barbara bush literacy plaza

barbara bush literacy plaza
landscape architect

lauren griffith associates


parks and landscapes



This 3/4-acre plaza, between the Julia Ideson building and the Jesse Jones building (Central Library), serves as a pivot point between Sam Houston Park and Hermann Square. The existing plaza was not conducive to many programs and its lack of civic activity had led to undesirable use. Its redesign sought to create a vibrant urban destination, attracting a variety of events and uses. The new plan includes an elevated Library Lounge and Children's Reading Room, an elevated central lawn for casual seating or rotating art events, a pavilion with stage, an outdoor dining area, and a water wall. Because the existing plaza had encountered security issues, lighting at night was key to the project's success. Trees were used both as uplit beacons, but also to hold downlighting for safety and security. Patterned flood lights cast a dappled light on the main lawn, while adjustable lights highlight the pavilion and adjacent Julia Ideson building.

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