Public-private partnerships like Buffalo Bayou Park provide roadmap for recovery
By: Rich and Nancy Kinder
We all should be proud of our elected officials, community leaders and citizens, who stepped up to the challenge of Harvey’s aftermath. Houston is adept at weathering the storm and quickly launching into the arduous task of cleaning up. We now must prove to ourselves and the world that we are going to recover as an even better place to live, work and play.
This is a pivotal time for our city. We have the opportunity to forge a new quality of life that is even more resilient and underscores who we know we are – a visionary, 21st-century city. Now is the time to plan for an even better Houston.
HOUSTON (Aug. 29, 2017) – Even as the flooding and evacuations continue in the Greater Houston area, donations to the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund are growing hour by hour from an outpouring of community support. Kinder Foundation, global energy company Anadarko, Houston Texans and NFL Foundation have each donated $1 million to the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund to help those in our community most impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects.
“Rich and I are inspired by the way Houstonians support each other during a disaster. We have confidence our city will come through this challenge and will be even stronger,” states Nancy Kinder, President, Kinder Foundation. “We hope our gift will inspire others to join in the relief fund. We also want to acknowledge Mayor Turner, Judge Emmett and our state and federal leaders who have worked so hard to support Houston during this phenomenal weather event.”
On June 17, during Houston’s annual Juneteenth celebration, Emancipation Park was rededicated in front of thousands of Third Ward residents. KHOU’s Len Cannon and ABC 13’s Melanie Lawson emceed the affair, which officially commemorated the historic park’s $33.6 million renovation.
On May 31, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston broke ground on the Nancy and Rich Kinder building for modern and contemporary art. The 165,000-square-foot structure is part of the 14-acre redesign of the Museum’s Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership has proudly debuted From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park, a chronicle of and homage to the history, people, and vision behind Buffalo Bayou Park.
With a grant from the Kinder Foundation, the 100+ page, years-in-the-making book captures the legacy of the park in a beautiful and informative coffee table book. Readers will hear from those instrumental in Buffalo Bayou Park’s inception and completion, and enjoy stunning photography of the park’s most beloved offerings.
From Rendering to Reality: The Story of Buffalo Bayou Park can be purchased at Buffalo Bayou Park’s Visitor Centers at The Water Works and Lost Lake or online at buffalobayou.org.
Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its annual Kinder Houston Area Survey on May 1. Among the findings was this point of pride for our city: the majority of Houston residents would choose to stay in the Bayou City even if given a choice to move. The 36th annual survey also revealed that traffic continues to be the dominant concern, people are less worried about crime, and are increasingly supportive of immigration and gay rights.
To read more about Houstonians’ views on life in the Houston area, crime, jobs and education, demographics, and social issues, click here.
When Buffalo Bayou Park opened in October 2015, few features were more anticipated and buzzed about than the Cistern, an underground cavernous structure featuring 200 slender, 25-foot high concert columns. Its size and reminiscence of the ancient Roman cisterns in Istanbul demanded something grand be done within it. To date, more than 16,000 visitors have experienced the space.
Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) chose to honor the Cistern and its historical significance – it was originally a City of Houston water reservoir built in 1926 – by repurposing it to become a grand space to house an ambitious program of changing art installations.
Discovery Green has become known for its exceptional public art installations, especially in the wintertime. This year, the 12-acre downtown park is presenting two new installations: Firmament, a vibrant canopy of LED lights by acclaimed Burning Man artist Christopher Schardt, and Enchanted Promenade, towering, colorful peonies by TILT, a French light art and design studio. Both installations were possible through a grant from the Kinder Foundation.