Places to Visit in Houston: an Underground Cistern

September 14, 2016 by Kirsten Hower

Traveling to Houston (maybe even for our PastForward conference)? One place you'll want to visit is the cistern near the edge of Buffalo Bayou Park. Built in 1926 to serve as the cities's underground drinking water, the cistern was decommissioned in 2007. It was quickly forgotten until 2011 when the Buffalo Bayou Partnership saw a new use for the space: a temple for the arts.

“There were very few people in Houston outside the water system who knew this massive space was there,” [Lawrence "Larry"] Speck says. “People scratched their heads about it, got the funding for it, and came through without terrible difficulty.”

Art installations have already started inside the cistern, including Donald Lipinski's Down Periscope which allows visitors outside of Houston to explore the space.

Learn more about the project in this article from CityLab and make sure to check out the video below for a look inside the cistern.

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