Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined former Houston First Lady Elyse Lanier Thursday to announce a campaign to restore city hall and Hermann Square. The work will be completed in phases to improve public access, enhance safety and upgrade landscaping and drainage around the 1939 art deco building.
The two made the announcement in front of city hall and were joined by city council members David Robinson, Jerry Davis, Robert Gallegos and Jack Christie, along with local businessman Billy Burge and Houston Parks Director Steve Wright
“We want this to be a very safe and beautiful public space that represents the pride of our city and represents who we are,” Mayor Turner said. “I could not be working with a better partner than Elyse Lanier. This is her passion and represents her love for the city.”
During the administration of her late husband, former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, Mrs. Lanier was known for her work to beautify public spaces throughout the city.
She proposed the public – private partnership to restore City Hall and Hermann Square as symbols of Houston’s courage and resilience.
“In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Mayor Turner and his administration have worked hard to get Houston back on its feet. Their efforts have been effective and phenomenal,” said Mrs. Lanier. “But now, the time has come to return City Hall to being what it was when it opened in 1939 – a source of civic pride as one of Houston’s very brightest jewels.”
The first phase of the project for Hermann Square will include:
New curb and gutters around the block
New landscaping and irrigation
Electrical service for holiday lighting and special events
Bed improvements and enlargement to the beds around the existing oak trees
Updated benches, outdoor furniture and planters
New access ramps to City Hall
Funding for the $4.9 million project will come from both restricted and previously dedicated public funds ($1.9 million) and private donations ($3 million).