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Park Place Super Neighborhood 74

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Briefing Book

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Collaborative Community Design Initiative. No. 4 Community Design Resource Center 2016

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KINGWOOD KINGWOOD KINGWOOD


Charlton Park


Contents Introduction

5

History

7

Context

11

Demographics

23

Opportunities

31

Participants and Sponsors

47

Timeline Sims Bayou Figure Ground Land Use Industry Parks Transportation Health Population Age Race and Ethnicity Income and Education Housing Crime Glenbrook Golf Course (Houston Botanic Garden) Galveston Road Park Place Streetscaping Edges Bridge to Nowhere


ABOVE: Charlton Park RIGHT: Map of Park Place and Meadowbrook Study Area

Park Place

Meadowbrook

4


Introduction Super Neighborhood #74, Park Place is located in southeast Houston. The neighborhood is bounded on three sides by freeways: the Gulf Freeway on the west, Loop 610 on the north and Highway 225 on the east. The southern boundary of the neighborhood is Sims Bayou. Park Place is one of Houston’s smallest super neighborhoods at just 1.74 square miles. For the purposes of this study we have included a section of the Meadowbrook neighborhood, just south of Park Place. Glenbrook Golf Course, the proposed site for the Houston Botanic Garden, sits between the neighborhoods which necessitates expanding the boundaries. Park Place is a beautifully wild, quirky and idiosyncratic neighborhood, characteristics we hope to build on. It is home to Glen Douglas’ Dome house, which was constructed to accommodate a giant pipe organ. Vietnamese immigrants once had an aquaponic garden along the original Sims Bayou, several homes teeter uncomfortably over the banks, former boat docks rot away on the edges of the water and at the eastern end of Park Place is an abandoned bridge that goes nowhere. Sims Bayou is the spine of the neighborhood connecting area parks, schools, transit and destinations. The proposed Houston Botanic Garden could transform this spine into a wall and as a result this study is focused on expanding public spaces and connections across the neighborhood.

5

Location Map


1924 Glenbrook Golf Course constructed

1912

Park Place was platted

Park Place streets named after famous cities

1920

1927

1952

Meadowbrook Arches constructed on Howard

Park Place annexed by City of Houston

Gulf Freeway opens

1926

1936

Charlton Park becomes a city park

Galveston Houston Electric Railway ceases operation

6


History Park Place is a historic southeast Houston neighborhood that was platted in 1912 by the Park Place Company. In 1921 the subdivision incorporated as a town and in 1927 residents asked to be annexed by the city of Houston. The neighborhood’s crossroads were Broadway Boulevard and Park Place. Early promotional materials bragged that lot sizes, streets, utilities and amenities were better than anything found inside the Houston city limits.

The amenities included shell-paved streets, artesian wells, cement walks, electric street lights, street shade trees and utilities tucked in alleyways behind homes. The original brochure also touted that downtown was a short twenty-minute trolley ride away on the Galveston and Houston Electric Railway, which ceased operations in 1936. In the 1950s the Gulf Freeway replaced the trolley and the original Park Place development was divided

into two neighborhoods on either side of this barrier. Glenbrook Golf Course, established in 1924, is in the center of the community and straddles Sims Bayou, which was re-routed and widened in the 1990s. The golf course defines the southeastern edge of the Park Place neighborhood and acts as both the boundary and the link between Park Place and Meadowbrook, the neighborhood to the south.

1990

1999

2015

Sims Bayou channelized and widened

Greater Park Place Community Development Corporation is founded

Houston Botanic Garden proposed for Glenbrook Golf Course

1997

Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center established ABOVE: Park Place Area Timeline, based on research by A. Amor, B. Blanco, A. De Hoyos, L. Dunn, and C. Zuniga

7

2002 Park Place residents fight against renaming the elementary school as a new building is constructed


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ABOVE, Left: Aerial of Sims Bayou in 1978 ABOVE, Right: Aerial of Sims Bayou in 1995 RIGHT: Flooding along Sims Bayou, 1970s

