The Attractions at Waterway Square
Waterway Square Park
The Waterway Square Fountains have become a favorite evening destination for residents of Houston, Spring, Conroe, and The Woodlands. The Woodlands Waterway is unique to the Greater Houston/Spring/Conroe area and is expected to bring excitement to the community as it will enhance community appeal and creates a place to meet friends, relax, and create happy memories.
The Woodlands Waterway Square officially opened on April 12, 2008, and was celebrated with a festival of lights and music. Located at 31 Waterway Square Place (77380), the one acre facility at Waterway Avenue is The Woodlands' most unique park and serves as the "centerpiece" of The Woodlands Waterway District. Featuring various restaurants, entertainment venues and retail outlets, the Fountains at Waterway Square create an active setting throughout the day and into the night. The Gooses Acre, Americás, and Baker Street Pub are a few of the many restaurants and entertainment choices.
The Woodlands Water Wall
The Waterway Fountain features a 120-foot long, 10-foot high stone water wall where ribbons of water flow down seven terraced levels to a lower pond featuring another 20 cascade water jets. The Woodlands Water Wall is flanked on both ends by stairs and stepped water cascades, all leading to an upper level where you can overlook the fountain containing three "boomer" jets that shoot water up to 75-feet high, which are surrounded by 80 smaller jets. The 80 Choreo-Jets in the upper fountain are arranged in three concentric rings and the water wall cascades down seven terraced levels and a stone wall to the lower pond. The water jets, waterfalls and cascades are designed to create a variety of displays and effects ranging from the subtle flow of water over stone, to dancing columns of water, to intense bursts of water shooting several stories into the air. From high above in the air and from the surrounding buildings, the water wall and fountain are designed to resemble an 'eighth note.'
This open-air plaza includes many benches under a grove of 30 mature Nuttall Red Oak Trees, providing outdoor seating for rest and relaxation. Visitors can also access the public restrooms that are available at 20 Waterway from 11:00 AN to 6:00 PM, seven days a week.
The Waterway Square Fountains feature a show choreographed with light and sound every 15 minutes during the evening hours that is not to be missed! The children's play area at Waterway Square Park features an interactive splash fountain, with 34 choreo-jets enhanced with the colored lights and six laminar flow jets. This fountain features a mosaic called "Treasures from Grandma's Purse", created by renowned artist Dixie Friend Gay, who is also the creator of "At the Water's Edge," a series of mosaics located in niches under the Waterway Avenue Bridge. This children's play area is similar to the one located at Central Park in Market Street, which also features a colored light fountain for the kids to splash and frolic in the water as it shoots up from the ground.
"Treasures from Grandma's Purse"
Everyone knows that Grandma's purse is full of treasures. One really cool and prepared-for-anything Grandma left her purse on the bench! The frogs, lizards, and other waters' edge creatures have taken over. Tumbling from her purse are a cell phone, paintbrush, mail and keys. Spilled onto the plaza and embedded into the terrazzo are some of the other objects: loose pennies, scissors and crayons, an MP3 player, a camera, action figures, dolls and toy cars. Of course she is prepared for any emergency with a wine bottle opener and a glass hammer. And there are the good things to eat: a jelly donut, gum, candy, cookies - even a frozen Popsicle! The purse and objects are in cast bronze and cast glass. The purse is cast bronze and is normal-sized; the fun part is that some of the objects that spill out of the purse are oversized.
If you view the mosaic from the upper floors of the surrounding buildings, the overall design of Grandma's Purse is that of a giant, friendly Petri dish; with the eyes and lips of happy micro-organisms sending out jets of water. There are 20 cast glass objects, 20 bronze objects, and 100 water-jet cut tiles. The brilliant color of the rustic terrazzo is achieved with the use of exotic mineral aggregates such as turquoise and Lapis Lazuli in addition to the more traditional aggregates of marble and granite.
Late one night in November 2008, vandals removed the bronze purse from its station near the children's fountain at Waterway Square. It could not have been an easy task, as the thief had to hack and chip away at the granite base where it was mounted. Grandma's Purse was finally replaced at its resting place at the Waterway Fountain in April 2009, and it looks better than ever! It's fun to sit on one of the many benches and watch children and adults as they attempt to peek in or pick up the purse; obviously wondering who may have left it laying out in the open! The purse appears to be quite real from a distance - and can still fool you even up close.
One of the unique features of Waterway Square is the musical breaks occurring every 15 minutes. The fountains are synchronized to various musical tunes played via seven speakers on the upper level, and 12 speakers on the lower playing four times an hour. For the audiophiles in our audience, the 19 area speakers are powered by 4,250 watts of power supplied by five amplifiers, to create the surround-sound musical accompaniment of the Waterway Fountain. There are 260 kinetic lights, a.k.a. LED's (light emitting diodes), in four colors that can be combined to create all the colors of the rainbow throughout the fountains.
The Woodlands water feature was designed by Aquatic Design and Engineering of Orlando, Florida, creators of several major water features for Disney Resorts in Orlando and Orlando City Hall. Waterway Square, with it's Colored Light and Water Feature, was designed by Sasaki Associates of Watertown, Massachusetts, designers of notable projects such as the 2008 Olympic Green in Beijing, China.
The Pump and Equipment Room is located on-site, but barely visible as it is housed in a 3,251-square-foot building with vaulted ceilings under the east stairway. The overall pumping capacity of the Fountains water pumps is 12,000 GPM (gallons per minute) - that's enough water to fill an average backyard swimming pool in less than two minutes! The water in the fountain system is recycled through nearly two miles of pipe to get to and from the fountains.