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The Prairie Street Icons

August 30, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Features

CIMG6966.JPGPrairie Street was home of the original Cotswold “Test Blocks” and has many amenities. In this post we will look at the “icons”.

The icons are pre-cast concrete structures on each block between Travis St. and Crawford St at Minute Maid Baseball Park. The two Test Blocks–the block either side of Main St.–have one at each end of each block. The other blocks have one each at each intersection. The planter pot on top is watered by the same irrigation system that waters the nearby new trees and planter beds.


The Bayou Fountain

May 23, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains, Special Surfaces

This fountain symbolizes the meandering bayous of the Houston area with their rising and falling water levels. The water from the adjacent pump/water treatment vault streams up a hole in the center of the large center stone. From the center channels are carved in winding paths and the water flows to the edge where the water runs down the rough side of the stone, through a grate and into the collection trench around the perimeter of the large stone. The water in the trench flows by gravity to the wet well that is part of the pump/water treatment vault.Bayou fountain with streams

The stone covered sidewalk around the center stone extend out around stone benches. The sidewalk stone has shallow wandering “bayous” continuing out from the center stone. The “bayou’s” bottoms are stained black. The fountain is circled by Mexican Sycamore trees found along the bayous in Houston. (more…)

The Picnic Fountains

May 16, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

The two “picnic table” fountains were built in the focal point of two quarter-circle benches added to Market Square Park during its restoration in the 1990s. The benches are covered with painted tiles that depict a festive scene. The tiles are embedded in the concrete and were created by and installation overseen then by the artist Malou Flato of Austin, Texas.

CIMG7257.JPGThe “fountains”, added by the Cotswold project about 10 years later, are actually 1-inch deep circular pools with the bottom being more ceramics by Ms. Flato. She created a picnic table setting using the same colors are ceramics she used years before. Again she oversaw the placement of the tiles inside the concrete “table” built by the general contractor. This is a great use of art in a casual setting and very fitting for a neighborhood park. (more…)

Art in the Fountains

May 16, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

Many of the locations of art in the sidewalk is where the art is part of a fountain. When reading here about the installation and components of the fountains I have, or will as those posts are completed, talk about the art components. The Cotswold program that added the fountains was assisted by the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County. (more…)

The Baseball Fountain

May 05, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

BaseBallFountainWithVault.jpgAt Crawford and Preston (map) is my favorite fountain–a 5-foot diameter bronze baseball across Crawford St. from the entrance to Minute Maid Baseball Park. The setting is to depict a baseball hit out of the Park–of course by one of the Astros– that landed in the sidewalk, breaking water lines and the water gushing up almost onto the broken sidewalk. There have been thousands of photographs taken in front of it and more than a few with kids on top of it. It is part of a wonderful memory for many people.  (more…)

Fountains–Preston at Main Street

May 04, 2009 By: Tom Davis Category: Sidewalk Art, Sidewalk Fountains

There are two stone “vessels” either side of Main Street on the north side of Preston (map). Both stone urns were designed, built and installed by Brad Goldberg, an award winning sculptor/artist who works with stone. Be sure to read the posts here about his two vessels at Congress and Main and the “Bayou” in the fountain on Preston between Fannin and San Jacinto. All pieces are part of the City of Houston’s Art Collection.DSC_0197.JPG