8


The original Park Place promotional brochure highlighted good drainage in the area as a selling point. The brochure bragged that the area had “perfect, natural drainage� being sited between Plumb Creek and Sims Bayou. However, in 1990, after decades of flooding and property loss west of this area along Sims Bayou, the Sims Bayou Federal Flood Damage Reduction project began construction. The project, a partnership between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Harris County Flood Control District, would take over twenty-five years and $379 million in funding to complete. One of the most significant changes was the widening and straightening of Sims Bayou in the Park Place and Meadowbrook neighborhoods. The new course for Sims Bayou would greatly impact Glenbrook Golf Course, which straddles the bayou, and in fact the entire layout of the course would be revised. The Sims Bayou project, now complete, is expected to have a substantially positive impact. Revised flood plain maps, released in May 2016, highlight a reduced risk of flooding for property owners in the area, with approximately 35,000 homes and 2,000 commercial structures removed from the 100-year floodplain.

9

ABOVE: Park Place Promotional Brochure, 1912


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10


Context The Park Place Super Neighborhood is a tightly knit community with a dense pattern of development. The neighborhood has maintained its character and much of its built fabric across many decades. The only exception to this are the homes demolished to expand and re-route Sims Bayou and the buyout of a subdivision adjacent to the refinery in the northeast corner of the study area. These buyouts, combined with scattered demolitions along the freeways and in other locations, resulted in the loss of 1,645 housing units between 1980 and 2014, or 23% of the total. Yet, there is very little developable vacant land in the area. The density of development in Park Place, and the lack of large tracts of vacant land, point to the need for innovative strategies for the community. OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Aerial Map ABOVE, Right: Figure Ground Building Footprint 2010 Building Footprint 1974 BELOW, Left: Park Place Apartments BELOW, Right: Number of Housing Units in the Study Area

-2%

-4%

-17%

-1%

Number of Housing Units

11

7263

7113

6811

5676

5618

1980

1990

2000

2010

2014


ABOVE, Left: Vacant Land Map ABOVE, Right: Commercial and Industrial Land Use Map Commercial Industrial BELOW: Galveston Road (Highway 3)

12


The Park Place and Meadowbrook neighborhoods are characterized by primarily single-family housing. Homes are clustered around the waterways and green spaces while the multi-family developments are concentrated along major thoroughfares and highways, including Park Place Boulevard, Broadway Boulevard, Howard Drive, Loop 610 and I-45. Nearly half of all land in the study area is occupied by industrial uses. This includes three large industrial plants and a wastewater treatment facility. These uses are sited in the northeastern section of the neighborhoods between Galveston Road and Highway 225. Commercial uses, stores and shops are concentrated along Broadway Boulevard, Howard Drive and the Gulf Freeway. ABOVE, Right: Residential Land Uses Multi-Family Single Family BELOW, Left: Multi-family Housing BELOW, Right: 2014 Housing by Type Park Place Houston

70%

60%

58% 50%

45% 40%

36% 30%

26% 20%

10%

10% 4%

0%

Single-Family Attached

13

13% 1%

5%

Single-Family Detached

Small Apartments (3-9 units)

Large Apartments (10 or more units)

1%

Mobile Homes/Other


Goodyear

Milby Park

Flint Hill Resources

Houston Solid Waste Management

Deady MS

Sanchez ES

Wastewater Treatment Plant

TPC Group LLC

espo ES

1 mile radius

Oak Meadows Park Rucker ES

Park Place ES

Charlton Park

Glenbrook Golf Course

Glenbrook Park

Cesar E Chavez HS

Melinda Bonner ES

ABOVE: Externalities Map (Industrial/Waste Facilities) Toxic Release Facility Map by A. Amor, B. Blanco, A. De Hoyos, L. Dunn, and C. Zuniga OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Chart of EPA Toxic Release Facility Reports Compliant Non-Compliant Out of Compliance OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Chavez H.S.

