Downtown Skatepark: Build It and Maybe They Will Go Away

Downtown Houston Skatepark

“If your city doesn’t have a skatepark, then your city is a skatepark,” reads a headline on a Skaters for Public Skateparks website. And really: Houston has so many better uses for its concrete surfaces—like channeling floodwaters.

In the words of one proponent, speaking in a Public Use Skateparks for Houston (PUSH) video:

If you want to get the kids off the streets, get them to quit tearing up your ledges and your rails, and put them some place where they can actually have some fun and stay out of trouble, a place where families can come hang out — there’s a real need for it in a city this big.

It’s the flypaper theory of city planning: Build it, and maybe those annoying skaters will go there and leave your property alone.

You might have expected building owners bothered by scrapes and skate wax to have been bigger proponents of the newly announced downtown Skatepark. Instead, it took a $1.5 million donation from Joe Jamail for the Houston Parks Board to meet its fundraising goals.

The park will be 35,000 square feet of sculpted concrete on the west side of Sabine St. at Memorial Dr., just under the Sabine Bridge over Buffalo Bayou. There better be some drains in those bowls.

PUSH spokesman Barry Blumenthal told city council to expect 200 skaters and hundreds of onlookers at the park on a typical Saturday.

After the jump, more views of the new skatepark.


Plan of Proposed Downtown Skatepark by Clark Condon and Associates

Downtown Skatepark

Remember: Skateboarding is not a crime.

Next: Scouting locations for the new Downtown Graffiti Park.