There is always something new and exciting going on in Houston, Texas. For example, this year marks the 100th anniversary for Hermann Park, which is nestled between the Museum District, Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. One of the most picturesque parks in Houston, Hermann offers locals and tourists an ample amount of green space and entertainment opportunities, both now for its centennial celebration and throughout the year.
While they have been celebrating their centennial with everything from temporary art installations to a family kite festival, Hermann Park is going all out on Saturday, Oct. 18, with the grand opening of McGovern Centennial Gardens and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, one of the major centennial projects that will soon be open to the public.
Hermann Park — Photo courtesy of Another Believer
The new Gardens will feature a rose garden, an interactive family garden, an arid garden, a 30-foot garden mount and a sculpture promenade featuring public art donated by countries from around the world.
It took 100 years to bring Hermann Park's vision of a garden into reality. In May of 1914, Houston real estate investor and industrialist George H. Hermann publicly announced his intention of deeding 285 acres of property to the City of Houston for a municipal park. And, thus, Hermann Park was born.
Hermann Park now consists of 445 acres of beautiful green space and is visited by millions of people each year.
Things to Do
This expansive park offers a little something for everyone here, including the Hermann Park Golf Course, the Miller Outdoor Theatre, a jogging track, the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Natural Science with the Cockrell Butterfly Exhibit, the Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children, the Japanese Garden, McGovern Lake with paddle boats and the kids' favorite Hermann Park Mini-Train.
As Hermann Park is next to the Museum District, one of Houston's more interesting and upscale neighborhoods, before or after your park visit is an ideal opportunity to take in one of the dozens of museums in the area. You can also grab a bite to eat at one of the local eateries.
Hermann Park's History
Designed by renowned landscape architect George Kessler, the first plan for the park in 1915 laid the groundwork for signature elements admired today, such as the main entrance at Montrose Boulevard and Main Street, the reflection pool, grand basin (McGovern Lake), the music pavilion (Miller Theatre), paths and carriage trails and the golf course. After Kessler’s death in 1923, the plan was expanded to include the garden center and zoo.
Due to world events and the scarcity of resources over subsequent decades, aspects of the grand plan were never completed. Then, in 1992, Hermann Park Conservancy launched a mission to save the deteriorating park and complete the vision imagined by early planners. Prestigious landscape architect Laurie Olin developed a master plan to revive the historic park.
Adopted in 1995, the new plan aimed to increase accessibility, restore the park’s historical elements and encourage community activity through new gathering spaces and increased services, while maintaining the park through thoughtful stewardship programs. The conservancy has been working to substantially complete the master plan in celebration of the park's centennial this year.
For more information on activities and upcoming events, visit Hermann Park's website.