All you need to know about Market Square Park.
Bring your appetite & blanket!
Market Square Park is one square block, bounded by Milam, Preston, Travis and Congress.
Blankets, lawn chairs, food and non-alcoholic beverages are welcome anytime, including park events. Alcohol is not allowed to be brought into the park; beer and wine is sold at Niko Niko’s.
Market Square Park has two dog-runs, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. They are enclosed by a beautifully designed and lit crescent walkway so everyone can enjoy watching our four-legged friends frolic. Water features are in both as are benches and canine drinking fountains.
IN MEMORY OF HOLLY ANAWATY
The Market Square Park dog runs were officially dedicated on May 21, 2011 by Mayor Annise Parker in memory of Houstonian, Holly Anawaty. Named after the dog-lover and advocate for children’s services, the dog runs provide a place to celebrate Holly’s passion for dogs with the local neighborhood.
“Holly was an active member of the Houston community and was dedicated to her beloved dogs Bessie and Pete,” said Bob Eury, executive director of Downtown District. “In Holly’s memory, her friends have worked with the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department and Houston Parks Board to find a place that can be named in Holly’s honor and to celebrate her affection for our furry friends. We are honored that place is Market Square Park.”
Through Holly’s role as director of community and government relations for Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. she was able to promote community awareness within the organization and form employee-driven volunteer groups to support the spirit of the employees and their desire to help others.
During Holly’s time with Harris County Precinct 4, she worked closely with Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults, Children’s Assessment Center, Mental Health and Retardation Authority and Juvenile Probation Department. Holly was a member of the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners and also served on the boards of Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, North Houston Association, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Women Professionals in Government, and Child Advocates, Inc.
Holly was supported by her two best canine friends, Bessie and Pete, as she fought a courageous battle with brain cancer. Holly lost her battle in August 2006.
Say hello to our friend Buster on your way to the dog run! The wooden dog sculpture by James Philips on the west side of the lawn welcomes all canine visitors and owners.
Multiple City Hall and Market House buildings occupied Market Square throughout its history. Visitors can follow a granite band through the park for a tour around the footprint of their foundation. The rectangular lawn sits at the foundation’s center.
Today, you’ll find friends and families dancing on the lawn during signature events like A Night at Market Square, grabbing a spot for Blanket Bingo, movie nights and anytime during park hours.
Turner repurposed obscure architectural fragments, including objects from demolished downtown buildings. You can see the majority of the pieces along the curved walkway next to the dog runs in what we call our history walk.
Richard Turner is co-director of the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University in Orange, California where he also teaches sculpture, design and Asian art history.
Turner has been an active public artist since 1980, working individually and with design teams on projects ranging from police stations to waste water treatment plants, public parks to light rail. His team’s work for Portland Oregon’s light rail stations won a Presidential Award in 2001. His work is currently on display in Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, Seattle and Portland.
Turner received his B.A. from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and his M.F.A from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has also studied in Taiwan and in India as a Fulbright Scholar. Turner resides in the city of Orange, California.
Take a quiet moment in Lauren’s Garden, a memorial that honors Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas – a passenger on United Flight 93. With its flowing water, beautiful sculpture, seasonal flowers and leafy trees, the garden memorializes all lost on September 11.
When approaching Lauren's Garden from Congress Ave, the sight of the Chase Tower rising from the fog in the center of the fountain reminds us of both our vulnerability and our strength. The fountain is centered on the garden so that it is viewed with the tower in the background from the commemorative medallion.
The three granite walls in the fountain represent the sites of the crashes - New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. Each smooth stone represents a life lost: 2,628 small pebbles for the victims who died at the World Trade Center, 184 larger pebbles for the victims who died at the Pentagon and 40 stones in the fountain for the victims on United Flight 93.
The artist modeled the pieces in the fountain after bristlecone pines, trees which are thought to live longer than any other single organism - up to 5,000 years.
The garden as a whole celebrates nature. Lauren loved the outdoors - being on the river, kayaking, and the space incorporates elements of a soothing river - falling water, stones and plants - while fitting appropriately into an urban context.
The yellow Forty Heroes Roses were bred in memory of the victims of Flight 93. The plantings are designed to bloom sequentially year round with colors that complement the Flato benches. Some will scent the garden. Others are already attracting butterflies and dragonflies are hovering over the water.
For more information on Lauren, please visit the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation.
What began 30 years ago as a converted filling station with a walk-up window in the Montrose area has become a "favorite little Greek dive" for a diverse mix of Houstonians who are drawn to tasty, inexpensive fast food with no airs or graces, a dedicated friendly owner and hardworking staff.
