Finding Buffalo Bayou’s Lost Lake and Its ‘Morning Glory’ Hole, Almost Ready for Business

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, HoustonA reader sends pics of 3 notable new features near the western end of Buffalo Bayou Park that appear to be just about complete: The multi-purpose private event space known as The Dunlavy, overlooking a restored and upgraded pond now called Lost Lake — and its signature central feature, a bell-mouth spillway to suck up the overflow, referred to more commonly as a morning glory. That’s the hole in the middle of the water feature; if you look closely at the photos of it below you can see the odd sight of the tip of a construction ladder peeking out at the top:


Morning Glory in Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

Morning Glory in Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

The Dunlavy, which takes its name from Dunlavy St. just across the street, will be run by Clark Cooper Concepts, the restaurant group behind Ibiza, Brasserie 19, Coppa, Punk’s Simple Southern Food, and SaltAir. Counter-service breakfasts and lunches will be served there too. The building at 3501 Allen Pkwy., designed by Page, will also include a park visitor center, restrooms, and a place to rent canoes and kayaks. (There’s a new bayou boat launch nearby.) A new parking area carved from what would otherwise be an extension of Dunlavy across Allen Pkwy. to the Bayou between the lake and the Beth Yeshurun cemetery will have room for more than 80 cars.

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

The Lost Lake’s predecessor pond had been created by the construction of a dam along a bayou-side ravine; it failed in the 1970s.

Photos: Sfalumberjack

And the Dunlavy, Almost Done

30 Comment

  • Looks like swamplot has been taken over by liberals. Glory hole, guys? Seriously? There are children out there reading real estate blogs!

  • This is a very repectful design, but enough with the building in the park. At this rate there will be no park in the park. Serious case of over loving park….which brings me to this errr glory hole. Honestly, who named this? They obviously have either a wicked sense of humor or are incredibly naive. I’ll leave it to others to guess which.

  • As an on-topic comment: I see that we have allowed a private entity to quietly take over what used to be a public part of a city park. To make this “event space” truly Houstonian, it will probably have valet parking.
    Boat launch site: yay. Everything else: boo.

  • @notCommonsense; If children know what a glory hole is, we’ve got bigger problems. ;)

  • That’s wild! I used to love going down to the “lake” back in those woods. However, after a few decades it was taken over by rascals who made it a dangerous area. I look forward to seeing this place open. Is there parking anywhere, or is it just for nearby residents?

  • It’s called a Morning Glory dude. Do your homework!

  • looks awesome. next up, endless allen pkwy re-construction and a long overdue stop light at dunlavy/allen pkwy.

  • I was wondering where the term “Lost Lake” came from, as well as the idea for it. I used to jog here a lot in the late 90’s and early 00’s, and never saw any semblance of a pond or lake. I guess it was “lost” when the dam broke, hence the name.

  • When I see the improvements come on line at Buffalo Bayou, I keep thinking to myself “what’s the catch? Are these on loan from another city? Will Culberson make us take them down so he can build a new highway?” But it is really happening. Buffalo Bayou is really turning into Houston’s Central Park (NY’s version does have a private restaurant right in the middle of it–Tavern on the Green). The nature playground on the east end is getting finishing touches as well as the performance space and snack bar over the old waterworks. The only problem I have encountered is the mud that slides down the banks and accumulates on the trails after a heavy rain. But it is much better than it used to be. Who knows. Maybe this is for real. And maybe people will actually start moving to Houston because it is a nice place to live.

  • Man, that’s going to be an expensive restaurant there in a public park. Why don’t they have something that isn’t going to drain mah wallet. Parks with stuff for the upper class, hm.

  • Looks like some of you are reading into this article what you want. It states the name of the hole is called Morning Glory… not a glory hole….

  • Michael Bloodworth.

    I used to live across the street from that area in the 80s. I had a few run ins with the “rascals” you mentioned/ One of those rascals jump out from behind a bush, With his pants down at his ankles. His flag staff was not at half mass. I also had several rascals follow me around in their cars. One didn’t stop until I hit his car with a rock

  • Is the restaurant group really the owner or just an operator? Seems like it’d be the latter, with the park retaining ownership of the actual facility. It’s not clear from anything I’ve read though.

  • All will be forgiven if they include a couple of benches. When the Eleanor Tinsley pulloff was redone, they killed all the old-style park benches, so there’s nowhere left to recline and just enjoy the skyline. With the continual conversion of every available seating surface into backless concrete, the “new” Buffalo Bayou is starting to feel just a little dystopian. Like it’s no longer supposed to be a place of relaxation and respite, just a backdrop for the active SWPL lifestyle.

  • Central Park?!!!!! Are you nuts? Central Park is over 800 acres, it has a zoo, a massive Musuem, a huge reservoir, a pond, a boat house, a large “Green”, a Botanical Garden. How on a Earth can you compare this small park along a ditch to Olmstead’s Masterpiece? It’s completely absurd! Maybe Hermann, but this?!!!!! Get real.

  • We know the name, people. It just lends itself to a lot of jokes. It’s a stupid name. I don’t know anyone who cares much for Morning Glory’s anyway. Really, this site needs some people with wit, not analytic nerds who take all the fun out of everything.

  • Uh Purple City, it’s to make their new park inhospitable to the great unwashed. Think about it……….