14


Park Place, an extremely small neighborhood, is challenged by adjacency to a significant number of industrial and waste facilities. Within a mile of these facilities sit two area schools and three of the four area parks. This fact highlights the lack of environmental justice across Houston. In fact, the EPA reports that the Houston region ranks second of 893 urban areas in the country based on total toxic releases per square mile. Park Place has three Toxic Release Inventory facilities monitored by the EPA. The facilities are (from north to south on the map to the left) Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Flint Hills Resources Houston Chemicals and TPC Group LLC. The EPA ranks Flint Hills Resources at 121 of 2930 industrial chemical facilities in the U.S. in terms of releases, or in the top 5%. Goodyear ranks in the top 10% and TPC Group in the top 25%. TPC Group was “out of compliance� every quarter from January 2013 to December 2015. Goodyear was out of compliance three calendar quarters, significantly non-compliant for five quarters, and only compliant for 4 quarters, or one-third of the last three years. The length of time between inspections for the three facilities averages over 228 days. In addition to these three industrial facilities the study area is also home to a wastewater treatment facility and a solid waste transfer station, both directly adjacent to Milby Park.

15

2013

2014

2015

Goodyear

Rank 208:2930 Top 10%

Last inspection 199 days

TPC Group

Rank 631:2930 Top 25%

Last inspection 283 days

Flint Hills

Rank 121:2930 Top 5%

Last inspection 403 days


RIGHT: Aerial of Glenbrook Golf Course BELOW, Top to Bottom: Glenbrook Park, Milby Park, Photos by L. Dunn and A. De Hoyos OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Park Map OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Diagram of Houston’s Bayou Greenways

Charlton Park

1/4 mile 1/4 mile Glenbrook Park

Glenbrook Golf Course

16


The Park Place study area has four parks: Charlton Park, Glenbrook Park, Milby Park and Oak Meadows Park. Charlton Park has a community center, tennis courts, and a covered basketball court. Glenbrook Park has a pool and splash pad.

66 acres 225

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15 acres

Glenbrook Golf Course 120 acres

Charlton Park 9 acres

Both the botanic garden design and the golf course require that the Bayou Greenway trails be re-routed along the periphery of the site. As a result, this location along Sims Bayou will be the only place in Houston where there will be a break in the Emerald Necklace. Furthermore, as proposed the pedestrian link across Sims Bayou will be sandwiched between the back of a strip mall and Captain Benny’s on the 45-feeder road and the back of house facilities proposed for the Botanic Garden. Break in the Emerald Necklace if Houston Botanic Garden is constructed as proposed

17

Oak Meadows Park

10

I-4

The neighborhood is also home to the 120-acre Glenbrook Golf Course, which is the proposed site for the Houston Botanic Garden. The golf course site connects the neighborhoods of Park Place and Meadowbrook and residents traverse the site regularly. As proposed the Houston Botanic Garden design will eliminate this important link that connects residents to the amenities on either side of Sims Bayou. The resources on the Park Place side include a library, the area’s only bus route, a community center, tennis courts and basketball court. The destinations on the Meadowbrook side include a pool and splash pad.

Milby Park


Proposed Bike Lanes Existing Bike Lanes

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To Eastwood Transit Center 50 Broadway 0

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ABOVE, Right: Transit Map RIGHT: Broadway Boulevard OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Bike Lanes Existing Bike Lanes Proposed Bike Lanes OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Galveston Road Bike Lane and Neighborhood Bike Route Photos by B. Blanco and L. Dunn

19

ve

The area has three existing bike routes: Galveston Road, Howard Drive, and an east to west neighborhood route. The Galveston Road route, which is an un-striped shared lane, is extremely dangerous and should either be removed or protected. The recently completed bike plan only includes additional bike routes along the proposed Bayou Greenways.

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5

The 50 Broadway runs frequently, every 15 minutes; the 5 Park Place runs every 30 minutes at peak and once an hour off-peak. Not surprisingly, only 4% of area workers ride public transit to get to work.

