'New' Market Square Park to be unveiled

HOUSTON A grand re-opening celebration is set for August 28 at 2pm with live entertainment by Andrew Karnavas along with free activities for adults, kids and pampered pooches. Market Square Park isn't your average community park. With the addition of a window-service style Niko Niko's, park-goers can enjoy their favorite Greek food and sit outdoors nestled in the shade or take to the lawn for picnic-style casual dining.

As well as an onsite café, free live concerts in collaboration with the non-profit the Houston Sound are planned for the fall. Neighbors near and far are encouraged to soak-up the atmosphere of live music filling the streets of historic downtown Houston.

The public art on display is a vital component of the redesign, with some of the most unique pieces created by local and national artists. The park's rich past is illuminated by Richard Turner's repurposed and scattered pieces of demolished downtown buildings and the hand-painted ceramic tiles by Malou Flato, which evokes the feel of Market Square in the late 19th and early 20th century. Points of View, a painted steel and wood sculpture by James Surles stands above a gentle water feature and anchors the new cafe.

"Market Square Park is steeped in history," said Bob Eury, executive director of Downtown District. "So it was only natural that the goals of the redesigned Market Square Park were to acknowledge this history while creating an active, urban green space that could meet the needs of a diverse neighborhood and also conserving and incorporating unique works of art."

In the 1900s, Market Square was the site of the original City Hall. In keeping with preserving part of the city's past, visitors can follow a granite band through the park for a tour around the footprint of City Hall's foundation. A lush green lawn sits at the foundation's center.

The north end of the lawn is dedicated to Lauren's Garden, a tranquil garden setting created in memory of Houstonian Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93 and all those lost on September 11. A gift to the City by the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation, this area is also home to Ketria Bastian Scott's cast-bronze sculpture with two vine-like tendrils growing from the fountain reaching toward each other and a young tendril emerging. This is a quiet place for reflection and meditation.

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