Houston’s Levy Park wins prestigious international award
For a little 6-acre plot in the middle of Houston’s busy and dense Upper Kirby District, Levy Park works hard.
Award-winningly hard. The Urban Land Institute has named the park a winner of its prestigious, worldwide 2018 ULI Urban Open Space competition. The award recognizes outstanding examples of successful large- and small-scale public spaces that have socially enriched and revitalized the economies of their surrounding communities.
Even on weekday evenings, visitors bring all the Levy amenities to life: Kids romp the innovative playground, dogs frolic in their own space and fitness buffs fill the free exercise classes in the pavilion. About 7,000 people a week visit the park, which opened in February 2017. That number could swell again when Fort Worth celebrity chef Tim Love’s on-site Woodshed opens next year. (The original Woodshed, on the banks of the Trinity River, stays consistently packed.)
Levy Park shared the award with Madrid’s Rio Park, besting other finalists from Lynwood, Calif.; Fall River, Mass.; and Changsha, China for the top prize. Winners are selected by an international jury that represents different facets of the development industry.
Levy Park belongs to the city of Houston but is operated by the Levy Park Conservancy, through the Upper Kirby District Foundation. Chip Traseger, who led the design for OJB Landscape Architecture, and architect Natalye Appel, who designed the pavilion, were in Boston Tuesday for the award ceremony along with Kirby District executive director Travis Younkin and Levy Park director Stephanie Kiouses.
“This award validates the vision that several forward-thinking individuals had for Levy Park as an idyllic community haven in the heart of Houston,” Kiouses said.