Art-Deco Themed Park Opens in La Porte, Texas Print
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 08:53

A new Art Deco themed park opened recently at the Five Points intersection in the City of La Porte, Texas. Designed by URS Corporation, the 1.2-acre facility, known as Five Points Plaza, is expected to give a boost to the local economy by attracting tourists and new businesses. Located about 20 miles east of downtown Houston, the plaza was constructed on land reclaimed from two old gasoline stations and a city street at the five-way connection point of Main Street and South Broadway.
“From the beginning we were seeking to create a new Five Points Plaza with a significant ‘Wow Factor’,” said city Manager Ron Bottoms. “In addition to serving as a gathering place for the community, the Plaza also serves as a focal point for future development as we revitalize our downtown area and welcome visitors to our bayside community.”

The plaza is fashioned along the lines of the South Beach area in Miami Beach, Florida. The park features 1930-era art deco themes utilizing neon and streamline metallic details that provide a sophisticated ambiance not usually seen in a community park in Texas. The park is ADA compliant and includes a well lighted performance gazebo stage with park-wide audio and Wi-Fi access.

The bull nose bench at the Five Points intersection is made of concrete that provides a welcoming icon and acts as a protective barrier from vehicular traffic. The bench is back-lit with cool blue and hot pink LED lights announcing that a visitor has arrived. The 24-foot bench provides ample seating for musical performances and faces a circular bubbling fountain and basin.

The Broadway gate is a modern interpretation of a garden entrance canopy with streamline features from an era known as “art moderne” which followed the art deco era. The South Gate welcomes visitors from Sylvan Beach on San Jacinto Boulevard and is both decorative and functional. Positioned so it can be seen from Sylvan Beach, which is approximately one mile to the south, the South Gate is reminiscent of the old entrance gate that stood at Sylvan Beach during the 1930s and 40s as a Galveston Bay destination for Houston residents. It was designed to blend with hotels and restaurants in the area, which feature pastel-colored stucco, smooth lines glass block and decorative tiles as well as neon lighting.

The performance gazebo, a main feature of the park, will house live concerts during holidays and at festivals throughout the year. Full audio hookups are available for a variety of artists, from orchestras to children’s choirs. A full park audio visual system offers music and Wi-Fi interconnectivity for lunch breaks and evening relaxation. Two ornamental fountains cool the plaza and provide a background of lighted water in motion. The plaza also includes 24 large up-lighted Medjol Palms to set a tropical oasis ambience.
“As a result of careful planning and imaginative design, this project has successfully transformed a desolate looking strip with abandoned service stations into a welcoming destination,” Mr. Bottoms commented. “We have created a civic resource that will be an economic and cultural benefit to the community for years to come.”