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There are two bus routes that travel through the Park Place Super Neighborhood—Route 50 Broadway and Route 5 Southmore. The 50 Broadway serves Hobby Airport and the Eastwood Transit Center. The 5 Southmore connects riders to Palm Center for transfers to the Purple Line light rail and the Museum District. Prior to the reimagined bus system, there were three bus routes that served the area, including a route along Howard Drive. With the new bus system residents of Meadowbrook would benefit from a pedestrian link across Sims Bayou to access the route along Park Place.

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Carniceria Aguascalientes

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Restaurants in the study area include four fast food outlets and a small Vietnamese cafe and a taqueria.

Gulfgate HEB

Broadway

Park Place and Meadowbrook are not well served by either grocery stores or other healthy food options. There are two small grocery stores within the Park Place Super Neighborhood boundaries and two larger grocery stores located outside of the neighborhood, but within a mile. The larger stores are HEB at Gulfgate and Foodarama on Galveston Road.

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Foodarama Food Valley

20


21


Park Place | Meadowbrook

Houston

2000

2010

2014

2000

2010

2014

22,333

17,333 -22%

17,797 3%

1,953,631

2,099,451 7%

2,239,558 7%

Race/Ethnicity White Black or African American Asian Other Hispanic or Latino

13% 2% 5% 1% 79%

12% 1% 5% 1% 81%

7% 2% 5% 1% 86%

31% 25% 5% 2% 37%

26% 23% 6% 2% 44%

26% 23% 6% 1% 44%

Age 17 Years or Younger 18 - 64 Years Old 65 Years or Older

34% 60% 6%

33% 62% 5%

31% 62% 7%

28% 64% 8%

26% 65% 9%

26% 65% 9%

Place of Birth Foreign Born Residents

40%

39%

41%

26%

29%

28%

Means of Transportation to Work Drove Alone Carpooled Public Transportation Other (Walk, Bicycle, Work at Home, etc.)

63% 24% 4% 9%

66% 25% 3% 6%

72% 14% 4% 10%

72% 16% 6% 5%

75% 13% 5% 7%

80% 11% 4% 5%

Educational Attainment 25 Years + Less Than High School High School Graduate (includes equivalency) Some college Bachelor's degree Master's degree Professional school degree Doctorate degree

57% 23% 14% 4% 1% 1% 0%

41% 29% 22% 6% 2% 1% 0%

44% 32% 19% 4% 1% 0% 0%

30% 20% 23% 17% 6% 3% 1%

26% 22% 24% 17% 7% 2% 2%

24% 22% 24% 18% 8% 2% 2%

30,595 $ 84%

34,148 $ 77%

36,616 $

44,124 $

Percent of Population Below Poverty

20%

21%

23%

19%

22%

23%

Housing Units Occupied Vacant Housing Units

93% 7%

89% 11%

89% 11%

92% 8%

88% 12%

87% 13%

Tenure Percent Owners Percent Renters

50% 50%

50% 50%

49% 51%

46% 54%

45% 55%

45% 55%

Households without access to a vehicle

11%

11%

8%

12%

10%

10%

3.5

3.4

3.6

2.7

2.7

2.7

Total Population

Median Household Income Percent of Houston's Median

Persons per Household

$

38,627 84%

$

45,728

*Sources: Census 2000, Census 2010, ACS 2014

22


Demographics The Park Place Super Neighborhood is home to just over 10,000 people with a population density of over 5,200 people per square mile, 64% higher than Houston overall. The expanded study area is home to approximately 18,000 people and is just slightly higher in population density than Houston overall. Between 2000 and 2014 the area lost 4,500 people, a population decline of 22%. Much of this decline can be contributed to housing demolition required for the Sims Bayou flood reduction project and from the buyout and demolition of housing adjacent to a local refinery.

3205 3201

3202

3206

10% 65+ years

7% 65+ years

Residents of the study area are young. More than 31% are below 18 years of age, higher than in Houston where 25% are below 18. In addition, only 7% of the population is above 65 years, where in Houston this number is 10%.

