Hermann Park Conservancy celebrates
Hermann Park Conservancy celebrates the park’s largest improvement project to date this month with the grand opening of the McGovern Centennial Gardens and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion. This spectacular addition will be yet another reason to visit the 445-acre, urban oasis that over six million people enjoy annually.
The McGovern Centennial Gardens, designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects with White Oak Studio Landscape Architecture, will completely transform the 15-acre garden center site into a spectacular new attraction for park visitors.
It features a Family Garden, Centennial Green, 30’ Garden Mount, Celebration Garden, Rose Garden and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, designed by architect Peter Bohlin of Bohlin Cynwinski Jackson, famed designer of the glass Apple stores worldwide.
As visitors explore the gardens, they will see 490+ new trees of over 50 different species, 760 hedge shrubs, 350 new roses in the Rose Garden, 106,875 other shrubs and perennials of 199 varieties, 115 new camellias and 650 new azaleas in the Woodland Garden and so much more.
Landscape Designer Doug Hoerr of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects described the changes this way, “The McGovern Centennial Gardens stand alone as a setting for respite, refuge and education and fit into the larger historical footprint of Hermann Park. This civic project provides the citizens of Houston with a memorable place to gather, for education, for beautification, gardening and growing food. The McGovern Centennial Gardens celebrate connecting people to the land.”
Jim Patterson of White Oak Studio Landscape Architecture added, “Public gardens are an indispensable part of great cities all over the world. We are so pleased to be part of building a great public garden for this great city.”
Presented to the City of Houston by George Hermann in 1914, Hermann Park is one of Houston’s most popular and historically significant public green spaces. Since its inception, Hermann Park has served as a tranquil refuge from the day-to-day bustle of city life. One hundred years later, the original vision for the park is finally being realized, thanks to a Master Plan and a $123 million Centennial Capital Campaign conceived and executed by the Hermann Park Conservancy, a public/private partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
The money raised has gone not only into making McGovern Centennial Gardensand Cherie Flores Pavilion a reality but also into the rebirth of the beautiful Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool, the renovation and expansion of Lake Plaza and Hermann Park Railroad and the restoration of the Parks’s exercise trails along with many other improvements that have transformed the Park into one of the most idyllic public green spaces in the country.
“McGovern Centennial Gardens is the culmination of a 100-year vision that is finally getting its due. With the opening of the Gardens and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, visitors will be able to experience this incredible new garden space for free, seven days a week,” said Doreen Stoller, executive director of the Hermann Park Conservancy. “We are grateful for the rain. The trees in the park are happy, but our construction progress has been slowed. After our grand opening celebration, we will close the gardens for a few more weeks to complete the heavy work. Gardens are never a finished work, and this one is just getting started.”
Stoller explained, “This project is a labor of love, and we are thrilled to be able to present McGovern Centennial Gardens to the City of Houston during Hermann Park’s 100th year.”
Though Hermann Park’s Grand Gateway entrance from Mecom Fountain to the Sam Houston Monument will have to wait until 2015 for its unveiling, because of construction delays, Hermann Park Conservancy’s mission to complete the park’s Master Plan is one step away from being realized — after 25 years of fundraising, planning, planting and building one of America’s great municipal green spaces.
For more information, please visit www.hermannpark.org/.