As Houston history buffs are well aware, the Market Square Park has been a thriving urban center since the city was founded by the Allen brothers in 1836. The site was originally dubbed Congress Square and renamed Market Square in 1839, and was also home to four different Town Hall buildings over the years.
Now the once neglected center, which was redesigned in 2010, celebrates its reopening and tenth anniversary on Friday, September 4. The public is invited to the event (301 Milam Street) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free cupcakes from Frosted Betty Truck (while supplies last) and live music from the Houston-born singer-songwriter , Madeline Edwards. Visitors can take a selfie at the oversized cupcake facility. (Be sure to mask yourself and respect social distancing.)
Market Square Park is known as a bustling destination for shows, public art, cultural programming, and outdoor dining. The park has hosted hundreds of events such as Houston’s 175th Anniversary celebration, Doomsday Wrestling, local and regional musicians, and the beloved Puppies for Breakfast, an annual dog-centric festival.
The park is widely recognized as inspiring the revitalization of the historic Market Square and the nearby Main Street Corridor as a neighborhood for life, culture, food, drink and nightlife. The area has now seen new residential properties adjacent to Aris Market Square, Market Square Tower and The Preston (which will be completed in 2022, according to a press release).
Those who flock to the park now may find it hard to imagine the park as a parking lot in the 1960s. In the 1970s the Junior League of Houston helped turn it into a green space, and in the 1980s the he DiverseWorks arts association coordinated a renovation of the park that incorporated works by local artists throughout the space.
Sitting in neglect and decline, the park was largely forgotten until the Downtown District, Downtown Redevelopment Authority / TIRZ # 3, City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department and community stakeholders saw it. redeveloped and reopened in its current form in August 2010.