Segment E of Houston’s new Grand Parkway — more commonly known as the new ring-road highway planned to cut through the Katy Prairie to link the Katy Mills Mall to the Houston Premium Outlets mall in Cypress (and to facilitate cultural exchange programs between those two institutions) — has its first casualty, and it’s not an Attwater prairie chicken. One of Katy’s quirkiest and most beloved attractions, Forbidden Gardens, has announced it will close. The Chinese history and cultural museum’s peculiar but convenient location on a former rice field along Franz Rd. just off the Grand Parkway’s stub end likely wasn’t “just off” enough. Forbidden Gardens’ last day open will be January 30; a note on its website says the closing will “make way for the Grand Parkway expansion.” Forbidden Gardens opened in 1996.
What will happen to Ira Poon’s famed but well-weathered one-twentieth-scale model of Beijing’s Forbidden City? And the model of the the Tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di, with its terra-cotta army of 6,000 by now fully frisked one-third-scale warriors? Messages left on the museum’s answering machine have not yet been returned. To accommodate visitors who would like to tour the mostly open-air facilities “one last time,” the website reports, Forbidden Gardens is extending its hours.
- Forbidden Gardens [via Preston]
- Previously on Swamplot: Rough Weather and Marauding Visitors: Tough Times in the Forbidden Gardens of Katy, Little Grand Parkway on the Prairie Not So Shovel-Ready After All, Investing in the Grand Parkway, Bridgeland Over the Floodwaters, Grand Parkway Sprawl Stimulus, Grand Parkway Segment E: Mall Shopper Express Lanes
Photos: Jennifer Gray