25% 0-17 years

31% 0-17 years

62% 18-64 years

ABOVE, Right: Map of Study Area and Census Tracts RIGHT: Population by Age 2014 BELOW, Right: Population Change 2000-2014 BELOW, Left: Charlton Park

65% 18-64 years

Park Place 2014

Houston 2014

59K 55K

22K

2000

23

+ 7% Houston Population Change 17K

60K

+ 3% Houston Population Change 18K

- 22% Park Place Population Change

+ 3% Park Place Population Change

2010

2014


The Park Place Super Neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic, comprising 86% of residents. Since 1990 the white population has declined by 80%. The Hispanic population, in contrast, has grown from 60% in 1990 to 86% in 2014. The Asian and Black populations have remained stable over this time period. BELOW: Park Place Change in Race/Ethnicity 1990-2014 Black/African-American Asian White Hispanic/Latino Other

1990

2000

2014

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The Park Place Super Neighborhood and adjacent study area had a 2014 median household income of $38,627. The median income is 16% lower than the Houston median of $45,728. Median income ranges substantially across the neighborhood. The western section of the study area, adjacent to the intersection of I-45 and Loop 610, has the lowest median income. The eastern section of the study area has the highest median income. Surprisingly, the southern portion of the neighborhood has both one of the highest median household incomes and the highest poverty rates, suggesting a stark division between those who struggle economically and those who are doing well. Since 2000 the median household income in Park Place has increased at the same rate as the Houston median overall. ABOVE, Left to Right: Median Household Income By Census Tract, 2014; Poverty by Census Tract, 2014 RIGHT: Median Household Income 2000-2014 BELOW, Left to Right: Housing and Meadowbrook Baptist Church

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$29,784

$38,059

$46,435

23%

29%

$40,813

13%

31%

+ 21%

+ 3% $45,728

dian on Me

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$36,616 Park Place

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Median HH

Income

$44,124

+ 13%

+ 12%

$38,627

$34,148

$30,595 2000

2010

2014


Education and income are directly connected and both affect health, quality of life, and opportunities. Residents in the Park Place and Meadowbrook study area are falling behind the city overall in education. For example, 44% of the area’s population over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma, in Houston the number is 24%. In addition, only 6% hold a Bachelor’s or graduate degree while in Houston 30% have advanced degrees.

Bachelor's degree 4%

Graduate Degree or Higher 2%

Some College 18%

Graduate Degree or Higher 12% Less than High School 44%

H.S. Graduate 32%

RIGHT: Park Place and Houston Educational Attainment 25 Years and Over, 2014 BELOW, Left to Right: Park Place Elementary School, Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Cesar Chavez High School

Park Place 2014

Bachelor's degree 18%

Less than High School 24%

H.S. Graduate 22% Some College 24%

Houston 2014

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Housing remains very affordable in southeast Houston, but many who live in the area struggle to afford housing. In the Park Place study area 40% of owners spend more than 30% of their income on housing, compared to 37% in Houston overall. 43% of renters in the study area spend more than 30% of their income on housing, while in Houston overall this number soars to 47%, or nearly half of all renters.

44%

43%

37%

In the Park Place study area households that are extremely burdened with housing costs, spending more than 50% of their income on housing are higher than Houston overall. Specifically, 14% of owners and 25% of renters spend more than 50% of their income on housing. Rising property values can be a significant burden to home owners who are already paying too much of their annual earnings for housing.

15%

33%

41%

52%

40%

50%

39%

36%

Study Area Renters Spending > 30% of Income on Housing 2014

Study Area Home Owners Spending > 30% of Income on Housing 2014

BELOW: Owners and Renters spending more than 30% of income on Housing, 2014 Park Place Houston

Study Area Home Owners and Renters Spending > 30% of Income on Housing 2014

OWNER AND RENTER COMBINED

47% 40%

35%

43%

41%

43%

37%

25%

23% 19%

14%

Owner 30% +

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Renter 30% +

18%

11%

Owner 50% +

Renter 50% +

Owner and Renter 30% +

Owner and Renter 50% +


Overall the Park Place study area is quite safe compared to other neighborhoods in the city of Houston. The crime that does occur is concentrated along the Gulf Freeway and Loop 610 where there is a substantial amount of vacant land and derelict properties. Crime is also concentrated in the Broadway corridor.

