Transforming a hidden park into a vibrant space is a strategy that bears repeating.
When Houstonians from all walks of life go outside, often they have to search hard to locate a bench in the shade. Yet every year, as more concrete is poured for high-rise condos and office buildings that elusive shade becomes harder to find.
Houston’s rapid pace of development means that every park is important. None can be neglected or overlooked. We need every park to achieve to its potential if we’re not to live in a concrete kingdom, concrete everywhere and not a cool spot to sit.
To that end, a unique public-private partnership is trying to turn a sleepy nearly 6-acre park in the shadow of the Southwest Freeway into a vibrant urban gathering space. Levy Park, between Eastside and Wake Forest streets, was deeded to the city in 1941 and is largely hidden and underutilized.
Renovated area could be city’s next outdoor hot spot
Levy Park was once a magnet for teens serious about baseball. The Carl Young All-Star team, which won the national Pony League Championship in 1962, played there.
That was “back when the world was level,” as Buddy Bailey puts it – before the Southwest Freeway split up the neighborhood, obliterating the footpath he and his pals used to take so they could shag fly balls at Coca-Cola’s Little League park, and before office buildings and apartment complexes sprang up along Richmond Avenue.