City Hall/Hermann Square
901 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002

Surrounded on three sides by great towers of glass, steel, and stone Houston's City Hall building has all the aspirations of grandeur that its neighbors have, but it simply lacks the height. Depending on your point of view, City Hall is is nearly identical to dozens of other city halls built in the southwest during the same time period. Most are constructed with the same Texas Cordova limestone. The front of the building steps down to a small park dominated by a reflecting pool. Hermann Square is not fancy, but achieves a simple elegance. This is fortunate, since the park is used nearly daily for festivals, protests and concerts. To accommodate larger events, the reflecting pool is planked over and tents are erected. All of these public events so close to the seat of power has the reassuring effect of making the city's government seem more like a partner in everyday life, instead of a dictating authority.

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