In May of 1914 Houston real estate investor and industrialist George H. Hermann announced publicly his intention of deeding to the City of Houston 285 acres of this property for a municipal park across the street from the Rice Institute and thus Hermann Park was born. A century later, Hermann Park is 445-acres of beautiful green space and is visited by an estimated 6 million people per year. 


Celebrated St. Louis landscape architect and planner George Kessler is appointed consulting landscape architect. His plans include the "grand basin", now McGovern Lake, and a landscaped elliptical island with a Sunken Garden, now the Mecom Fountain.


Hermann Park Golf Course designed by David M. Duller and George V. Rotan. First public golf course in America to welcome all races.
Hare and Hare Master Plan- included zoo, and golf course and incorporated vision of Kessler’s earlier plans for park entry and grand basin Zoo opens (with original Museum of Natural Science located within)
Portion of “grand basin” (lake) completed.



Zoo expansion, construction of Miller Hill, lease of 4.5 acres to the Museum of Natural Science outside the zoo’s boundary.


Miniature Train opened in the park.
“Grand basin” expanded and opened as 4-9-acre Hermann Park Lake.


Miller Outdoor Theatre
Construction of covered seating area completed.




Friends of Hermann Park (FHP)
Organization established as a 501-C3 Neighbors of Hermann Park, collected donations to fund improvements.
Heart of the Park
National design competition March – November 1992 sponsored by FHP, the Rice Design Alliance, and the City of Houston to restore, enhance, and strengthen this essential part of Hermann Park.
Sam Houston Monument
Statue removed from pedestal to begin cleaning/repair process near the pedestal.
Friends of Hermann Park (FHP)
FHP has raised $15 million in private contributions for the $25 million upgrade of Hermann Park.
Bayou Parkland
Out-parcel land purchase at the edge of Bayou Parkland completed (a gas station was being planned prior to purchase). Volunteers cleared urban forest of debris. Series of small ponds under construction.
FHP developed park-wide furnishing standards.
Golf Course
Construction of new course layout began. Phase 2 (Old Clubhouse renovation) in design.
By Fall 1999, FHP had planted approximately 800 new trees.


Bayou Parkland
Ribbon-cutting for completion of Phase I improvements. New trails and boardwalks, new multi-use pavilion, new perimeter parking lot adjacent to the pavilion. Design of the Outdoor Education Center underway.
Natural Guard
Education/volunteer service established to help keep Hermann Park “blue, green, and clean.” In its first year, the program generated 438 volunteer hours.
Maintenance and Operations
FHP and HPARD kicked off a Maintenance and Operations Master Plan Study for Hermann Park, the first such comprehensive study ever for the park.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks lake with fingerling large-mouth bass, bluegill sunfish, and channel catfish. Forage minnows stocked earlier in the year.
Trail Improvements
The Texas Department of Transportation awarded Hermann Park a $2 million reimbursement grant to improve the existing two-mile Herman Park exercise trail and improve and expand the existing carriage trail.
FHP entered into a park-wide concession agreement with the City of Houston to enhance quality and variety of food, beverage, and other service in all areas not currently served by existing institutions.
Natural Guard
Education/volunteer service generated nearly 1,000 volunteer hours.
Maintenance and Operations
Completed “Safeguarding Our Legacy: A Plan to Manage Maintenance and Operations in Hermann Park.”
McGovern Lake
Catch and Release Fishing begins for children 12 and younger, and adults 65 and older.
Miniature Train
First of two train depots opened at the Buddy Carruth Playground for All Children.
Completion of the parking lot at Sam Houston Monument Circle. Hidden from the street by berms thickly planted with irises and Indian hawthornes, the parking lot is filled with shade trees.
Beginning stages on the STEP Trail to improve the trails and connectivity in and around Hermann Park.