More Pics of That New Parklet Now Taking Up Valuable Parking Space on 19th St. in the Heights

Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston Heights

Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston HeightsInspired by the outpourings of support issuing forth from Swamplot’s comments section for the city’s new smallest park ever, the folks behind the parklet on 19th St. have sent in a bunch of photos of the completed project outside a Heights mattress store — including the aerial drone’s-eye view above, which was taken shortly before Thursday’s inauguration ceremony attended by the mayor, a few city councilmembers, and a couple of boy-scout-uniformed salesmen from an adjacent shop who roasted s’mores for the occasion.


Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston Heights

Parklet, 321 W. 19th St., Houston Heights

The parklet — the first officially permitted one in the city — was created by Jenny Janis, Jose Martinez and Heath Brodie, all working out of the Kirby Dr. storefront of New Living, which initiated and funded the project. The team’s major design challenge — outside of braving traffic to shoo cars away from the parking space in front of the New Living Bedroom store at 321 W. 19th St. — was building the steel frame to fit on the uneven parking surface, support the planters, and keep the parklet’s wooden deck level and flush with the sidewalk. They then fitted it with reclaimed woods, reclaimed soil, and recently generated plants. A shade structure blocks afternoon sun from the western side of the seating area.

By agreement with the city, New Living will be responsible for maintaining the 125-sq.-ft. installation.

Photos: Adam Brackman (aerial); Lauren Tennet (second from top); New Living (all others)


By Popular Demand

35 Comment

  • so it hasn’t been specifically mentioned yet, but New Living is paying a fee to use this portion of the cities right-of-way for their free advertisement here, right?
    regardless, someone should tear up the benches and install some treadmills on it. now that’s a parklet that houstonians acutally need.

  • Can hobos sleep in it?

  • It’s hard to say how many parking spaces this takes up, but it does look wider than a car. Where are the parking space-defining stripes?

  • glad to see these coming to houston….hope for some downtown next to the hyatt hotel and off main by metro. they are all over san francisco and they work great!

  • This is great.

  • This REEKS of duchebag hipsterism

  • Looks like there’s enough room to park my motorcycle in front of the parklet. Thanks guys!

  • This is really nicely done! I love it! Just goes to show people will find something to complain about no matter what you do.

  • Glad to read that New Living will be responsible for maintaining it. So what happens when New Living goes belly up here and vacates the store? Guess they take the “parklet” with them………

  • Is that awesome open-air junk collector shop still across the street there? I love that place. Apart from the tetanus.

  • Yes, let me relax in the swelter of your parking lot. I hope they have EMS on speed dial for the heat exhaustion and asphyxiation from the asphalt and car fumes. I agree, this seems so Douchbag. Maybe in San Deigo in a parking lot on La Jolla with a view of the Pacific, but not in humid Houston with a view of a tire shop. Also, in, I hate rail, I want my car, Houston, do you really want to take up any parking spaces? Really, this is laughably Douchy.

  • basically all the soil on Earth is reclaimed . . . same with water, same with air. looks like an outdoor
    smoking lounge for Newhip Living

  • I applaud their effort, can’t ever fault people who try to make an effort. But let’s get real here. My suburban style grocery store has about 12 or so traffic islands with trees and grass, can the city rebrand those as “parklets” too? Hell, how about a tax break on my front yard? I’ll even let people lounge around in the grass and in the shade under the tree if the city will give me a tax break. I’ll call it a Yarklet (a yard-parklet).

  • I’m just glad the city is looking to Parks and Recreation for inspiration.

  • I always love how all the people who are against rail don’t understand that by having rail it reduces the traffic so they can use their car more easily. The people who say they will never use rail, are the ones who will actually benefit the most, and should be the ones trying to convince other people to build it and use it. Alas, people in Houston aren’t smart enough to understand basic concepts of society and living amongst other people.

  • We should’ve noticed that the earlier post was unfinished. This looks good. And since 19th St is one of the only place in town where pedestrians naturally assemble, it’s good to have a sitting spot.

