Houston’s Main Street is getting a

Houston’s Main Street is getting a face-lift, to create a transit-oriented environment in preparation for coming light rail. In 1999, Mayor Lee Brown created the Main Street Coalition, a public/private partnership, for the purpose of transforming the 7.5-mile long corridor that connects downtown and the Astrodome. Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects (EE&K) won a design competition with their vision of a pedestrian-friendly streetscape focusing on developing vacant properties to the street edge, creating quality public spaces, addressing the landscape, and tying individual projects together with the future light rail. EE&K’s master plan looks at a total of seven different distinct districts between two major waterways. The plans for each district encourage greater density, active ground floors, and a mixture of uses within walking distance of future transit stations. In the master plan, all existing uses and new development in the corridor — which is on both sides of Main Street and at least two blocks wide — will become part of Main Street.