The historic entrance to Hermann Park had extended Montrose Blvd to intersect with Main Street, to form a central access into the park. But the addition of Fannin Street cut off the esplanade from the rest of the park.
1932 Historic Photo of Grand Gateway. Photo courtesy of Hermann Park Conservancy.
The Hermann Park Conservency held a groundbreaking to restore the entrance to the 445 acre park. Doreen Stoller is executive director.
"Nine months from now, this will be an incredibly beautiful entrance to the Park. It won't be a historic reproduction, but it will be a beautiful connection between the neighborhoods around Hermann Park."
The project will landscape three medians with matching materials to create one, continuous uninterrupted entrance into the park. Stoler says it is hoped that will result in traffic calming effects.
"We're really interested in enhancing pedestrian and bike connections to the park from the surrounding neighborhoods. That's part of the big dream."
Houston Parks Director Joe Turner says when completed, the renovated entrance will attract more visitors into the park.
"It's so compelling that it's between the Mecom Fountain and Sam Houston. To be able to take this area and put it where it should be and the beauty of it, and it already is with the fountain of course, Mecom Fountain and Sam Houston. But to put the center in is just gonna be amazing."
The $ 5 million dollar project that includes new lighting, bike racks, pathways, sidewalks and Live Oak irrigation is slated for completion by March 2014, which is Hermann Park's centennial celebration.
SWA Group Rendering. Photo courtesy of Hermann Park Conservancy