  • Summoning Portlandia.

  • While this set of photos show “Houston’s Smallest Park” in a better light, I have to agree that hobos will find out on the lightening-fast “HNN” (Hobo News Network) that they have a new great option for squatting.
    And, the fact that this is an “official” park could mean that the legal protections for their using it could also be invoked.
    As far as encouraging pedestrians to enjoy it: the asphalt is basically a heat sink and keep the park warmer than a normal-sized one. If they want to lounge, they may find it more amenable to sit at the nearby Boomtown Coffee shop in the air-conditioning, drinking coffee, and looking out the window at either the hobos or crazy fools sitting in the heat.

  • Parks and green space are great, no doubt. A wooden planter box on the edge of the street between two parked cars? I don’t get it…

  • @DD, the fallacy with that logic is that it only looks good on paper and not in real world. The trains do not take people from living centers to work centers and never feasibly will because of the distances and price involved. Also the trains CREATE traffic around the areas they are actually running by disrupting the light timings and taking out car lanes (Main street is a traffic nightmare). Plus, vast majority of people who take the train would have taken the bus anyway…. so net effect is that billions spent with negligible positive impact.

  • Looks prickly…

  • Awesome idea. Awesome execution. Thankful we all don’t have to look at pictures of the unkempt yards and filthy hoards of all the “comment trolls” who don’t have any thing better to do but trash everything all the time. If you all had better attitudes maybe you could have actual, you know, homes and relationships. Just sayin’

  • We all have the right to our opinions, Neighborly (ironic user name , since your comment is so un neighborly). What makes a person a troll to you? Is having an opinion conter to yours, trolling. Look, I think this is really stupid and ridiculous. I sit on the Conservancy of a major park, so I obviously love parks, but this isn’t a f@@king park, it’s a shanty on asphalt. Please, don’t lecture me on what it is to be a troll all the while trolling. I respect your opinion, so respect mine.

  • Just Sayin*

  • I would rather hang out in the parklet than hang out with about half the people in this comment section.

    Cheers to New Living for doing something fun, creative, and aesthetically pleasing. The rest of you.. lighten up.

  • It’s just a matter of time before some entitled teenage girl driving her daddy’s X5 and some drug-induced morn barrels through this parklet with their car trying to park somewhere. Trust me.

  • I attended the opening and sat on the bench. The parklet is well made. All the materials are not just reclaimed but beautiful. I see it as part art installation — a provocation, something to help us imagine a different kind of city. Houston is not sweltering all year. We have a few good months and it will be used.

  • Shannon, why did you think the anti-troll post was directed at you?

  • Mel, I meant in general. I no first hand knowledge of who they meant and they didn’t specify, but I assume it was sort of a scattershot, inane comment and I addressed it as so, but no I certainly have no clue who she actually meant and really don’t care.

  • Ian, I think you need to lighten up and realized not everyone thinks this is genius. Of course it may get used in the late Fall, that’s if Bob and Helen, while caught up in a debate on who is the “most” vegan”, don’t drive over it in their hybrid Prius… this is so fucking stupid, but whatever…enjoy.

  • @commonsense

    Never been to a real city, have you?
    Everybody in Philly uses trains to get from the burbs/other parts of the city to center city to work, eat, go to school, play…
    Never heard of the NYC subway?


  • Yay for efforts that encourage gathering, connection and green space in Houston!

  • Oh hey guess what guys I heard there was a new parklet in the middle of a sea of concrete and asphalt with a bunch
    of yucca plants and a bench. Let’s go hang out and stare into a mattress store. Cool! I’ll bring the Mountain Dew
    if you bring Doritos!!

  • Actually what is surprising is that the merchants don’t collectively put some planters outside their doors or some benches under their awnings to spruce up the appearance of the street. The sidewalk is more than wide enough and it certainly seems more conducive to sitting around and conversing than in the street. My guess is they don’t do it for fear of a a bunch of bums hanging out trashing the place up or hooligans stealing everything that isn’t bolted into the cement.

  • There should be more Swamplot skits! haha