation and charitable trust that support numerous charities across the state of Texas.  Due to our supporting across the State of Texas I will be gone next week visiting charities in Tyler, Roanoke, Weatherford and many in Austin and so unfortunately I will be unable to attend the meeting. An idea I have that could be beneficial is creating a portion of the park with edible landscaping that could benefit the local wildlife as well as humans.  Due to the sheer number of homeless or near homeless persons we have in our community this could benefit them, local shelters or even the food bank with fresh locally grown produce organically grown.  In  the Houston and surrounding areas there are food deserts where there are no markets within a 3 mile radius or greater that foods may


be purchased. This can be a particularly difficult problem for persons with limited financial resources, without transportation and even those who are the working poor.  We do support local food pantries and even state wide between the Foundation and Trust.  What I have heard from clients and representatives is that fresh produce can be scarce at times.  I believe a fruit, nut and vegetable garden that could be designed aesthetically and by seasons could produce enough fruits, nuts and vegetables to help many people.  It can also be an example of how one can create a producing garden that can be aesthetically pleasing and yet produce healthy nutritious foods.   As a gardener and former florist I do design my own garden beds to be aesthetically pleasing, seasonally appropriate and actually produce a crop yet appears to be a regular flower garden that attracts pollinators.  This could become an initiative encouraging local businesses to have edible landscaping.  Many charities have volunteers that with a simple phone call go out and harvest fruits from trees or nuts from trees on properties where the owners do not have need of the produce but would like to donate it.  They are gleaners.  The Society of St. Andrew Network.http://endhunger.org/gleaning-network/  People learn from what they see and if Hermann Park were to create an example of sustainable gardening that is aesthetically pleasing it could potentially benefit thousands of people.  Making them aware of local food pantries, food banks that would welcome such produce.   It can make a huge difference in the lives of those in need.   I even think a city ordinance which could offer tax benefits of businesses who participate in sustainable gardening in this manner all over the

COMMUNITY INPUT

city business owners would be interested. Just food for thought. Peace be with you, •

Ladies & Gentlemen: As some of you will know, my wife Carolyn and I have been, and in her case, are involved on the Conservancy’s Board. She and I frequent the Park weekly, walking around the golf course and through the Cherie Flores Garden, taking our grandchildren to the zoo, attending events at Miller Theatre, going to events at the Museum of Natural Science and playing a few rounds of golf at Hermann Park Golf Course.  The Park is a vital part of our life in Houston and we want to be of benefit to it through sharing of ideas and of course monetarily. As to the existing facilities, I have some thoughts: Parking remains the constant issue.  While multi-family housing is being brought on in the surrounding area which will inevitably lead to pedestrian access, it seems to me better than 50% of the people who come to the park on weekends do so by car presently.  Those people experience difficulty as all of us know.  While surely much thought has been given to this on-going issue, I suggest more thought needs to be concentrated here as well as possibly unpopular plans to provide more parking which I realize is both expensive and not in keeping with the serenity of the park.  (By the way, my observation over the summer is the new Cherie Flores parking area, which is possibly the most handsome I’ve ever seen, is full weekends). ·The Golf Course, assuming as I do that it is an iconic preserve, can benefit from upgrades enhancing the golfing experience and the view of

those who only walk around it. I feel certain there are those in the community who would join in the sponsorship of its beautification. Use of Brays Bayou land.  Obviously, that portion of the park is ripe for development and land use studies are in order. Park to Port.  My family enjoyed participating on the Park to Port ride.  I don’t know what thought has been given to a better connection between the two or if this would even be within the purview of Hermann Park Conservancy or the Park Board.  I would like to learn more about this as a possibility to be developed along the model of the Buffalo Bayou Park. I hope to attend but those are quick thoughts of whatever value. •

Kudos for the progress thus far, and thank you, Doreen, for your dedication, creativity, energy, and level-headedness! I particularly appreciated your statement to help defuse the flap over the Mecom fountain limestone perimeter that there was no evil intent on anyone’s part, but I’m glad that that design was abandoned in favor of the mid-century look that was executed.  Love the outdoor sculpture installations, walking paths, the Centennial Garden (despite its de-emphasis of roses), zoo, and Miller Outdoor  Theater.    As an oldtimer, I do miss the various garden events and plant sales in the old Garden Center.  I hope you will continue to bury the power lines and grapple with parking.   I heard Laurie Olin’s talk a couple of years ago, and remember his recommendation that we put parking underground.   That may not be practical in our climate when such facilities are prone to flooding and it is very much more costly, but we do need to consider options other than surface lots.   I

