Over the years, Market Square Park in downtown Houston has been redesigned several times, but the result has always seemed to miss the mark. This time, planners are hoping to get it right.
A sizable crowd was packed tight under a tent in drizzly, overcast weather Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the historic park in a scene sure to be different from the one there next summer when the new design is completed.
Houston Downtown Management District officials laid out plans for the new park, which will be designed by Lauren Griffith Associates (the same landscape architecture team behind Discovery Green). At the center, a central lawn will be established where the old City Hall once stood. And in a nod to the growing number of downtown residents with pets, a crescent-shaped dog run is planned near Milam street.
Existing art in the park will be moved and updated, with a new installation to come from Houston sculptor Ketria Scott. She will contribute a sculpture to Lauren's Garden, a memorial to Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a Houstonian who was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Grandcolas was a passenger on United Flight 93, the hijacked airplane that crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. Grandcola's parents, who live in Houston, were present for the groundbreaking. The garden will include a fountain and a memorial to all victims of the 2001 tragedy.
Niko Niko's Greek & American Café is also in negotiations to operate a small restaurant in the park.