The City of Houston website may still describe Jones Plaza as a “fully renovated” public square that forms the centerpiece of the city’s Theater District downtown, but Houston First appears ready to fully renovate it again. The quasi-public agency says it will select 5 teams from among any “experienced urban design firms, landscape architects or architects capable of creating an inspired, iconic, accessible and welcoming design” that apply before September 5 to create preliminary designs for a redo. Among the possibly familiar items listed for inclusion on the redesign menu: a water element, a “green oasis with seasonal plantings,” a performance space, an art installation, and a 4,000-sq.-ft. fast-casual restaurant.
Jones Plaza’s current design, which features similar items, dates from a 2001 rebuild led by Bricker+Cannady Architects; that renovation lowered and canted the previously raised plaza surface so that all steps could be removed from the Louisiana St. side facing Jones Hall:
The plaza is perched above the multi-block underground Theater District parking garage, with driveway entrances on its north and south sides.
Included in the master plan of Downtown’s Theater District engineering and design firm Arup completed for Houston First in 2015 was this image of a vision for a Jones Plaza redo:
- Houston’s Jones Plaza Targeted for Major Redevelopment [Virtual Builders Exchange]
- Theater District Master Plan (PDF) [Houston First]