The city of Houston is moving ahead with $54 million in renovations to MacGregor Park, a historically significant 65-acre park on the city’s southeast side. The park is almost a century old and suffers from high use and aging infrastructure, park officials said.
The renovations, outlined in a master plan last updated in 2021, include improvements to multiple sports facilities, extending the park’s perimeter and construction of an amphitheater. The Houston Parks Board will launch the design phase in 2024. Construction is slated for 2025.
Funding for the project is a mix of private and public money, including a $27 million catalyst gift from The Kinder Foundation, a Houston-based nonprofit. An additional $14.5 million in public funding has already been raised for the project, including a Community Project Funding Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“We love our park and consider it our place of natural beauty, culture, history, recreation, and education,” Friends of MacGregor Park Board Chair Dr. Teddy McDavid said a press release.
The master plan calls for renovating the Homer Ford Tennis Center into a state-of-the-art facility with tournament-hosting capabilities. New amenities include an observation deck, patio, covered bleachers and stadium courts. In addition, the swimming pool and historic community center will be renovated, and a natural amphitheater with stone seating will be constructed adjacent to the bayou to support programming and community events.
The master plan also calls for a 1.25-mile extension of the park’s perimeter trail, a development that will provide a link between the existing Brays Bayou Greenways trail and enhance connectivity to a network of community bike lanes. Updates will also include the refurbishment of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza. The plan also includes a new ADA-accessible playground that will be part of a play garden that includes a children’s theatre, splash pad, elevated boardwalk, sensory garden and signature climber.
Planned upgrades also call for the addition of 445 parking spaces, a picnic area and an open space for disc golf. A community plaza will include an art garden, community porches and decorative lighting.
Photo by the Houston Parks Board