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? am also very concerned about the kush scene and intermittent crime in the park.  You can’t build a wall, but creative minds need to figure out how to make the park as safe as possible and less attractive to those who engage in illegal activity.  Glad the Japanese garden is being upgraded.  I was recently at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI, with its spectacular Japanese garden.   Ours is much smaller but should be as beautiful as possible. As a Midtown resident and frequent Hermann Park visitor, I can’t thank you enough for your work to enhance this municipal treasure. •

Dear Hermann Park Ideas Group: I’m resident of the area and I love and support the park as much as possible. I am also the former president of the neighboring civic club The Museum Park Neighborhood Association and was a part of the HGAC Livable Center’s Study team, so I have been thinking about improvements for a long time, and love this opportunity to share my thoughts.  Please see the attached “ideas” and feel free to call me with any comments or questions.  I can’t wait to come to the planning session on the 24th!!! [Comments from PDF going counter-clockwise:] Hermann Park is very cut up and segmented into unusable and isolated pots, especially at the perimeter. e.g. This [strip between Fannin & Main] is a huge part of the park that feels totally isolated and cut off because of Fannin. Especially during peak traffic times like Spring Break. Can the traffic be diverted or consolidated onto Main St. so the park can grow? The metro is fine there, however the traffic literally chokes or strangles the park at peak times like zoo lights and spring break. The metro stop [on Fannin] is way too understated.

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There should be a more euro-style covered train canopy with small shop/kiosk and market style amenities and other attractions to get people out of their cars and using this metro. Also a grand arrival monument-style entry to the park would be very compelling to users to ditch the car in favor of public transportation. This should be “the” front door to the park. This [corner of Fannin & Cambridge] is still such a scary part of the park, despite best efforts to control the drug problem. This stretch of the trail [along Cambridge b/w Fannin and Hermann Park Dr.] is totally bottle necked and hazardous, and completely inaccessible to disabled and overgrown with bamboo from the zoo. Could be a much wider sidewalk with a feature or graphic walls with murals depicting the zoo or zen views into the zoo. This portion [in front of BCM, across Cambridge] is so picturesque and cute but there is no safe way to access it because of the high speed traffic cutting it off. Reclaim this road [Hermann Park Drive] for pedestrian use only. Cars make this stretch very unpleasant and drivers stuck in heavy standstill traffic here are often aggressive and hostile during peak seasons. Traffic is horrible on MacGregor, and it should not have the privilege of zooming through the park. It should really be pushed out to the edges so the park can grow. The golf course should be reduced in size. It takes up way too much valuable park real estate. Make it a 9-hole at the biggest. This [Brays Bayou b/w MacGregor & FM521] is a great spot for the “Houston Needs a Swimming Hole” concept.

Almeda needs to be beautified at this portion [SE strip before bridges]. This is definitely the poor side of the park and very neglected here. These [Almeda & 288 bridges over Brays Bayou] should be gateway Calitrava like bridges...this area is really a vast no-man’s land. Instead it should be an epic but inviting gateway for the Brays hikebike trail. Remove the concrete along the bayou, this is horrible and so unnatural. This driving range should be more like Top Golf... [Corner of Hermann Dr. & Almeda]...a gas station, really???? This is really a tragic anchor for the park. This should be a major entry point that takes advantage of Almeda view corridors to the Houston Skyline. Hermann Drive needs a road diet, with safe cross walk, cars fly along this road, it does not need to be so wide. This massive surface parking lot [zoo parking] should become stacked parking and moved out to the edge of the park, or eliminated completely. This causes massive traffic stacking problems that plague the whole community at peak season of Spring Break and Zoo Lights. People should just take the metro here, no public parking! Traffic is very heavy through here [HP Drive b/w Miller OT & Zoo Parking], should not be a cut thru for cars. Miller Theater mountain should be about x10 bigger. It’s too small. Should also have a mix of terraces and slopes. This [area b/w HMNS & HP Drive] could be a wonderful food court area overlooking the fantastic views. So much of this area feels cut off by the cars that speed through.


Hello, We have been patrons of Hermann Park for years. We regularly go to the Zoo and Miller Outdoor Theater, and we have picnics in the park each time.  We would love to be able to attend other events such as July 4th and maybe NYE, but parking is a huge problem.  Whatever attractions, events, or activities are planned in the future, none of it will be really valid unless the parking issue gets resolved.  At least that is my take.  I know it can be an eyesore, but maybe a parking garage located between the zoo and Miller is in order.  There may be other potential locations, but the garage should model what was done (perhaps inadvertently) at Discovery Green.  Some of the parking is underground.  That may make the parking garage itself less of an eyesore.  Part of the garage can be paid for by selling sponsor bricks just like the zoo did a few years ago.  We bought one such brick, and we visit that brick every time we are in the area.  Just my two cents. PS: I do blueprint work for a living, and I’d be happy to donate my time to draw the prints for a prototype in AutoCAD.  I would need something to work off of if and when the time came, and an architect would need to do the final drawings for more accuracy. 1. Study pedestrian traffic patterns along existing defined paths within the park and look for clues to help make decisions on which paths need to be widened. 2. Hermann Drive separates adjacent museums and the Museum Park neighborhood from several major access points into Hermann Park. There is a significantly large pedestrian count crossing along this dangerous street. Hermann Drive is a