ABOVE, Right: Crime Map (Based on Trulia data retrieved May 2016) BELOW, Left to Right: I-45 pedestrian bridge, neighborhood entry to Glenbrook GC OPPOSITE PAGE: Glenbrook Golf Course Photos by Leighann Dunn

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Galveston Road

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Bridge to Nowhere

Edges

Glenbrook Golf Course

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Opportunities

Challenges can always be reconsidered as opportunities. To this end, the opportunity areas identified for the study area— focused on linking, greening, and cleaning—reflect the idiosyncratic, contradictory and beautiful nature of the neighborhood. The first opportunity is in the heart of the community, Glenbrook Golf Course. One link in the emerald necklace of Houston, the golf course is the center of the community and is the site of the proposed Houston Botanic Garden. The second opportunity is to address the unraveling of the freeway edge conditions. The remaining three opportunities focus on specific conditions—the Union Pacific and Galveston Road right of ways, Park Place Boulevard, and the “bridge to nowhere.” Each opportunity should enhance green spaces, create greater connectivity, and work towards a healthier community. ABOVE, Right: Vision Diagram, concept by A. Amor, B. Blanco, A. DeHoyos, L. Dunn, C. Zuniga RIGHT: Bridge to Nowhere OPPOSITE PAGE: Map of Opportunity Areas

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LINKED

The Park Place and Meadowbrook study area is a place where the natural and the man-made collide. The natural meander of the original Sims Bayou and the wide channelized section; the incredible wildlife and the stacks of industry; quiet and verdant residential streets and the roar of the freeway. The collision of these two opposing conditions is in many ways what gives the area its character, but it is also what creates challenges.

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Glenbrook Golf Course 120 acres = 91 Soccer fields

10 Parks the size of Discovery Green

60 Sites large enough for the Empire State Building

ABOVE: Golf Course Land Area Comparison Chart by A. Amor, B. Blanco, A. De Hoyos, L. Dunn, C. Zuniga BELOW: Botanic Garden Size Studies OPPOSITE PAGE, Top Left: Map of Glenbrook Golf Course, Proposed Houston Botanic Garden OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Botanic Garden Sizes Across the U.S.

Analysis to determine the right size of the Houston Botanic Garden could result in a better fit with the context of adjacent neighborhoods.

90 acres

80 acres

70 acres

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GLENBROOK GOLF COURSE | HOUSTON BOTANIC GARDEN Glenbrook Golf Course was established in 1924, and is the second oldest course in the City of Houston. Homes and residential streets line this green space and have magnificent views of the bayou and the wildlife it attracts.

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120 acres

5 Aerial View of Glenbrook Golf Course

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ACRES

As a result, this opportunity asks whether there could be concessions to the surrounding neighborhoods to make the Garden a more welcome addition, this includes an in-depth analysis of the land area required, addressing the edges of the garden that interface with residential neighborhoods, and honoring existing pedestrian paths that link through the golf course to connect the Park Place and Meadowbrook neighborhoods.

I-4

There are three fundamental challenges with this proposal. First, the neighborhood has not been involved in the decision-making. Second, no right-sizing studies were completed that might have pointed to providing the surrounding community with new amenities. Third, the Garden as proposed will be fenced and will require the re-location of the Sims Bayou greenway trails.

Glenbrook Golf Course Proposed Houston Botanic Garden

80 60 40 20 0

30

70

80

90

120

Atlanta

Dallas

St. Louis

Chicago

Houston

CITY

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Rd

In January 2014 Houston City Council approved a lease with the Houston Botanic Garden organization for Glenbrook Golf Course. A year later the master plan was approved by Mayor Parker.


Park Place Library

The proposed Houston Botanic Garden, a fee for entry and fenced space, could be designed to accommodate pedestrian access and enhance the surrounding communities. As proposed the garden will be an island, eliminating all access for area residents to this important green space.

