La Porte lightens up
About 20 miles east of downtown Houston, La Porte, Texas, has opened a unique park on land formerly occupied by abandoned gas stations. Five Points Plaza, which resembles the South Beach area in Miami Beach, Fla., is a 1.2-acre, art deco-themed park at a five-way intersection on the town’s Main Street.
“From the beginning, we were seeking to create a new Five Points Plaza with a significant ‘Wow Factor,’” says 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.”
Designed by Overland Park, Kan.-based URS Corp., the plaza features 1930s-era art deco themes with neon and metallic details. The centerpiece is a gazebo stage for live concerts during holidays and festivals throughout the year. 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, and two gates welcome visitors. The Broadway gate is an “art moderne” interpretation of a garden entrance canopy, and the South Gate welcomes visitors from Sylvan Beach, which can be seen approximately one mile south. It is reminiscent of an old gate that stood at Sylvan Beach during the 1930s and 1940s.