Houston’s Oldest Park Debuts Its $33.6 Million Renovation

EMANCIPATION PARK OPENED IN THE THIRD WARD IN 1872, on a plot of land purchased for $800 by a group of former slaves. The opening took place nine years after president Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and seven years after slaves were formally freed in Texas.

The park became the first truly public park in Houston, and a vital community hub in the historically African-American neighborhood. But during the ’60s, it fell into disrepair, the result of the new I-59, which bifurcated the area, and a population that scattered following desegregation.

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