DON'T MYTH IT
Niko Niko’s Market Square reaches back to its roots with a sidewalk café-style restaurant reminiscent of the original walk-up window shop. Having declined opportunities to expand for decades, owner Dimitri Fetokakis recognized Market Square Park as the perfect opportunity.
The menu focuses on to-go foods perfect for neighborhood residents and on-the-move business folk; breakfast selections; and European café-style coffee, espresso, frappes and desserts. Favorites like Niko Niko’s famous gyro sandwiches, shish kabobs, hummus and chicken avgolemono soup have made the trek downtown. And for the first time ever (and only at the Market Square Park location) Niko Niko’s serves a Greek themed breakfast with fresh Greek yogurts and honeys, and the most delicious breakfast pitas.
Niko Niko’s Market Square Park also has a solid selection of imported, domestic and local beer and wine.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Monday - Sunday 8 am - 9 pm
Open later for park events
Sangria Saturdays (16 oz Sangrias for $4) and Mimosa Sundays (9 oz mimosas for $3) every weekend with extended breakfast served until 1 pm!
Click here for the Market Square menu
The Gargoyles sculptures embrace Market Square’s history with commemorative messages and photography by Ruchard Turner and Doug Hollis on the northeast corner of the park. These monuments have become one of Downtown most treasured landmarks.
MOSAIC FOUNTAIN AND BENCHES
Created for the park in 1991, and augmented in 2000, the artist hand-painted ceramic tiles to evoke the feel of Market Square during the late 19th and early 20th century.
Malou Flato was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and earned a B.A. in Theater Arts from Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT in 1975. She and her husband divide their time between Austin, Texas and Paradise Valley, Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park.
Flato works among multiple mediums and disciplines including sculpture, ceramics, painting and drawing. Flato is perhaps best known for her mosaics such as the San Antonio Mission scenes on the Houston Street bridge in San Antonio
Her work in ceramic tile includes murals near a school in Seattle, Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, several Central Market locations in Texas, and Breckenridge Children’s Hospital in Austin, TX. She has also integrated her work with technology, blending digitally scanned still images with paint and using computers to map out paintings before creating them.
Her work is on display at the McMurtry Gallery (Houston, TX), Visions West Gallery (Livingston, MT), The Hunt Gallery (San Antonio, TX), and The Davis Gallery (Austin, TX), among several others.
The plaza is bounded by the dining trellis, performance stage and James Surls fountain and offers plenty of outdoor seating. Sit and relax while enjoying a tasty Gyro from Niko Niko’s, a performance on the stage or simply for some quiet time.
Points of View
The 25-foot painted steel and wood sculpture Points of View was created for the park in 1991. Previously positioned at the center of the park, it now stands above a gentle water feature at the base of the dining trellis.
James Surls is a world renowned modernist sculptor best known for his unpainted wooden sculptures. His work is among the public collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and many others.
An East Texas native, Surls graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1966 and from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1968. He taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1969 through 1976 before moving to Splendora, Texas to raise his family. Surls then moved to Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado in 1997 where he has lived ever since.
His work is currently on display at the Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston and the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe and New York. Surls also spent several years working with the Lawndale Alternative Space in Houston, Texas.
Market Square Park Rules
No littering; dispose of all trash properly
Alchohol is not allowed to be brought into the park; beer and wine can be purchased at Niko Niko's
No glass bottles or containers
Dogs must be on a leash, except in dog runs, and under control
Dog owners responsible for pick-up and disposal of pet waste
Feeding birds is prohibited
Do not harm or vandalize Market Square Park structures or public art
Picking flowers is prohibited
No reckless behavior or excessive noise
Dogs not allowed in water features other than dog run
No sleeping on benches
Solicitation is strictly prohibited
Dog Run Rules
Dog owners must remain with dog
All dogs must be leashed when entering and leaving the dog run
Dogs showing any sign of aggression must be leashed immediately and removed from the park
Dogs less than 4 months of age are not allowed off-leash
No food, drink or smoking allowed in the dog run
Dogs must have current license and vaccination tags
Children must be with an adult
Dogs in heat are prohibited
Dogs taller than 15 inches must use the large dog run
Dogs shorter than 15 inches must use the small dog run
Market Square Park is operated in partnership by the City of Houston and the Houston Downtown Management District.
Market Square Park is open to the public; however, the space IS NOT available for event rental and/or private parties. This includes public events, corporate events, weddings, etc. All events held at the park are produced/sponsored by the Downtown District.
If you are planning a gathering at Market Square Park and your group consists of 25 people or more, please contact Ellen Johnson for approval. This includes all organized bike rides.
If you are looking for a public park space to hold an event, visit City of Houston Parks & Recreation or the Mayor's Office of Special Events. You may also want to look at our neighbor, Discovery Green.