Today, the Hermann Park Conservancy in Houston, TX breaks ground on its largest project ever, the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Hoerr Schaudt’s design for the gardens transforms 15 acres of the park into the city’s central resource for garden education and enjoyment.

Hermann Park is a 445-acre public park located in the heart of downtown Houston that has given city residents access to open space for nearly 100 years. The re-design of its public gardens creates will give residents and visitors a wider variety experiences, whether they visit for gardening tips, weddings and large events, or a casual stroll.

View from top of mount toward pavilion.

At the center of the Gardens will be Centennial Green, an expansive lawn for picnics or large-scale public events framed by water features, pergolas and perennial gardens. At one end of the great lawn will be the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, designed by architect Peter Bohlin, and at the other, a 30-foot high garden mount.

View to the mount along perennial walk.

The garden mount will feature an ADA-accessible walking path to the top and a cascading waterfall down the front that recycles water to and from a reflection pool at the opposite end of the formal lawn. From the top of the garden mount, visitors can view the full beauty of the gardens.

Other highlights include:

  • Celebration Garden a picturesque venue for weddings or other private events
  • Family Garden and shelter featuring selected plants and vegetable beds designed for public interaction and learning.
  • Pine Hill Walk featuring winding paths through tall pines and the relocated Chinese Pavilion
  • A formal Rose Garden, featuring modern and heirloom roses.
  • Sculpture Promenade displaying the Conservancy’s existing collection of donated sculptures of international figures.
  • Arid Garden featuring plants that thrive in dry weather and soils
  • Shaded Woodland Walk with fragrant flowering shrubs.

A relocated parking area built to the east of the Gardens will help open up space, increase accessibility and ease traffic flow while preserving the number of parking spaces. New pedestrian and vehicular entrances from Hermann Drive will enhance access from neighboring residential areas and cultural institutions, including the Children’s Museum, the Health Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts.

The McGovern Centennial Gardens is slated for completion in October 2014 to help celebrate the Park’s centennial year.

Hoerr Schaudt is proud of the collaboration with the Hermann Park Conservancy and the following team members on this project: pavilion architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Houston landscape architects White Oak Studio, civil engineers Infrastructure Associates, water feature consultants Greenscape Pump Services, and horticultural consultant Dr. William Welch of Texas A&M University, College Station.

We’re looking forward to construction!

Curious about what happened to all the plants in the old gardens? The Houston Chronicle finds out!

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