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dangerous speedway without stop signs. Is there a particular opposition or reason for not installing stop signs? Now with the new residential development coming to a close there will soon be even more people trying to navigate these crossing points.  3. The workout groups that set up in the park are becoming a bit more invasive and louder. For example, the simple and peaceful joy of flying a kite on the hill with the family doesn’t get to happen when the hill is occupied with workout groups.  I am looking forward to some decisions on these issues. Feel free to contact me with any replies, questions, or concerns. •

Hello I hope to attend the meeting this week about suggested improvements in Hermann Park, but while I was thinking of it, I want to mention one idea that I have. Hermann Park is home to 13 pieces of our public art collection (although at least one--Dolly’s Ride-is currently being restored). As an art lover and a former member of the Houston Arts Alliance staff, I would like to see some sort of guide available in the park for visitors to be able to identify all of these sculptures, monuments, statues and fountains and be able to read about the artist and the history of that piece. In my work at HAA, I created a ‘scavenger hunt’ for a Houston magazine that encouraged families to ‘go find art’ around the city. Here is a link: http://margaretmiller.writersresidence.com/ samples/go-find-art It would be great if something similar could be created for Hermann Park, identifying the

locations of all 13 art pieces in a passport type of document. Here is the link to the webpage of the City Of Houston that lists the art in Hermann Park: http://www.houstontx.gov/civicart/locatorhermann.html •

I have taken my children many times but there are so many vagabonds everywhere. The bathroom facilities are very poor as well. Plus the small parking lot added doesn’t suffice for the size of this city unless you are willing to walk all the way from the large parking lot to the playground area. You should offer free rides on the train certain days of the week during certain hours or if you are a paid zoo customer?

One of best urban things is picnic in park and the spots at Hermann are an afterthought. Set aside an area and landscape so each site is both open for safety but oriented to privacy and view. Then do some picnic fundraisers there to encourage those who wouldn’t normally go and to establish it as a purposeful place. Then keep it clean and occupied.

Hi! I consider Hermann Park to be a crown jewel in our community, one that really improves the quality of life here. I don’t have any specific suggestions for things that should be added to the park, but I do have some requests: 1. Leave as many of the trees – especially the mature ones – and as much of the grassy area as possible. The trees add beauty, shade, a habitat for birds and other animals, and help with flood control. The grassy area also adds beauty and very importantly helps with flood control in the

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? Medical Center/Rice/Braes Bayou areas. 2.   Choose multistory parking garages over surface lots if possible. In keeping with point one, add as little new surface concrete as possible in order to preserve green space.    3.   Consider adding only those areas/activities that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. For example, no basketball courts or sports fields should be added in Hermann Park, since they can easily be created at school Spark Parks. Miller Theatre, however, has been a cultural gathering place in Houston, and free concerts/performances there have enlivened and enriched us, bringing Houston ‘s melting pot closer together.    4.   Perhaps, consider adding water fountains at some points close to the bike trails.    5.   Preserve as much as possible of the “wilder” part of the park closer to the Bayou. I’ve lived in Houston since the mid-70’s, and until my daughter’s Girl Scout troop had an activity there, I did not realize this part of the park even existed. The space here would be a living lab for school children and provide group volunteer projects. Thanks very much for your consideration. [Email 2:] Hi! I enjoyed last night’s meeting and appreciated some of the creative solutions proposed. The green berm-covered parking lot, the bike plans, and the playspace enhancements for the George Hermann area sounded especially intriguing. I hope that the “wild” portion of the park will not be overdeveloped. The old oaks are an increasingly rare treasure, and it’s a lovely testament to the current viability of that section of the park that an eagle wants to nest there. Let’s not lose this natural gem, which could be considered a mini national park in our own backyard. Providing easy access

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and recreation for the nearby high-rises should not be the focus of park development; preserving and wisely using/appreciating our shrinking wild space should be the goal. The discussion about making the entrances to the park more noticeable made me think about the great parks in London which have named gates. It seems to me that the proposed enhanced entrance at Cambridge and Fannin across from the hospital would be a perfect corner for a George Hermann gate. The gate could possibly reflect the lines of stately oaks by Rice University along Main or the architecture of the Japanese garden or be a large arbor covered with native vines. I don’t think the addition of a food concession there is a good use of space, but I do like the proposed path into the park, better identification of the entrance, and enhanced family areas for picnics and play. •

I wish I could attend tomorrow night’s meeting, but I am out of town.  I would offer two ideas for consideration: Small Idea-  establish a Cairn Garden - I have seen these gardens and the visitor interaction and resulting “art” is most interesting. Big Idea- engage an artist of big installations and contract to create a landmark art installation that draws visitors as a must see when in Houston.  As an example, the Bean in Grant Park in Chicago. Good luck with the meeting!