Charlton Community Center

Home

Home

Park Place Library

Charlton Community Center

Home

Home

ABOVE, Left to Right: Map showing existing pedestrian routes and photo of existing pedestrian bridge BELOW, Left to Right: Map showing proposed pedestrian routes and photo of proposed pedestrian path Photos by Leighann Dunn

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Supporters of the Houston Botanic Garden reason that it will raise property values, create economic development and enhance tourism. Yet, the golf course has been an integral part of this community for 92 years, and is used like a public green space. Most importantly, the approved concept plan for the Houston Botanic Garden will eliminate a pedestrian path through the center of Glenbrook Golf Course that links the Park Place and Meadowbrook neighborhoods. The elimination of this link will cut residents off from the amenities on either side of Sims Bayou and require an additional half-mile walking distance to make the trip. The Houston Parks Board has committed to the Bayou Greenway program that will provide continuous trails along all of Houston’s major bayous. The trails along Sims Bayou would likely have been re-routed along Glenview Drive because of the golf course, as the trails are re-routed with the Garden plan. However, the difference lies in the fact that as proposed the pedestrian link across Sims Bayou will be sandwiched between the back of the strip mall and Captain Benny’s on the I-45 feeder road (see photo bottom left) and the “back of house” facilities proposed for the Botanic Garden. This will be very unsafe and uncomfortable. ABOVE, Left: West 8 Proposal, Houston Botanic Garden. Drawing placed in site by A. Amor, B. Blanco, A. De Hoyos, L. Dunn, and C. Zuniga BELOW Left to Right: West 8 Proposal, Houston Botanic Garden

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25’ Rail Line

55’ ROW

Opportunity to create a green buffer zone or pedestrian and bike path

40’ ROW Green Buffer

ABOVE: Union Pacific Rail Line BELOW: Section of Galveston Road OPPOSITE PAGE, Top Right: Galveston Road Aerial OPPOSITE PAGE, Left to Right: UP Railroad and Galveston Road, Photos by L.Dunn and S. Rogers

Union Pacific Railroad ROW 55’

25’

Galveston Road 40’

70’ (Howard Intersection) 44’ Typical

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OLD GALVESTON ROAD

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Galveston Road and the railroad right-of-way are also the boundary line between residential uses and heavy industry. Re-thinking this area to create a green buffer and potential pedestrian and bike route is an important opportunity.

G

Old Galveston Road is four lanes wide with posted speed limits of 45 mph and has no shoulder. Yet, the street is a marked shared use bike route and is a frequent pedestrian route for residents and students. In addition one of only two area bus routes, the 5 Southmore, travels along Galveston Road.

Chavez HS Track

Un

Old Galveston Road, or Highway 3, runs through the heart of the Park Place and Meadowbrook neighborhoods and is paralleled by a Union Pacific Railroad line. The railroad right-of-way, west of Galveston Road, is over 120 feet wide. Cesar Chavez High School sits east of the street and railroad, as well as Foodarama Grocery Store.

Chavez HS

Foodarama

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Park Place Library Glenbrook Golf Course Charlton Park

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PARK PLACE STREETSCAPING Park Place Boulevard is an important thoroughfare in the community. Destinations along Park Place, east of the Gulf Freeway, include Charlton Park, Park Place Elementary School, Park Place Library, numerous churches, the proposed Houston Botanic Garden entry (at Charlton Park) and at the eastern end the bridge to nowhere.

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ABOVE, Right: Historic Park Place Map RIGHT: Park Place Boulevard OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones OPPOSITE PAGE, Middle: Park Place Boulevard Aerial OPPOSITE PAGE, Bottom: Park Place Boulevard Figure Ground

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The four-lane street changes drastically in terms of condition as you move from the intersection with the Gulf Freeway towards the east. As a result, the opportunity is to enhance the streetscaping along Park Place, as well as identify other design interventions that embrace the diversity of buildings, landscapes and socio-economic conditions that currently exist.

