My Downtown Houston Part Two

This is my downtown Houston part two trip down memory lane to downtown Houston to see what I can see. Please see My Downtown Houston Part One post for the first part of this story.

As you know, there are an impossible number of exciting sights to see and things to do in downtown Houston and in all of Houston. These few discussed briefly are interesting to me, always catch my attention, and represent MY downtown Houston.

Gus S. Wortham Fountain

Corner of Allen Parkway and Waugh Drive

my downtown Houston - part two

Looks like a dandelion, doesn’t it?

The Wortham Foundation and American General Life Insurance donated this fountain to the City of Houston in 1978. William Cannady is the architect of this magnificent fountain.

It dates from 1978. The Wortham fountain was inspired by the El Alamein Memorial Fountain in Sydney, Australia, designed by architects Robert Woodward and Phill Taranto with Woodward and Woodward’s architectural firm.

The El Alamein fountain is a memorial to soldiers who lost their lives during World War II in battles at El Alamein, Egypt. The office I worked at is just across the street from this fountain, so I often enjoyed it.

This fountain is occasionally the target of pranksters who fill the fountain with soap. Soap suds spill out of the fountain and onto the street and the wind sometimes catches big blobs of bubbles and carries them up in the air! Soaping a fountain is an old prank I always figured was perfectly harmless fun.

I have learned that it can be expensive to clean up and sometimes destructive to the fountains.

True North 2020

Heights Boulevard

True North 2020 a Heights Boulevard sculpture project, Jack Gron’s Hard Rain

The Heights neighborhood, one of Texas’ first planned communities, is just four miles northwest of downtown and dates back to 1892. It got its name because of its elevation, which is higher than the low-lying central downtown area. I have always loved the drive through this neighborhood.

It’s very peaceful and beautiful to look at. The stretch of Heights Boulevard from I-10 to 20th street, not quite two miles, is lined with beautiful and interesting-looking homes and majestic old trees. The boulevard is separated by a wide esplanade and on that esplanade is where the True North art sculptures are placed.

True North 2020 a Heights Boulevard sculpture project, Vincent Fink’s Dodecahedron

The display of temporary sculpture art began in 2014 with new art sculptures displayed in the esplanade on Heights Boulevard each year. The sculptures on view today were put in place in mid-March and will remain until December 15th.

The art is easily visible as you drive by or can be viewed up close during a meandering walk or jog along the esplanade.

True North 2020 a Heights Boulevard sculpture project, the late Bob “Daddy-O” Wade’s El Gallo Monument

Presidents’ heads

2401 Nance Street

my downtown Houston - part two

These giant statues are definitely something to see, although you won’t be able to get up close and personal. They are all inside a fenced and locked property belonging to the 93-year-old artist David Adickes.

A 35-foot statue of Charlie Chaplin and busts of several presidents reside in this fenced lot. It was fun to drive by and take a look through the fence.

These busts will hopefully find a new home soon. Plans are in the works for all statues of the 43 former presidents to be displayed at The Hearts Veterans Museum at 463 State Highway 75 N. in Huntsville. Groundbreaking was Veterans Day this year. It is expected the park will be completed in two years.

MFAH Cullen Sculpture Garden

Corner of Montrose Boulevard at Bissonnet Street

my downtown Houston - part two
my downtown Houston - part two

This garden, created by sculptor Isamu Noguchi, is enclosed by concrete walls and provides a peaceful and natural outdoor setting for art sculpture. This is a great place to sit and read a book or have a quiet lunch break while surrounded by beautiful art.

Parking is available in the Museum’s underground garage at 5101 Montrose Boulevard. When we visited, we were able to park on the street next to the garden entrance.

McGovern Centennial Gardens

1500 Hermann Drive, Houston, TX  77004
Hours: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Isn’t this a peaceful scene?

Well, this place was new to me; I had never seen or heard of it before, although it has been here since 2014. We were driving around Hermann Park area, and just happened upon it — such a beautiful space!

We arrived as a light rain began, but not so rainy that we couldn’t walk around and enjoy this beautiful park. It is at the location of the former Houston Garden Center, which I was familiar with. This new (to me) park has themed areas, an Arid Garden, Rose Garden, Celebration Garden, and Woodland Garden.

That’s a lot of gardens, but they all flow together along connecting walking paths. The most striking feature is the 30-foot mount with a walkway to the top viewing area.

my downtown Houston - part two

The Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion is a modern indoor space at the main entrance to the Centennial Gardens. It was designed by Apple Store architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and can be rented for receptions, cocktail parties, or meetings.

Where’s lunch?

Here are a very few of my favorite quick in / quick out, affordable lunchtime spots that my car almost automatically drove to, just to check on and see if they were still open. I miss these places every once in a while.

my downtown Houston - part two

Stanton’s City Bites, 1420 Edwards St.,  – GREAT burgers!

my downtown Houston - part two

Lankford Grocery, burgers to die for, and more, 88 Dennis St

my downtown Houston - part two

Flavorful creole comfort food here at Zydeco Diner, 1119 Pease St

There is so so much more to see downtown. As you know, there are multiple sports, theater, dining, and art venues downtown that I haven’t mentioned at all. These few spots I’ve described are some of the small things that relate to me and have meaning for me.

I was also delighted to discover the “new to me” McGovern Centennial Gardens during my downtown rambling.

You most probably have a completely different view of Houston than I do, but I think you can agree that a person could spend a very long time in downtown Houston and not experience all the good stuff.

I am curious to know what you like about or enjoy seeing in downtown Houston or what special place you have discovered that I probably know nothing about. Cities have never been high on my list of places to visit, but I have lived my life in downtown Houston, so Houston is more than just a big city for me.

In the near future, if the world permits, we will be heading off to Kansas. Oh no, wait, maybe we’ll go to Arizona! Undecided where, but it will be somewhere.

My Downtown Houston Part Two

6 thoughts on “My Downtown Houston Part Two

  1. Pingback: MY downtown Houston Part One | Always Want To Go
  2. Great info! I especially loved the True North sculptures in the Heights. I had no idea they were there. I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been there. 🙂

    I love your posts! It’s like I’m actually there exploring with you.

    1. Thank you! I am happy to enjoy the stories. There are so many many things in Houston, as you know I’m sure to see and do.

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