Really nice event this evening. Thanks for the invitation! Nice to see a cross section of the community out.  I forgot to mention on the suggestion board it would be very nice if year round the Mont and

garden surrounds were kept open until just after sunset. It’s such a beautiful space to celebrate the best part of day. I know there are sunset  views from over the lake  too ...I drive here just for sunset often ....that’s a challenge most days!  After visiting the Med Center or Musee District, I think our many out of town visitors should have both places to enjoy (with the locals). Visits will then post & promote Houston with  a very positive glow of Urban Excellance. Thanks for making comments easy. •

1. It was mentioned at the meeting that one focus of the development plan would involve the corner at Cambridge and Fannin. There was mention of a cafe to attract people to the park. Consideration should be given to including a small live music venue as part of the cafe experience. Such a venue could draw people to the corner in the evenings for a glass of wive and live music. The concept is common in LA parks that host weekend markets. 2. Please zebra stripe all pedestrian crosswalks across bust streets. We walk daily in the park and have often had close encounters with cars in the crossing from the zoo to the parking lot by the golf course restrooms. Being Houston drivers believe that they have the right to speed through the area and are indifferent to stopping for pedestrians. The same is true for the street crossing from the gardens parking lot to Miller Theater. 3. This last ten is more for the city than the Conservancy. When crossing McGregor Way at Cambridge a pedestrian crossing light is provided for the main lanes of McGregor. However, the right turn lane from McGregor Way headed west


onto Cambridge is not provided with a pedestrian crossing light. This is a particular dangerous situation in the mornings when people are trying to cross McGregor and there is a continuous stream of traffic turning onto Cambridge. Drivers are in a hurry and tend to look left to see if there is oncoming traffic on Cambridge that may impede their turn while ignoring the situation where a pedestrian is trying to cross McGregor. •

Was not able to make meeting but having raised children in this neighborhood, we have always loved being near the park. I can imagine that water features will continue to be loved by users. Safe bike lanes to the park will be needed. Our family had a family reunion at the garden center in 2009 which was a big success. Don’t know how a similar structure makes economic sense but the building was great! Hope to make other gatherings. Would like to see as much natural growth as possible which is welcoming to wildlife. Regards, Beverly Mims-Woods

More opportunities for shade would be greatly appreciated, natural or man-made. Also, if there were areas serving food, or allowing food trucks, it would draw in more people.  Perhaps an educational video about the landscape architecture, the process to create this beautiful venue... or one about community gardening, respecting nature, the diversity of nature, appreciation for the floors and fauna...

I’m not sure of the relevance (in the context of the master plan) or the feasibility of these ideas, but here are some suggestions for Hermann Park: 1. Permanent (or at least frequent) coffee and/or

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smoothie shop in the concession area near Miller Outdoor Theater 2. Various efforts to make the duck pond (if that’s the name for it) a more vibrant social area; for example, have bands play music before Miller Outdoor Theater events (and subsequently during other windows once people find out about the bands playing by hearing about them during the very well attended MOT events) 3. Even more lighting throughout the park to encourage more walkers at night 4. Based on the increased activity in the park resulting from the Pokemon Go craze, develop scavenger hunts and other events that encourage exploration and lead to discovery of more of the amenities of the park 5. A collaboration with Rice University to create a type of link/path from Hermann Park all the way to the Rice Village through Rice -- Note: This could also extend to the various retail locations on or near Binz Street as well and could be connected in some way to the potential Museum Park Culture Trail 6. Suggested running paths of various distances, as well as mile markers, to encourage more runners -- Note: This could also involve a collaboration with Rice to encourage longer-distance runs that incorporate both Hermann Park and the Rice “outer loop” 7. Partner with a private investor to use the building near Centennial Garden (not sure how it’s used now or what the square footage is) to develop something similar to Union Market in Washington, DC -- Note: Perhaps there is a better location for this somewhere else in the park, but no options come to my mind Thanks for your time and consideration.  I’d be

happy to clarify or further discuss any of the above ideas as needed. •

I hope this email finds you doing well and enjoying the much-needed sunshine of the afternoon! I read about the open submission opportunity for ideas on how to grow Hermann Park in the next twenty years. I submit to you that having regular, seasonal activities for children which include explorations of different parts of the park is a necessity. The next generation will want to preserve something which they fondly remember. There is a triad of motivation spurring me on to write this including:        Being  a conservationist at heart and deeply desiring to see the progress of the park continue.         Being a mother of two young children who, having recently moved close to the park, realize there is a lack of “community”for young families  that is present in other neighborhoods.        Being keenly interested in educational research ( having my Masters in Educational Counseling) and the connection between learning retention and nature.  Goals:       To instill in a the next generation a sense of this is “my park” with “my favorite childhood memories”.         To create a sense of community for the young families within the heart of the city.        To create a venue for parents of young children to meet each other and create their own support systems.        To make special memories with my children.         To observe the connection between outdoor education and memory retention.  Ideas:

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? Monarch Madness-a “field trip” through the McGovern gardens during migrating season, a read along ( and perhaps a short film) on Monarch migration, and a time together planting take-home milkweed for the family’s container gardens. A Teddy Bear Picnic-outdoor picnic with everyone bringing their favorite stuffed toy for a read along and explorative play.  A Rainbow Fish Day with a trip to visit the fish in the park’s pond, read along on fish, and a hands-on craft activity.  Some Enchanted Evening-A safe alternative to wandering the city streets on the evening of Halloween…this could be a safe and “enchanting” venue for young children to dress up and have fun without being exposed to a lot of “scary” themes.   A Polar Express day with a read along, cocoa, cookies and a ride on the Hermann Park Train. I hope to meet with you in person and facilitate more discussion on how children’s activities are a necessity to Hermann Park. •

I am a Board member of the Houston Area Road Runners Association, an all volunteer non-profit of comprising a membership of about 1500 individual and 40 separate running clubs.   Hermann Park is one of the major venues for distance runners (and walkers) in the Houston area.    We believe that the next Hermann Park master plan should provide further safe and attractive opportunity for pedestrian movement in the Park.   Specifically, we would like the plan to consider the following improvement areas. The current Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail can be improved by adding mile markers (similar to the Seymour Lieberman Trail in Memorial Park).   They should be easy to add and not expensive.

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While there are some water fountains and restrooms in the park, their locations are not optimum from a runner or fitness walker perspective.   There should be fountains and accessible restrooms about every mile on the main loop trails in the Park. Consider providing an improved loop trail along the west (zoo) side like there is on the east (golf) side of the Park.  As a minimum, provide a better pathway along Cambridge Dr from Hermann Park Dr to Fannin St. While the traffic along Herman Park Drive is not heavy, it unfortunately segregates the park for pedestrian users.  Ideally, a portion of the road would blocked such that it is no longer a through road and that portion of the road be reclaimed for green space (with perhaps emergency throughway).  In this case, a natural surface pedestrian pathway could connect the east and west side trails in the reclaimed area.   Of course, traffic and parking patterns would need much study.  One presumes you may consider reclaiming some surface and push some parking underground, which would provide more green space.    Another idea is to provide pedestrian bridge crossings across Hermann Park Dr to connect the two trails from the east side to the west side of the park.  Ideally this should be ramped crossing(s) (see the Living Bridge in Memorial Park).  One crossing along Cambridge Dr and one crossing to connect to the north end of the Marvin Taylor Exercise Trail would be ideal.    A running or fitness center to shower and locker should be considered and available at 6 am for runners.   The center should have food and drink, vending or otherwise.   Hermann Park is an ideal base for distance runners to access the Bayou trails

and the Rice loop trail as well as the trails in the park itself.   Having a running center location in the park would be of value.   If a running center is not feasible, a stretching and rest area with fountains and outdoor shower that is designated as the runner meeting place would be an alternative.    The Houston Area Road Runners Association is willing to provide any comments or reach out to the running community for any input on your behalf.   Some of us are expected to attend this evenings meeting.  Please note that we did work with the Memorial Park Conservancy on their Master Plan, we surveyed the running community for the Conservancy to understand where runners came from to use the park. and we provided our support for their Plan to City Council.    Feel free to let us know if we can be of assistance in your efforts. Best regards, •

Partnership with the National Wildlife Refuge System?

I) Connection to Bayou II) Reduce footprint of golf course III) Gateways/Sense of ARRIVAL IV) More diversity, more programming V) World-class public ART!

Increased security & dedicated cameras for deterrent HP does not share/promote successes Increase Communication

• •

1) Would like to see Pinewood Café to stay open later in the summer


2) Would like more food options in the park •

Good park for a picnic (picnic tables need to be replaced - need more picnic tables)

More drinking fountains More open hours for closed gardens More gates to garden

More natively [sic] planting Reduce surface parking --> improve pedestrian, bike and transit access (I always come by bus, rail or bike) Improve tree cover & bird habitat along bayou Dedicated uber/dropoff location Improve access point from Rice running trail for pedestrians More welcoming benches along lake plaza Welcoming and safe lighted running trail internal in park (not surrounding park) Wine/beer stand!!

