In 1951, the city carved 265 acres from Memorial Park to create the arboretum, which has always been bounded on the south by Buffalo Bayou and to the east by Union Pacific railroad tracks. When Woodway and the 610 West Loop were built, the preserve quickly lost 110 acres to roads and rights-of-way. The highway infrastructure also plugged a bayou tributary that ran through a deep ravine. In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in the region, and in 2011, Texas recorded its worst drought on record. These two extremes caused significant destruction and tree mortality. As a result, a sustainable master plan has been developed for the 155-acre site. The plan aims at transforming the site into a world class destination and includes a new Visitor’s Center with a rental pavilion and a new administration building designed by Lake | Flato Architects.
Design Architect: Lake|Flato Architects & Leslie Elkins
Architect: Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc
Project Completion: 2019/2020