Make a point of stopping by Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park if you ever find yourself in the Uptown area of Houston, TX. The Uptown District is home to a multi-story sculptural fountain known as the Transco Waterwall and the Williams Waterwall that lies opposite the south face of the Williams Tower.
Texas Live Oaks and benches frame the park’s expansive green area. The highlight of the waterpark is the waterwall, which allows children to experience what it’s like to be at the base of a waterfall. When there’s a wind, the kids receive a tiny rain shower while having fun outside in the fresh air.
The park has no playground area but is an excellent location for a picnic. The waterwall provides many opportunities for imaginative play for the little ones.
History of the Park
In 1982, Philip Johnson and John Burgee Architects started work on the Transco Skyscraper complex with developer Gerald D. Hines, and the office tower was finished in 1983, 18 months later.
The Waterwall, a 64-foot-tall, sculptural fountain, is the centerpiece of this 2.77-acre park in the Uptown District, designed by SWA Group and fully operational in 1985. Real estate tycoon Gerald D. Hines commissioned the construction of a fountain at the site in the early 1980s, which Hines also commissioned at the same time as the neighboring Williams Tower (previously Transco Tower).
According to the architects’ design, the Waterwall was supposed to resemble a “horseshoe of flowing water” with the Transco (now Williams) Tower. 118 Texas live oak trees surround a 64-foot (20-meter) tall semicircular fountain, which symbolizes the tower’s 64 storeys. The fountain’s “proscenium arch” is shorter than the concave section of the circle, which faces north of the tower. Hidalgo Street is visible on the rear of the building, which is convex.
The cost of building and maintaining the wall was never disclosed, although Johnson and Hines did share important information on the wall’s measures and water volume after it was completed.
In 2008, Houston bought the Waterwall from Hines and renamed it in his honor for his numerous contributions to the city. A Houston landmark was renamed “Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park” in honor of the man who built the Waterwall Park and most of Uptown’s stunning skyline in December 2009.
The Uptown Houston Development Authority and Hines have formed a public-private partnership to care for the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. For decades, Uptown Houston’s Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park has been and will continue to be the heart of the city’s commercial and leisure districts. Learn more
Fountain of the Park
Nearly 200 live oak trees line the park’s perimeter, making it a popular gathering place for residents and tourists in the Uptown neighborhood. While the gorgeous greenery may entice some people to stay, the waterwall remains the primary draw.
The fountain and its surrounding park were constructed as an architectural addition to the nearby tower. In collaboration with Philip Johnson, John Burgee Architects drew up the fountain and the tower plans.
On the concave and convex sides of the circular, huge sheets of water flow from the smaller top rim to the larger base below. Various buildings in the area have vantage points from which to take in the impressive urban waterfall resulting from this.
It has an internal water surface area of 46,500 square feet (4,320 m2) and an external water surface area of 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2). St. Joe’s brick is the primary building material used in the fountain’s construction. On the other hand, Romanesque arches are constructed of black granite, while the wall’s foundation is composed of Indiana Buss limestone. The fountain’s 78,500 gallons of water are regenerated by an internal system every three hours and two minutes.
Visitors lauded the attraction’s uniqueness and urged others to visit while they had the chance. The fountain’s cascading waterfalls, which can be seen from all angles, are stunning. In addition, the park is a wonderful place for children to play or for a group picnic. Even still, there is no street parking, and if you are not staying near this site, it may not be worth the journey.
Glass containers, loud music, and climbing or playing in the Waterwall basin are all forbidden in the park, which is open every day from 8 am to 9 pm. Next article >>