Please plant more native prairie •

1. Dog Park 2. Increase nighttime use of Centennial Gardens 3. Pedestrian friendliness is decreasing along Hermann Dr.

More shade More native plants Recycling options

Add green plants (like ground cover) under trees on edge - example: Hermann Drive near Caroline.

It would be great to have more native species in the park & signage that tells you about them It would be great to have a natural/nature area opposite of McGovern

More true nature. Opening up the waterways is great. Some “rambles” would be nice, too.

More spots to watch the sunset - open lawns, high spots

What about the trees? Please we need more trees thanks!!

More café or coffee shops Re-use water & collect water More benches & low ones too More garbage AND recycling Dog waste receptacles

Can we attract more wildlife such as birds, and make a bird walk possible?

Would like more “nature” like trails with trees

Daylighting water to create corridors for people & nature

Improve drainage/eliminate standing water on trail (Marvin Taylor) parallel to Hermann Drive Prevent homeless people from living on picnic tables, benches and pavillions

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Tennis courts & basketball courts for free (shade cloth to hide sun)

Accessibility for families with small children Eating establishments would be wonderful Walkability connecting everything rather than one stop[?] usage Increase times Zoo’s second entrance is open

Public art Fountain for kids to play in and cool off --> think of the face wall fountain at Millenial Park by the Bean in Chicago

The exercise area near the walk/jog trail is too… hot. There is no shade. Need some trees and/or canvas shades. Dog Park Parking for photo-taking -- brides, 15 year olds

Farmer’s Market! (Located under shade -- maybe by Marvin Taylor trail)

1. Reduce golf course size 2. More events, live music and food trucks. 3. Have a Hermann Park Music Festival Day of Music & food 4. Improve late-night access to park 5. Extend hours of Japanese Garden & Centennial Garden 6. Use the lawn space in middle of Centennial Garden for open public live performances or movie/music screenings

I would like to be able to participate in Rec. Leagues at Hermann Park. Bball, volleyball, soccer, running teams. Think of combining rec. center with parking? Restored green space

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? More trees More dog drinking fountains •

Get up high in buildings to get a better understanding of what Memorial Hermann patients on 28th floor!

Sun deck above parking structures with saunastyle wood boards --> similar to NYC Highline park

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Expand hours of gated areas Restaurants open longer hours Safer Bayou & Fannin corner areas Traffic orientation to avoid gridlock on busy days Zoo perimeter ugly

Save open space for soccer, etc.

Trees and shade along Bayou Trails

Fill base of Miller Theater hill near train tracks to remedy mud and water after heavy rainfall

I think it would be great to show movies (indie or local) or environmental or park documentaries during the Summer Series.

“More park benches and water fountains along trails Replace metal picnic tables with high-quality wooden tables Coffee shop at Flores Pavilion”

I would like to see much greater coordination among the stakeholders in the Park (MOT, HMNS, Zoo,…). Should have one website, more communication. As an example of the thinking, Zoo and Theater were barely acknowledged tonight.

Smell from here. Sanitary sewer lift station on MacGregor

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Parking Lighting in evening Playgrounds

A café just for coffee (think of cute cafes at parks in Paris). Sit outside, sip espresso & people watch = )

A therapy garden might be nice

More recycling & compost bins & actually get city to recycle it (not throw it away)

More open green space for picnics & frisbee with scattered shady spots

Night access to park Longer “”earlier hours”” to Gardens Dog park that isn’t just a run Happy Hours @ the Gardens

Bring us more places to see the sunset & sky!

THINK BIG - remove parking (roads)

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Lighting on jogging path along Macgregor Refreshment vendors Dog park! = ) More fountains along jog path with dog bowl Open restrooms Rid of drug users

Restaurant idea is great!

Remove trash behind new buildings by the Centennial Gardens Lighting to be [??] to use park after dark Bad smell by [????] Dog off-leash area Remove pavement and streets/parking from park

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“Food & Drink options while in park Access to bike trails. I lived in neighborhood 3 years before I found path to Bayou.” There is lots of trash along golf course fence along Hermann Dr in front of apartment construction [hand-drawn map attached] City of Houston has GoSunday Streets where 1 major street is closed -- expand it to this museum district park neighborhood few blocks instead of just a couple

“George Hermann corner Access to Bayou”

“Move the roads out of the park Park way less cars Metro entry needs to be main access to eliminate cars More food options Increase size of Miller Theater”

How about a traffic light on Hermann Dr. & Crawford like the one on Rice Blvd. at Temple Emmanuel? (Special for pedestrians)

Zoo parking area is a nightmare to enter and navigate


“Covered bike parking MCG & JG & Pinewood Get parking out of park! Or hide it underground = )”

“Access via bicycle & bike ways thru park & for pedestrians Museum district, in general, is not a cycle-friendly environment Streets are barriers”

• •

The light rail station is under-utilized for park access because there is no garage parking along the light rail tracks. I think the light rail would be used more for park & stadium access if there were parking garages.

still accommodate cyclists, esp. commuters, better than bike paths. 2) Paved bike path along existing D.G. trails will encourage sep. use bet. Bicyclists & peds. 3) Signalized crossing at Dixie & Almeda will improve access from/to neighborhoods to the east.” •

The esplanade between Main & Fannin still needs [to be] finished off and completed

Parking & mobility is a major issue for those outside of the immediate area. It’s necessary to find a way to encourage visitors in close proximity to walk or bike.

