HOUSTON (September 12, 2023) – Houston First Corporation (HFC) celebrated the long-awaited Lynn Wyatt Square for the Performing Arts (LWS) at a grand opening event, Thursday, September 21. Participants at the celebration included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, philanthropist Lynn Wyatt, HFC Chairman David Mincberg, and HFC President and CEO Michael Heckman, along with other public officials and leaders from Houston’s performing arts and business community as well as project architects and designers.
The reimagined green space is a cornerstone for downtown Houston and serves as a focal point of synergy for the performing arts resident companies housed in the city’s Theater District. Developed and managed by Houston First, LWS is the result of a public-private partnership that includes a generous $10 million donation from its namesake, Houston philanthropist and arts lover, Lynn Wyatt. Wyatt’s donation was matched by the Downtown Redevelopment Authority with an additional $10 million commitment.
“This is a gamechanger for downtown Houston. I am so excited to see this square come to life as a greener public space that not only connects the arts, but more importantly connects people to the arts. My thanks to Houston’s living legend, Lynn Wyatt and her family for their dedication to this city and to the arts. Working together through public-private collaborations like this one between Lynn Wyatt, the Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Houston First is the reason we can move mountains in this city,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
The new $26.5 million green space includes a flexible performance lawn for concerts and other free programs, a cascading water feature, accessible entries, gardens, trees, one-of-a-kind tête-à-tête rockers/seating, lighting and sound elements and space for a future restaurant. Mini murals created by Anat Ronen and Jessica Guerra (Guerra Girl) cover traffic boxes around the Square. HFC will maintain and operate the Square, which will offer year-round programming inspired by Houston’s cultural diversity and the award-winning performing arts organizations surrounding the park.
“I love the arts, I love Houston, and I absolutely love this beautiful Square. I am thrilled to support the team bringing people and the arts together in the heart of downtown. And to have my name on such an important piece of Houston, I am humbled and truly grateful. I look forward to all the good this Square will do now and in the future for our world-class performing arts community and the people of this dynamic city,” said Lynn Wyatt.
“This is an important step forward for the city and I am grateful to both Lynn Wyatt for her generosity and to the Downtown Redevelopment Authority for their support of this vision to improve what is the new front lawn of our Theater District. This is another great example of Houston coming together to make legacy projects that benefit the entire city a reality,” said Michael Heckman, president & CEO Houston First Corporation.
- RIOS (Architects)
- Manhattan Construction Company (General Contractor)
- Subconsultant Design Team
- Harrison Kornberg Architects
- Asakura Robinson (Planting Design)
- Henderson Rogers (Structural Engineers)
- TEI Planning+Design (Traffic Engineers)
- E&C (MEP Engineers)
- Fluidity Design (Water Feature Design)
- Gradient Group (Civil Engineers)
- Walter P Moore (Waterproofing)
- Schuler Shook (Lighting and Theater Design)
- Jaffe Holden (Audio Visual Consulting)
About Houston First Corporation:
Houston First Corporation (HFC) is a local government corporation and the official destination marketing organization for the country's fourth largest city. In addition to serving as operator for the George R. Brown Convention Center and some of Houston's most prominent art, entertainment, and event venues, HFC is focused on promoting the city's vibrancy and rich tapestry of culture. By harnessing the city's collective energy, ambition, and creativity, including its diverse culinary scene, world-renowned performing arts, medical and space innovation, and elite filming locations, HFC is solidifying Houston as a premier national and global destination. For the latest news and info regarding HFC, visit www.houstonfirst.com.
Carolyn Campbell, (832) 982-9902
Jennie Bui-McCoy, (832) 374-3994
Celia Morales, (713) 444-0507