Visual Art

Buffalo Bayou Park Nears Grand Re-Opening

The renovation was delayed after the massive flooding over Memorial Day, but planners say they’ve designed the park with flooding in mind.

When the floods in May practically swallowed parts of Buffalo Bayou and the adjoining park, it was a chance for the planners to see if their design was successful.

“The worst case scenario is the case that a storm comes right in the middle of your work, and that’s what happened,” says Scott McCready, the park’s lead consultant for landscape design. “So the fact that it really withstood it extremely well was a testament to those efforts… and I think to the larger design.”

When the blueprints were first laid out, the group had already taken flooding into account. One of the actions they’ve taken to minimize future flooding is planting trees along the banks. That’ll help reduce erosion.

Architect Larry Speck was in charge of designing the visitor centers and three pavilions within the 160-acre greenspace. He says they purposely used strong materials like concrete when building the structures. “Many of the buildings, though, in the park, especially the pavilions, they are in the flood plain. So it had to be really, really tough in that regard,” Speck says.

The $58 million project includes a dog park, public art installations, and canoe and bicycle rentals. Buffalo Bayou Park’s grand re-opening is set for October 3rd.

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