Hermann Park Breaks Ground on Single Largest Improvement Project

October 20, 2013 by Matthew Stewart
A birds-eye view of the McGovern Centennial Gardens at Hermann Park and the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion.

A veritable “who’s who” of Houston joined Mayor Annise Parker in Hermann Park midday Wednesday to celebrate a very special occasion – the groundbreaking of the final project in the Park’s Master Plan, the $30 million McGovern Centennial Gardens and Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion. The largest capital improvement project undertaken by the Park, McGovern Centennial Gardens will transform the existing 15-acre Garden Center and surrounding grounds into a public garden unique in Houston. Features will include a rose garden, celebration garden, woodland garden, international sculpture promenade and interactive family garden to teach children about growing fruits, vegetables and herbs. The centerpiece of the Gardens will be a football-field length great lawn, crowned by the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion as the entry. Ribbon cutting is scheduled for Fall 2014.

Hermann Park Conservancy selected Chicago landscape architecture firm Hoerr Schaudt, which will be working closely with Houston’s own White Oak Studio on the design of the Gardens, with Dr. William C. Welch of Texas A&M University as a special consultant. Architect Peter Bohlin, known worldwide for the iconic glass design of Apple stores, will design the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion. Tellepsen will serve as project general contractor.

The $30 million project is the culmination of decades of work by the Conservancy to realize the Park’s Master Plan. Designed by renowned landscape architect George Kessler, the first

From Left: Joe Turner (Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department), Sanford Criner (Centennial Campaign Co-Chair), Doreen Stoller (Executive Director, Hermann Park Conservancy), Mayor Annise Parker, Kathrine G McGovern (John P. McGovern Foundation), Cherie and Jim Flores (Garden Center Advisor Board), Phoebe Tudor (Centennial Campaign Co-Chair)
From Left: Joe Turner (Director, Houston Parks and Recreation Department), Sanford Criner (Centennial Campaign Co-Chair), Doreen Stoller (Executive Director, Hermann Park Conservancy), Mayor Annise Parker, Kathrine G McGovern (John P. McGovern Foundation), Cherie and Jim Flores (Garden Center Advisor Board), Phoebe Tudor (Centennial Campaign Co-Chair)

plan for the Park created signature elements beloved by Houstonians today: the reflection pool, McGovern Lake, Miller Theatre, paths and carriage trails and golf course. As time passed and the surrounding neighborhoods developed, the Park’s green spaces faded. A council of concerned neighbors took action in the early 1990s, forming the Friends of Hermann Park, known today as the Hermann Park Conservancy. The steward of Hermann Park, the Conservancy is responsible for the Park’s renaissance, restoring it to the gem in the heart of the city that George Hermann envisioned in 1914.

Written by Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart received his B.S. in Civil Engineering fromThe Ohio State University and is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in the State of Texas. As a Vice President in our Houston office, Mr. Stewart has been the Principal in Change for hundreds of site development projects throughout the Houston area. He is responsible for managing our Raving Fans and prospective clients, overseeing the performance of our project design teams, and spearheading our community outreach and volunteer efforts.