Progress on Those Limestone Slabs Getting Screwed Onto the Mecom Fountain

Mecom Fountain with Limestone Paneling, Main at Montrose, Museum District, Houston, 77006

Here’s a late-afternoon look at the limestone slabs that have been working their way around the concrete oval basin of the Mecom Fountain in the last week, which the Texas Historical Commission is hoping that TXDoT and the city will stop applying for the moment, according to the Chronicle’s Lisa Gray. Commissioner Linda Henderson told Gray that the organization approved work to redo the north entrance to Hermann Park without realizing that the updates included work on the fountain itself (which is currently being looked at for potential inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and for city protected landmark status).

Meanwhile, the city planning department has been receiving complaints about the work that include phrases like “suburban mall,” Margaret Wallace tells the Chronicle. As of yesterday evening, the panels had already marched around both ends of the ellipse, with a gap remaining on the southwest side:


Mecom Fountain with Limestone Paneling, Main at Montrose, Museum District, Houston, 77006

Mecom Fountain with Limestone Paneling, Main at Montrose, Museum District, Houston, 77006

“Updates” to the 1964 fountain are part of the work to develop a Grand Gateway leading into the park from the north. The landscaped strip was originally planned between the fountain’s not-quite-round-about and the Sam Houston statue to the south, now split up by Fannin and San Jacinto. The fountain was commissioned by oilman John Mecom to help pretty up the entrance to his newly-acquired Warwick Hotel (now Hotel Zaza), replacing a sunken garden that was part of the park’s early development.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Getting Stoned at Main and Montrose

18 Comment

  • This looks ugly. I don’t understand the point of doing it.

  • drove by this morning. the updates appear to look much better.

  • Looks like crap. You can’t see the angle of lower part of the fountain, which is part of its attractive design. Idiots. Suspect hand in cookie jar.

  • Wasteful veneer done for no purpose other than to uglify. Shameful.

  • Uhhhh. We missed it in the drawings…?! Oops, story of my life… Seriously!

  • The wheat pasters are licking their chops

  • Drove by there at lunch; they’re still putting them up. Leave it to Houston to ruin perfectly good mid-century architecture.

  • I live almost within eyeshot by those fountains …. I’d say it was a vast improvement to the ugly concrete.

  • I don’t see the difference. The new panels appear to be the same height as the original concrete wall, and are only a new veneer. Same line of sight.

  • They are ruining this beautiful, graceful fountain .. what moron came up with the plan .. and what idiots approved it? Leave well enough alone.

  • As long as we can still see the occasional soapsuds billowing out, I’m fine with it.

  • I live close to the fountain and went by there this afternoon to check it out. This is horrible! What these photos don’t show is that they are trying to match the entry walls into the park in the next block. The next step for the Mecom redo is a cap on top of the wall pictured with a very post-modern rounded bull nose decorative aspect to it. It is completely insane to attach those elements to this mid-century treasure and call it an “update”.

  • why do the mid century people always scream the loudest about this kind of stuff? there’s gotta be a group therapy thing around town for them and the victorian bungalow peeps.

  • The mayor is tone deaf on preserving city landmarks apparently.

    His statement: “I am uncomfortable stopping the project after three-quarters of the work has already been done. When everything is finished we will see what people think. If it turns out not to be the best representation of the historic nature of the fountain, we will have a conversation about another path forward. None of the work being done right now will prohibit changes from being made in the future.”

  • not heinous, but incongruent and unnecessary. why didn’t they just clean the surface that was there already? the sectioned appearance of this new covering isn’t right for the smooth. featureless bowls of the fountain. It’s not a huge change, but it makes your eye do something different when you look at the fountain as you pass around it, like the difference between a second hand that sweeps versus one that ticks its way around the face.

  • I hate this . Please stop it

  • What I don’t understand is why is TXDOT funding being used for this?

  • What chaos this must be causing for quinceanera photos…half mid-century/half strip mall backdrop, thrown in amid the least logical traffic circle of all time.