Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston, Texas
What a perfect name and description for a large set-aside public park in the heart of a huge city filled with tall edifices and lots of concrete…that being Discovery Green. Join us for an introductory tour of our impressions and photos taken one day.
Houston, Texas has been blessed by the foresight of people who seized the opportunity to secure land for public use in the heart of this downtown metropolis when it became available and made it into a pleasurable and multi-use park space for not only visitors to this fair city, but residents as well. Discovery Green’s address is 1500 McKinney Street, Houston, Texas 77010. This almost 12-acre park sits directly across the street from the George R. Brown Convention Center and that is what first drew us there to see its beauty in person. My husband and I were attending the Italian Style Expo at the Convention Center and after exiting, we meandered a bit through the park.
Although the temperature was hot, the Discovery Green Park was being fully enjoyed that day as it is most days from what we routinely view on our local television news channels. Discovery Green is a well-utilized public park on the east side of downtown Houston. I had my digital camera and decided to record some of the images as my husband and I strolled through this beautiful downtown park for the first time.
Coming out of the George R. Brown Convention Center, the first prominent sculpture that arrests one’s attention is the colorful and abstract piece of art titled Monument Au Fantome by Jean Dubuffet. Over a stainless steel base, this fiberglass medium is colorfully painted and it took several years to finish this intriguing creation (1969 – 1971). It used to grace another spot in downtown Houston but was generously donated and moved to this park when Discovery Green opened in the year 2008. Art lovers and visitors can walk around and even through the middle of this sculpture enjoying it up close and personal.
The Jones Lawn
- A huge lawn of over 10,000 square feet of green space greets visitors and offers them an opportunity to walk, sit or lay on the well-maintained grass and enjoy this “Jones Lawn” for multiple purposes.
- One could lay in the grass and look up towards the sky at passing clouds and daydream. I remember doing that as a youth with my mother and siblings labeling each cloud that passed with a name of what we thought it resembled.
- Many people take picnic provisions and use the grassy area to advantage. Others are there to watch performers on stage or do some performing of their own as in twirling hula hoops around one’s waist or tossing and chasing balls.
- Lovers can spread out a blanket on the well-manicured lawn and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some wedding proposals have taken place in this lovely spot.
Discovery Green Park hosts many different types of entertainment all free of charge to the public. A trio was performing on the Sunday afternoon of our visit and not only did the melodic sounds please our ears, but obviously the little girl in the picture to the right liked what she was looking at and hearing as well.
The lawn attracted people listening to the band and the chairs and tables of the adjacent casual restaurant called The Lake House were pretty much filled to capacity. Young and old alike were treated to this free concert. Quite a few of the people were sitting in the chairs of The Lake House taking advantage of some of the provided shade, while also enjoying refreshments and the music of the concert.
Why was the casual restaurant named The Lake House? On the other side of this bandstand stage area and adjacent to the lovely Jones Lawn is over an acre of water called Kinder Lake.
Nothing is quite as soothing to the eyes as the sight of rippling waves of water especially on warm to hot southern days of which we have our fair share in Houston, Texas. Not only does Kinder Lake provide a pretty view, but one can actually operate remote controlled boats in this area…so it becomes a playful arena for miniature motor-craft as well.
On the day of our visit, sailboats were skimming the waves and made an attractive setting for some picture taking. This photo shows a view of Kinder Lake with the Minute Maid Park building as a backdrop. For those of you who may not know…this is the home of the Astros professional Houston baseball team. This is also within easy access to Discovery Green Park as one can easily see from this photo.
Gardens in Discovery Green
Much thought was put into the development of Discovery Green and many native or easy to grow plants of different varieties were utilized to not only create a pleasing to the eye space but also to educate people about what they might wish to use in their home gardens.
My husband and I need to go back to see many of the distinct gardens within Discovery Green some of which include the following: a Rose Garden, Butterfly Garden, Water Garden, Scent Garden, Bulb Garden, Hummingbird Garden, Native Plant Garden and more.
Water Fountains & Water Elements
One can easily cool off by playing in the fountains and water elements found within Discovery Green Park and many people were taking advantage of these features on the day of our visit.
It was fun watching the many cute children playing in the cooling mists and streams of water with the obvious delight upon their faces. Adults as well were cooling off. If one is spending a good portion of a day in this park, features like these water elements merely add to the pleasure.
This sculpted water element within Discovery Green was created by Doug Hollis. Dimensions of this stainless steel fountain which continually provides veils of rain or streams of mist are 15 feet in height and 22 feet wide. The Mist Tree is visually pleasing as well as offering another place in which to cool off in the hot days of a Houston summer.
We passed by a playground in Discovery Green that was certainly getting its fair share of use by kids of all sizes.
Synchronicity of Color
Created by artist Margo Sawyer, there are two of these giant rectangular sculptures in Discovery Green Park. Multi-colored, one of them is predominantly red in tone while the other is primarily blue.
Both of them are certainly eye-catching! 151 panels hold 1,500 aluminum boxes in 65 colors according to the information posted regarding them. Pictures of some recent law school graduates were being taken the day my husband and I were there. Either one of these sculptures would certainly add an interesting backdrop for personal photos!
Statue of George R. Brown
In Discovery Green Park is a statue of George R. Brown whose name is on Houston’s impressive Convention Center. This impressive man started out as an engineer and became a world famous entrepreneur, philanthropist, and adviser to several United States Presidents among his many other accomplishments. It is fitting indeed that this statue bearing his likeness is situated in this park.
Visiting Discovery Green
There is so much more to explore on our next visit to Discovery Green park in downtown Houston. More art, gardens, and entertainment of all kinds depending upon the time of day, week or even season awaits us.
- The next time my husband and I venture down there we wish to dine at The Grove or The Treehouse Restaurant which is reputed to be not only beautiful in terms of their décor but also offers delicious food service from what we have heard. Those restaurants overlooking the wonderful spreading branches of the large oak trees across from them…some of the trees over 100 years old!…it is understandable how they were assigned their names.
- A farmer’s market every Sunday from Noon until 4 PM intrigues us. There are exercise classes of all sorts held on the grounds.
- Enjoyable to see would be the ice skating that takes place from around Thanksgiving to mid-January each year. I’ll be on the sideline merely watching if we go down there at that time of the year. I’d probably break my neck if I tried ice skating at my age.
- Do your dogs travel with you? If so, they are welcomed to this park. Two dog parks…one for smaller ones and one that accommodates larger canines are also included in Discovery Green where they can run free within the enclosures.
- Did you ever twirl hula hoops around your waist or wish to try it now? No problem! We saw vendors with a great abundance of them on site and I’m sure for a small charge they would be happy to see you engaging them in motion.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this brief look at Houston’s Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston.