Exhibition of Car-Free Street Debuts in Museum District

A full block of Calumet St. in the Museum District has been blocked off from traffic with a new landscaped and fenced median, notes Swamplot reader Katie White. Her photo above shows the new view from Austin St. looking towards Calumet; the street appears to have been closed between Austin and Caroline, directly south of the Holocaust Museum.

Photo: Katie White

14 Comment

  • The Holocaust Museum bought the land from the City and the closing took place a month or two ago. The parking lot across the street is owned Museum as well.

  • How in the hell can a museum buy a city street? Can I do that? I guess that when the city gets hard-up for cash, anything is for sale at the right price.

  • Closing streets = bad for urbanism. See Jane Jacobs.

  • I agree with Mike above. Houston gridlock keeps getting worse, and the city keeps closing off streets. We need to accept the fact that a metro area of 6 million is not some big suburb.

  • Calumet was the only through street in that area without random 4-way and 2-way stops. The city added a 4-way stop at Crawford and then sold this stretch to the museum. I drive by it several times a day and it irritates me everytime. Not to mention the T-intersection with the stop signs on the through street. Idiocy.

    And the Holocaust Museum’s changes are awful. The fences are much higher than most and most of the landscaping is done inside the fence. It looks terrible.

  • What is the point of them closing the street are they going to build something over the street ?

  • They’re bringing separate parts of their campus together. AOS did this a few years ago. If you own both sides of the street the city will consider a purchase – provided you’re an institution…and the location is right.

  • @tcp IV there is nothing on the lot across the street except a parking lot and an abandoned bank building. And they have erected a tall fence between their new street and the other side of the “campus.”

  • Katie, it is unfortunate that Calumet now house a stop sign; it was my “secret” fast track through the Museum District. As for the south side property that the Holocaust Museum owns, give it some time for them to build another build. It’s taken HMNS a while and they probably have a lot more $ than the HM (which is free admission every day).

    Anyway, I hope the HM gets its federal grants that act as a multiplier and will (hopefully) provide infrastructure $ in the Museum District. This was all commented on at the last neighborhood association meeting.

  • Considering Calumet is already cut off from San Jacinto this is not a huge blow to area mobility. Should be interesting to see how they fill out this master plan.

  • I invite Katie to “temporarily ditch her car” and explore the possibilities and unknowns of alternative transportation.

  • OK, now they’ve fenced off the sidewalk. I was sort of OK with closing off the street, but how is restricting sidewalk access compatible with the vision of a walkable Museum District?
    Guess I need to go to the next neighborhood association mtg!

  • Well, isn’t it nice to see that they are now using the old bank/lot for paid parking–just what the area needs. Seriously, they need to develop the land or sell it. What a waste of prime real estate, not to mention tax base.