Houston's oldest park to be revamped
Located at the corner of Dowling and Elgin southeast of downtown Houston, Emancipation Park is Houston's oldest park. Thanks to state and federal funding, it's about to get a makeover..
Last week, the city of Houston was awarded $1 million in state and federal funding for improvements to the park. For some time, the city and the OST/Almeda Corridors Redevelopment Authority, have been working on a project to revert the park to some of its original design.
"The existing parking lot that's at the park--that was originally, in the 1939 plan--was gardens for the park," said Joe Turner, director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department.
Under the new plan, the parking lot will be converted into a grand plaza, and the city will purchase an additional 0.75 acres to house a new building and environmentally-friendly parking lot.
Projects like these may not be possible in the future, as Texas lawmakers recently suspended state funding for park improvements for the next two years. Going forward, the city will have to rely entirely on federal funding.
Emancipation is Houston's oldest park. It was opened in 1872 by some of the city's African-Americans for use as a Juneteenth celebration ground. In 1916, it was purchased by the city.
Have more stories like this? Send them to us. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.