“1) Protected bike lanes along Hermann Park Drive

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I am concerned that parking plan, the attempt to reduce parking in the park will push cars into the surrounding neighborhood (mine). Please keep us in mind when designing a new parking scheme. Street parking on Jackson/Chenevert/etc. cannot accommodate 4,000 additional cars. Please do not destroy our neighborhood!

“Add more covered parking. Parking closer to main roads. Bike parking.”

“Safety is an issue. There needs to be a stop sign at Crawford. Office personnel not receptive to taking action on safety concerns. Need new picnic tables and more of them. More benches along trails. On Miller Theater nights there is sometimes not enough parking because too much parking is reserved for an event at the Flores Pavilion.”

“Intersection @ Caroline & Hermann not pedestrian friendly - also prone to near-accidents. Is there a way to improve this - or is it outside of park grounds? Parking! (But that’s a given.)” Hermann Park Drive is very hazardous to cross! Need more stop signs & pedestrian signs.

Montrose neighbors know parking is impossible. So, we ride Metro’s #56 bus to Binz and Montrose. But walking our kids across Main and Fannin is scary!

“Definitely connections to the residences. Need better pedestrian crossings (SAFE) Design to reduce cars

Maybe have a Park Day? Food options” •

“Parking! (We live in Memorial. Frequent visitors!!) Miller -- many performances Sunsets 2 hour Long Walks 2 hour New lot has helped Offer valet has much committed [??]”

Walking across crosswalks, the drivers don’t stop. How about ways to make them slow down at crossings?

Get rid of the golf course!! Too much green space wasted on too little people. I am a cyclist. I would like a less stressful [sic] for everyone to ride through the park.

In pedestrian walkways, please distinctly separate bike paths. It’s very difficult to ride a bike thru dense crowds & strollers.

Central spine desperately needs bike lanes. Riding on decomp granite while pulling kids in trailer is just miserable.

How many people will use uber as transportation?

“Separating bicycles from pedestrians. Trees in middle of exercise area; need some planted for shade. Lighting for safety. Bike racks.” Please consider all demographics equally: young, adult & seniors. Currently seniors with limitations

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HOW CAN WE IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE? or less active needs require destinations such as cafes, reflection areas, game areas, etc.. Typically couple these functions with parking & REST AREAS through park. Thanks. •

Can we have a Bicycle bike share station on the Main St. side near the METRO rail station?

Improvements to children’s play area sounds great but slogging the stroller across decomposed granite path is challenging. Would love hardscape path from corners to play area.

Connection from train (2 stations) into the park & from the bus stops/bus routes along the eastern boundary. This also means friendly, shaded walkways and way finding to light rail and public buses. Connections from Sunset on bike into the park & from the museum district. Improve access from HMNS to park land and green space. Food & wine in some areas of the park is needed. Address the Cambridge edge from Fannin Street to Zoo entrance. I ride the light rail to the Houston Zoo/Hermann Park station & ride the little train to other parts of the park -- make this easier & have B-Cycle for adults & kids. Intimidating crossing across Sunset for ped/bike. Improve pedestrian crossings -- better marking for safer crossing. Consider using crosswalks on only one side of each intersection. I have seen this in other cities -- works great for traffic flow & is not too difficult for people.

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Parking! (including buses) Improve coordination of park constituents: zoo, theater, HMNS Safety - crossing streets Access on & off bike trails - Fuddruckers…

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Absolute lack of way finding (particularly maps) in the park, making it confusing to visitors. This could be remedied easily. Lack of off-street pick-up/drop-off area at HMNS. This bottleneck on Caroline is beyond terrible. Use by commercial businesses (boot camps) who trample green space for commercial gain. Drainage on both sides of the trail between the golf course

Need better pedestrian access from Main St - #56 bus. Hard to cross Main St. & Fannin.

Bike lane along Bayou direction to Bellaire (have to walk bike up dirt path & back down to pavement)

Separate bike paths & better pedestrian crossing. Mecom Fountain, Hermann Dr -- great idea!

LID parking lots --> more park-like Fix ugly edge “city” conditions Place more for people, walking, biking, transit, NOT CARS. Bury above-ground poles, wires & transformers.

Bike/walk access to Med. Center & Rice & over Almeda & into the Bayou & to museums via Montrose. Open the Cherie Garden (not fenced) Bayou connectivity & programming Natural swimming pool? Bicycling through the park Beautify bayou/naturalize. Can you use moss?

Homeless (wish they could sleep somewhere else, but have a part in the park. Some are popular in the area, and people know by name) Garden hours longer

How are you designing for autonomous vehicles?

Is there room for a children’s play area with water feature on the east side of the park at the Bayou?

Please no more parking. (The park is not for cars.) Central Park in NYC doesn’t have a parking garage.

Any thought to making Bayou less concretized like has happened near Hobby Airport?

Will there be a dog park added?

1) What are you willing to do to increase conservancy membership, i.e., member events at gardens, etc.?

Like Hermann Dr. as 4 lane. We use it all the time. DO NOT want it MORE CONGESTED.

Better entrance points - proposed

• • • •

Unlock bathrooms by Pavilion every morning! Fix water fountains by Pavilion Monitor above Train staff to drive golf carts slowly!

More drinking water & trash cans


2) Cush -- drug use homeless 3) Directional signs for biking on Bayou 4) Phone apps Bad slides -- mobility! No ped bridge 5) You must address safe bike access to the park before you spend $s on improving w/in the park •

Has there been any consideration to providing a distant offsite parking area for all the buses so that the buses do not use our neighborhood streets for overflow? This offsite parking for buses could also be used for overflow parking for cars w/ shuttle buses to go from lot to park.

Is a dog park still in the plan?

Plans for dog park?

Why is there no traffic light or 4-way stop at the main entrance to the park and Miller Theater at Crawford and Hermann Dr.? This is a very hazardous and dangerous intersection.

What can be done to eliminate threat & presence of homeless people & their monopolizing of park benches, pavilions, picnic tables, etc.?

Many new trails along bayous are wide concrete paths to accommodate multi-use and maintenance. Will you be able to retain and extend soft surface trail or natural paths like Marvin Taylor?

• •

Are hours of gated area going to be expanded? Charging for parking, is it being considered? What would be the reaction in New York if exMayor Giuliani proposed a golf course for Central

COMMUNITY INPUT

Park? Comment about the golf course? •

Have you estimated latent unmet demand for park/ museums? Fellow local moms told me “go before 9 am, or don’t bother.” How many families like ours might come if you improve local access from nearby neighborhoods?

Has any consideration been given to modernizing the Miller Theater ticketing? It is inconvenient to go in person to pick up tickets, especially on weekedays & heavy zoo days.

There are plenty of architects and engineers in Houston who will say putting parking under landscape is prohibitively expensive, due to the dead loads of dirt and plants and the need for deep root balls. If I want to try to talk someone into supporting park over parking, what supportive argument can you make?

Consider how to improve Cambridge crossing in many ways - at ground level. A ped. bridge is only one access that removes you from the area in a way. Yes to underground walking Yes to water play & “small wild” areas.

Are you going to mediate or remove the treatment plant that smells like raw sewage most days along the bayou?

I grew up in Houston and love to see any improvements made.I love the plans but there needs to be more control over panhandlers and homeless in the area.I know bring my Grandkids

and there are so many around the area that I don’t want to go any more. •

Seniors can fish the water, why can’t Seniors put a small kayak in the water?

Thank you for asking for opinions. I have noticed in the last few weeks the conservancy has taken control of the park. We have spent many Friday’s at story hour in the garden. This area is secure and enjoyable. This week we walked from the Museum area to the train depot. The ride was fun and informative. The area was more secure than I have seen in the last 3 years. It was really nice even though the cascade fountain to the reflection pond was not functioning. The grand boys enjoyed the snow cone vendor and delighted at the 4 vertical fountains that children and adults were playing in. We only saw 2 sleeping homeless(political correction drug addicts and mentally ill). They were in the shadows by the wisteria arbor near the Japanese garden. As we left the park we ran into all the former park homeless just north of the park before you get to the Zaza When talking to friends and family in the area they were concerned it might just be a pre super bowl clean up and afterwards Herman park might return to a homeless retreat which frightens the majority of people who want a nice place the walk, sit, enjoy lunch and spend time with family. Next week we will return and ride the pedal boats. Suggestions. Be diligent regarding vagrants. Also, layout maps of special features exp. Japanese garden, children’s water area ( we haven’t found that yet)

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Hermann Park Master Plan  

As Houston rapidly grows and changes, Hermann Park needs an updated master plan to meet its needs for the future. In October of 2015, Herman...

Hermann Park Master Plan  

As Houston rapidly grows and changes, Hermann Park needs an updated master plan to meet its needs for the future. In October of 2015, Herman...

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