  • The central park reference was not meant as a one to one comparison. It was simply a reference to the fact that both parks are centrally located and have become a main attraction for each city. Once upon a time, Central Park in NY was mostly run down, dirty and filled with vagrants. Both Central Park and the bayou have seen significant transformations.

  • Superdave, you are correct, there was a pond there at on point created by the dam that washed out sometime in the 70’s. I remember seeing some photos of it in the past on the CHRON. ‘Probably a bunch of shit in the bayou these days, literally. Well, maybe they will let remote control boat enthusiasts use it.

  • I don’t think anyone who knows anything about parks would ever compare the two. This park doesn’t even come close to rivaling Memorial or Hermann much less Central. It’s like a larger Discovery Green and that is all. I appreciate the improvements, but let’s not act like this is the Bois de Boulogne or Hyde Park for heavens sake . Get a grip and show some perspective.

  • As a frequent runner in this area, thank goodness for parking spaces, thank goodness for the re-done sidewalks, thank goodness for lighting that is both charming and functional, thank goodness for the attention to Houston’s parks, green spaces, opportunities to develop these places in the concrete jungle that is the 610 loop. Not sure why everyone is so negative on this. I get that the details are easy to fret over people but I’m of the understanding that this was all a private donation project and at least we are doing something to make the city more beautiful and safe for all to enjoy. Let’s all be a little more grateful!

  • They should have called it what it is – an overflow drain. No one is ever going to use ‘morning glory hole’

  • Gotta love destroying park space to build an attraction so private business can profit from it.

  • Looks like the Morning Glory thing has been adequately handled. For the park improvements in general, a more simple plan would have more closely matched my tastes. My primary wish, though, is that they actually finish the park improvements before the 5 year mark passes. They are currently redoing the concrete landing area for the bridge at Memorial and Shepherd for the 3rd time!

  • all the pessimism on the swamplot comment threads and no one has yet mentioned the Bud Light Amphitheater?

  • BTW, I just thought of something, perhaps that ladder is permanent, or temporary until a permanent one is put in? I know some knucklehead(s) will end up in it, either on purpose, or by accident. I guess they need someway to get out.

  • Given the history of that section of Buffalo Bayou, Glory Hole would a very appropriate name and nod to the past. Back in the old Montrose gay ghetto days, those woods and trails made for a maze of outdoor cruising.

  • The ladder in the “morning glory” is when people fall off the balcony of the Dunlavy down into the “morning glory” and can climb out,without calling 911 !!! This “improvement ” along with the “new,upgraded Buffalo Bayou Park is funded by the Nancy & Richard Kinder Foundation( he was with Enron,left and formed Kinder Morgan and related entities.)The Kinder gave $63 MILLION to the Parks Board( not a City related entity) with the proviso that future maintenance be done by the Parks Board,as the COH is notorious for under funding and under maintaining it’s infrastructure ( our streets being the prime example).The Kinders saw Buffalo Bayou Parkway as an under-utilized amenity the COH needed to revive.Hence, a public-private partnership sprung into action(as Mayor Annise Parker is follower, NOT a leader- and she knows the Richie Riches all over River Oaks, the Memorial Villages, Tanglewood,Montrose,the Heights,etc., donate a LOT of money to her campaign. Of course ,the City “allows” PUBLIC tax payer supported land to be “borrowed” by the wealthy for their PRIVATE use. And ,more than likely, there will BE valet parking,if I know Clark Cooper Concepts; Brasserie 19 and their other restos have valet parking. Which I NEVER use , as those buggers DO take cars for “joy rides” , go through cars looking for goodies and they CAN make copies of the keys and find out YOUR Home address via the insurance / registration cards in the glove compartment and viola a month or so later your car has been jacked .. Not saying they actually do it, but I don’t give ’em the opportunity to even thin about it. I take MY cars keys with me and park it myself..@JB3: Clark Cooper Concepts IS the operator. The COH supposedly retains ownership.@ Shannon: analytic nerds like you, for instance. Our Central Parks : Hermann is 445 acres- with Museums galore,plus the Japanese Garden, the Zoo, Miller Outdoor Theatre,et al. Memorial Park IS 1500 acres-twice as BIG as Central Park. Are you paid by the NYC Tourism Baord to knock Houston in your posts? Or are you just as cynical as some sour pusses on this site?

  • Correction: Memorial Park is 1466 acres . It was originally 1503 acres,given as a gift to the citizens of the City of Houston by Mike & Will Hogg,brothers of Ima Hogg. Their father was James Hogg ,a former Texas governor.The Hogg children developed what was called Country Club Estates,better known as River Oaks. They built/owned 14 speculative houses in the neighborhood. My father introduced the Exercise Trail concept to Houston – which is composed of a crushed granite base ,over laid with soil and crushed bark chips- which makes for a firm , yet pliable soothing surface to walk/jog/run on. The concept comes from Switzerland ( I’m part Swiss,yeah) and the exercise trail is named after Seymour Lieberman. The golf course,opened in 1936, which is ranked as the best municipal course in Texas.Former professional golfer Dave Marr,who learned to pay on the golf course, had his ashes scattered on the course on/around 1997,in addition to being scattered on other courses.

  • Check out the bigger version of this drain in action by searching in youtube for Lake Berryessa Dam. Its very neat.

    Also, Padraig: You don’t need a ladder to get out – one could crawl out the tunnel that drains into the bayou, assuming the lake isn’t draining at the time.