The Gragg Building was designed in the late 1950s by noted Houston architecture firm MacKie & Kamrath, and exhibits the influence of notable American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Built by the Farnsworth and Chambers Construction Company as their suburban corporate office building, Gragg then served as a temporary headquarters for NASA in the early 1960s. Since 1976, the Gragg Building has housed the Headquarters for the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department. This gem of a building exemplifies the Wright-influenced architectural style and development pattern popular in the mid-twentieth century.
HarrisonKornberg won the commission to reinvigorate the Gragg Building and improve the surrounding park and adjacent maintenance facility. Upgrades respect the historically significant building exterior and interior public spaces while bringing more daylight and open views into the previously dark interior.
Our team combined new finishes with many reused materials, like mahogany veneer panels on the interior and the building’s signature green stone on the exterior. The project incorporates many sustainable design features and strategies, such as salvaged and recycled materials, highly efficient HVAC and lighting, and an abundance of controlled natural light.
This project achieved LEED Gold certification. Gragg has been listed on local, state and national historical registries, has been featured in Texas Architect, and has garnered design awards from Texas Construction (Best of 2010), a Good Brick Award from the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance, and most recently the 2013 Heritage Award from the Urban Land Institute.
Former Parks Department Director, Joe Turner
When we began the project, we asked the architects to preserve its historic significance while renovating the building for service for the next 50 years. By being responsible stewards of the Gragg building and its history, we hope to serve as an example of how historic preservation can go hand in hand with sustainability and green design.”