Levy Park in Houston, Texas, photo by Geoff Lyon, completion 2016. This highly programmed 5.9-acre park is the recipient of a 2018 ULI Open Space Award, cited for its renovation of an underutlitized space into an activated gathering place for the entire city. At the heart of the park, a winding children’s garden wraps around 40- to 70-year old legacy live oak trees, which were relocated on the site.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN UNDERUTILIZED SPACE INTO A VIBRANT URBAN PARK IS WARMLY EMBRACED BY THE HOUSTON COMMUNITY.
Levy Park is a highly programmed 5.9-acre urban park located within the residential development project in the Upper Kirby District of Houston. The renovation transformed an underutilized space into a world-class urban park and transformed into an amenity-rich, open, green space that has been warmly embraced by the community and become a catalyst for economic development.
The park features numerous thoughtfully designed programmed spaces, including an activity lawn; a gaming area with a shade arbor where park-goers can play checkers, foosball, ping pong or miniature golf; a large gated children’s garden designed to spark the imagination; a reading room; small and large dog play areas with berms and water features that keep dogs cool and hydrated; a lively community garden; and a generous promenade that circles the park. A multi-purpose performance pavilion that looks out onto an event lawn with seating for 3,000 was designed to strengthen and react to the landscape and accommodates the recreational needs of the newly re-envisioned park.
At the heart of the park is an untraditional, winding children’s garde. It features imaginative interactive sculptures, playful fountains and a 150-foot-long tree house that rises at an ADA accessible grade. The elevated tree house path spans the 40-70 year-old legacy live oak trees, which were relocated on-site and provide a magnificent canopy and unique views of the park below. Children are engaged by climbing the rock wall, sliding down the seven-foot-wide slide, crawling through the LED-lit tunnels and playing in the three-tiered interactive water feature that mimics a Houston rain shower.