Construction to complete the master plan of Mandell Park started February 24, 2014 and was expected to take five to six months. Thank you to all those who helped meet the goal of $1 million to build the park. Naming opportunities are still available and fundraising continues for the long-term maintenance of Mandell Park.
Mandell Park is 1.22 acres surrounded by Bonnie Brae, Mandell and Richmond Streets in Houston’s Museum District.
The property was originally half residential (Bonnie Brae side) and half commercial (Richmond side). In the 1980s, the City of Houston purchased and cleared the site to build a public library. The site became a huge abandoned vacant lot after the City chose another location.
The southern half of the site was adopted by local residents and the Castle Court Neighborhood Association. This prominent eyesore was rescued, as old furniture, rugs, drug paraphernalia, and other miscellaneous debris was picked up and hauled off. Overgrown weeds were cut, the bushes and trees were trimmed, and the grass was mowed. Over the next 13 years, the neighborhood association maintained the "park".
In 1992 an organic community garden was established, eventually to be named "Meredith Gardens" and has been in full, continuous operation since. These gardens are an Urban Harvest Premier Garden and have been beautifully maintained by volunteers throughout their history. The Meredith Gardens are a truly wonderful experience and show the determination of community volunteers.
In 2004, the property was transferred from the Library Department to the Parks and Recreation Department.. Following the transfer, the City cleared and remediated the commercial portion of the site.
Due to the City’s budget constraints a citizen’s group was needed to continue the improvement and maintenance of the property. Thus, the Friends of Mandell Park was formed.