Nearly a century and half ago, a group of newly-freed African-American slaves led by Baptist minister Reverend Jack Yates purchased the land where Dowling and Elgin streets meet, in what became the first public park in Texas and remained one of the only municipal parks open to African-Americans during the era of racial segregation. They called it "Emancipation Park." This park has remained a staple for Third Ward's annual Juneteeth celebration.
Like many Houston communities in recent years, the Emancipation Park area is experiencing change at an ever-increasing pace. Chief among those changes is the ambitious redesign of Emancipation Park itself, set to reopen by year's end following a $38 million renovation. Further, as recently reported by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, the area has seen both a high level of new market-rate development activity and ongoing demolitions of the area's original buildings.
The Emancipation Park area is located southeast of downtown Houston in the northern Third Ward and is centered on historic Emancipation Park.
Emancipation Park Boundaries
North: I-45 South (Gulf Freeway)
East: Ennis and Sauer Streets
South: Alabama Street
West: SH-288/US-59 (I-69)