Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza Renovations No Longer Just Rhetorical


Note: This story has been updated to indicate that City Council’s October 23 vote approved funding for previous work that was already completed on the plaza, not for future renovations.

This week Houston City Council voted to cut a check to workers that finished the first round of renovations on the plaza. The results of their work  — including new fencing, gates, and a terrace — clear the way for the second chapter of redos to begin. The video at top winds it way through round 2 of changes, showing off the new children’s reading area, stage, and outdoor seating bound for the 0.75-acre space between the Jesse H. Jones Building (AKA Central Library) and the Julia Ideson building directly east of it.

While 25-year naming rights are already locked down on the Phillips 66 Jumbo Video Screen (on the right in the rendering abvoe) and Janice and Robert C. McNair Performance Stage (left), the puppet theater depicted below is still in need of a namesake:


It’ll go at the northeast side of the building near McKinney St. and next to the new central grassy patch shown below:

At the opposite, Lamar-St. side of things, a new cafe with both indoor and outdoor seating is planned. It’s shown with some grass of its own up top.

Video: Houston Public Library. Renderings: Lauren Griffith Associates

Downtown Redo

4 Comment

  • A plaza stops being a plaza when it’s covered with goofy pavilions and a restaurant. Don’t get me started on the jumbotron. The next bright idea will be to fill in the reflecting pool at City Hall and build a pavilion for a Starbucks and a McDonalds.

  • Dan,

    The first sentence is not correct. City Council voted this week to close out the contract for Phase One of this project; work that was completed earlier this year. Phase Two is now in design, and construction will begin in the Spring 2019. That work is fully funded, but the construction contract is still being negotiated, so no Council action has been taken to pay for it yet.

  • @John Thanks for pointing this out. We’ve updated the story to include a correction about the vote

  • Here’s a suggestion for naming puppet theater: ‘I Don’t Give a Flying P**CK what it’s named ‘ .