What are McGovern Centennial Gardens?
McGovern Centennial Gardens opened in Houston's Hermann Park in 2014 to celebrate the park's 100th birthday. They are comprised of a series of themed 'garden rooms' such as the rose garden, arid garden, celebration garden and more.
At their centre is a stunning lawn lined with perennial flowers and surrounded by 50 different types of trees. This is flanked at one end by a pavillion and at the other by a tiered, zigarrut-like hill with a waterfall flowing down its slopes.
Over the hill is a sculpture garden that boasts the busts of several prominent figures from Houston's history, as well as the likes of Gandhi, Confuscius, Martin Luther King Jr, and Chilean independence leader Bernardo O'Higgins. Topping this off is a bronze sculpture of a woman and a fawn, Dawn (1971) by Helen Journeay.
McGovern Centennial Gardens' Crowning Jewel
On eof its highlights is the Japanese Garden that features a beautiful Friendship Pagoda, gifted by Houston's sister city, Taipei, in 1976 in celebration of the US' 200th birthday. With its ornately carved and painted roof, it is a site to behold, and its tranquil surrounds make it even better.
The History of Hermann Park
Hermann Park as a whole is one of the oldest public parks in Houston. The land was bequeathed to the city by George Hermann in 1914 and was then altered according to the designs of renowned landscape architect George Kessler.
Kessler was a proponent of the City Beautiful tradition, a reformist architectural movement that championed bringing beauty and grandeur back to cities. This is reflected in the park's layout, so pleasing to the eye.
Why is it Called 'McGovern' Centennial Gardens?
The gardens are named after John McGovern, an American allergist, investor and philanthropist who made several donations to artistic and medical organisations in Houston and wider Texas, and who set-up the McGovern Allergy Clinic also in Houston.
Visiting McGovern Centennial Gardens
In the summer the gardens open from 9am-7pm daily with last entry at 6.45pm. These hours are reduced in the winter months.
The gardens are free to enter and the pavillion is available for private hire, along with the celebration garden.
They are a five minute walk from the Museum District stop on the red line of Houston's light rail service, and for drivers there is free parking available on site.
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