Sam Houston Park serves as the cornerstone for many of the events that take place downtown.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker says many citizens probably don’t know of its significance to WWII:
“The memorial to the U.S. S. Houston. Our renovation of this park is designed to make sure that this park continues to function as a beautiful repository for so much of Houston’s history.”
Houston Parks director Joe Turner says part of the history of Sam Houston Park was honored when U.S. Navy Seabees restored the plaza surrounding the U.S.S. Houston Memorial, to honor the sailors who gave their lives when the ship was sunk by the Japanese in 1942.
“We have wanted to re-master plan the park for quite a few years, and we went through a process, and we applied for a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant to match some of the money we had. And this is just a plus that came in that we had not planned on, because we would have been doing this work ourselves in the project. And so, this has a value of about $50,000 dollars. And so that’s $50,000 more in the project that we can use to embellish something else.”
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Joe Turner in front of the U.S.S Houston Monument at Sam Houston Park
The project will include relocating some of the existing landmarks and on-site art pieces.
It’s expected to cost about $2 million dollars, of which $1 million come from a matching grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. It’s expected to be completed in June of next year.