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Tranquility Park honoring Apollo 11 needs a makeover, but there's a funding issue

A park dedicated to the Apollo 11 Moon landing needs a major rescue mission.

HOUSTON — Like the moon’s “Sea of Tranquility” for which it’s named, downtown Houston’s Tranquility Park sits mostly silent.

Water no longer flows from fountains that mimic Apollo 11 rocket boosters, and vast pools around their base collect trash and dead leaves.

"I remember when the things were, you know, water flowed down and it was very pretty," said downtown worker Beatrice Adams. "It's neglected now."

Tranquility Park was nearly a decade in the making and finally dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the moon landing in 1979.

There’s even a sculptural depiction of man on the moon.

"It's important to the history of Houston," said architect Joe Mashburn.

Mashburn is the former Dean of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture & Design at the University of Houston. Tranquility Park architect Charles Tapley, who died in 2015, was a mentor who incorporated several abstract nods to the moon landing in his plan.

The fountains also disguise vents from an underground parking garage.

"And I do hope that Houston can find the wherewithal, one way or another, to restore it," Mashburn said.

A plan revealed last year to re-imagine the Bagby Street corridor mentions Tranquility Park and includes a rendering of a possible redesign to coincide with repairs to the garage that flooded during Harvey.

We're still waiting on any new details on the potential re-do from the city’s general services department.

"It would be kind of nice if they could find the funds to renovate it," Adams said. "To make it really look nice."

Perhaps it would be in time for the moon landing’s 60th anniversary.

Click here for more information on Tranquility Park.


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