Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh Bois! My Best Idea for the East End

There is so much ground to cover, literally, that I can't concern myself with a lovely cohesive post. Babs of San Miguel once wrote on her blog, "I'm not a writer, I'm a chronicler." or something like that. That's so insightful, but not really true. She's a natural. Me, I run over my words trying to make a point. But some things are worth doing poorly until I get enough experience to be better. Writing about the Next San Miguel de Allende, Houston's East End, is one of those things.
Hidalgo Park has a 2 softball fields, one mini waterpark playground, paved walkways, and a large elevated bandstand/gazebo. The gazebo, given to the city by a group of Mexican-Americans, has railings made of lightweight concrete that mimick the form and texture of wood. Called "faux bois", and translated "false wood", the style adds a natural, organic touch to the bandstand. It's quirky and memorable but not a maestro level of execution of the craft.
But, I think we should take what we been so generously given, and run with it.
The Faux Bois should become the signature design element of the East End, the visual watermark, its unique visual identity.
(all polling is now closed.)
As mentioned previously, the Galleria has its chrome street jewelry, the Heights has
the Victorian Homes, Upper Kirby has the red London phone booths, Bourbon St has the iron balcony, and ....San Miguel de EastEnd could have the surprise and magic of faux bois, along with real trees in esplanades, in conical shapes a la Jardin style.
Obvious places for use of faux bois: "wood" park benches, "wood" bus and Metro stops, "wood"
arches to mark entrances to parks & trails, "wood" landscaping where traffic is heavy, "tree"
light poles. Here are some photos of these same ideas that I took in San Antonio about 15 years ago.

More on this in the next post.

1 comment:

Babs said...

LOVE the idea! Have you ever met Tim Cisneros? He's an architect that I did osme projects with - restaurant projects. He does some work in the Navigation area - not sure what he's up to now but I think your energy and his should meet.
Whenever? I get back to Houston would love to meet you and see the East End again. It's been years.