Discovery Green, America’s coolest park

From CultureMap:

Travel + Leisure searched around the country for the best, the most exciting and the coolest city parks for their April issue, and Central Park didn’t make the cut — but Houston’s Discovery Green did.

Just three years old — and celebrating that milestone with a celebration Wednesday afternoon — Discovery Green got plaudits for its abundance of entertainment, with T+L noting that it has hosted over 800 events in that short time, including the recent Big Dance concerts by Kings of Leon and Kenny Chesney.

“It’s a place where people can kick back and relax,” Discovery Green founding president Guy Hagstette told the magazine, while noting that the transformation of the 12-acre stretch of the east side of Houston’s downtown from parking lot to green space has also spurred $500 million in development in the area.

Can you imagine downtown without Discovery Green now? I can’t. It’s such a success that even the usual squadron of whining pessimists have had to find other things to complain about. What more could you want?

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5 Responses to Discovery Green, America’s coolest park

  1. Peter Wang says:

    Having grown up 1/2 block away from Lincoln Park, Chicago, I am completely underwhelmed by Discovery Green. Sorry, it’s not that great.

  2. Joel Balderas says:

    Cash raining from the sky?

    But seriously sports fields for pick up games only would have been cool (baseball, soccer, football).

  3. RedScare says:

    Kevin Whited suggested in a comment posted in August 2008 that we ‘check back in 2 years’. Well, Kevin, it’s been nearly 3 years now. What say you?

    As for me, it is a smashing success. I was in the park during the NCAAs, and it was a sea of interesting people and things to do. Add in the spectacular weather, and even Houston’s world famous complainers would be hard pressed to find a nit to pick.

  4. RBearSAT says:

    I’ve been coming to Houston every summer to catch the ‘Stros for a weekend of MLB. I’ve seen Discovery Green grow up during those periods and enjoy the oasis in the middle of downtown. It’s a model I keep trying to promote here in San Antonio and wish we could turn Hemisfair Park into something like it.

    Great park and great post.

  5. John says:

    @RedScare – I’m sure “Hit & Run” Whited could find a nit to pick, but that’s his role in the ecosystem, isn’t it?

    Discovery Green is very nice but – “cooler than Central Park.” Um… no. I’m not sure what “cool” even means in the context of a city park, but as nice an addition to downtown is, I can’t say it’s “cooler” than when I lived near Dupont Circle, or my sister’s place a block off Golden Gate Park, or even when I lived near Boston’s Southwest Corridor (a very neat linear park built over a subway line, on land that was supposed to be a freeway until neighborhood activists put the brake on it. No doubt annoying the crap out of the 1980s Boston Whited equivalent, which is of course a sign that you’re on the right track).

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