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Broadway

When Park Place was originally platted the Houston and Galveston Electric Railway ran through the center of Park Place. In fact, Park Place is an early example of a “streetcar suburb”—linked to downtown via trolley. Today, the Gulf Freeway marks this division, and it has become two separate neighborhoods. The original Park Place roundabout is now tucked under the elevated Gulf Freeway, and is currently being re-designed.

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I-45 Pedestrian Bridge

610 and I-45 vacant lot

HEALTH

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I-45 vacant lot

NUTRITION

WILDLIFE

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EDGES The Park Place neighborhood is bounded by Loop 610 on the north and I-45 on the west. The intersection of these two freeways is distinct as the I-45 feeder road does not continue north at 610, instead traffic must bear east and U-turn at Broadway. The same is true of Loop 610, which also does not have a continuous feeder road in this location. As a result of these conditions the edges along these freeways are both deteriorating and the site of area crime.

0

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A pedestrian bridge spans I-45 just south of Loop 610 and is an opportunity to create an identity marker for the area. In addition, identifying strategies, such as tree planting or the generation of green buffer spaces, could beautify the area and make it more attractive to residents and those passing through.

I-4 5

ABOVE, Right: Aerial showing vacant lots on I-45 and 610 OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Vacant Lot Conditions along I-45 and 610 OPPOSITE PAGE, Left: Potential Vacant Lot Uses, Diagrams by A. Amor

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ABOVE, Left: Photo of Bridge Approach LEFT: Aerial View of the Bridge to Nowhere OPPOSITE PAGE, Top: Diagram of Proposed Hike and Bike Trails and Bridge OPPOSITE PAGE, Left to Right: Photos of the Bridge and Sims Bayou, photos by B. Blanco

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BRIDGE TO NOWHERE At the northeastern end of Park Place Boulevard, just east of Galveston Road, is a concrete vehicular bridge that goes across Sims Bayou and abruptly terminates on the other side. The bridge is barricaded on the west side and not open to traffic. On the east side is TPC Refinery, which is fenced. The “Bridge to Nowhere” is just one of the quirky conditions in this distinct part of southeast Houston.

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Bridge to Nowhere

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The bridge to nowhere could become an integral part of a public space network. The site is a point of convergence for hike and bike trails proposed by both the Houston Parks Board and the City of Houston’s recently released Bike Plan. The bridge provides expansive views of Sims Bayou and would serve as a mid-point between Milby Park to the north and Glenbrook Park to the south. Challenges include adjacency to heavy industry and the isolation of the site. However, the under-utilized site north of the bridge could be transformed into a new park.

Milby Park

Glenbrook Park


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Notes

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Glenview Drive

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Participants and Sponsors Participants Community Design Workshop University of Houston College of Architecture Student Team, Spring 2016 Allen Amor Angelica De Hoyos Leighann Dunn Barbara Blanco Christopher Zuniga *This document includes research prepared by students in Spring 2016 Community Design Resource Center Susan Rogers, Director Adelle Main, Senior Research Assistant Barbara Blanco Gonzalez, Research Assistant Minelya De Leon, Research Assistant Tran Le, Research Assistant Honored Guests and Critics Larry Bowles Linda del Angel Andrew Lopez Evelyn Merz Chelsea Sallans Rebecca Sallans Alexandra Trojanowski Andrea Gonzalez Alex Lahti Eric Leshinsky Rafael Longoria Sana Rehman

Sponsors

The Collaborative Community Design Initiative is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Architecture Center Houston Foundation. The initiative would not be possible without the generous commitment of time from stakeholders and professionals across Houston. We would like to thank all of our partners and supporters.

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Profile for SKRogers

PARK PLACE BRIEFING BOOK 2016  

the Park Place Briefing Book describes the neighborhood's context, demographics and opportunities for our fourth biennial Collaborative Comm...

PARK PLACE BRIEFING BOOK 2016  

the Park Place Briefing Book describes the neighborhood's context, demographics and opportunities for our fourth biennial Collaborative Comm...

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