Liberty, Texas, 50 miles northeast of Houston (across the Trinity River in the east Texas oil fields) has been home to many important Texans – William Travis, Sam Houston, and Governor Price Daniel. In 1976, a tower housing the first true replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia was dedicated, celebrating the Bi-Centennial and the town’s historical significance.
Structurally damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008, the original tower had to be demolished. The bell, however, was refurbished in anticipation of a new tower to be built at the same location: south of the community’s Cultural Center and north of the Houston-New Orleans Rail line.
Creating a multi-use outdoor focus for the Cultural Center, this project provides a new park as a gathering place for ceremonial and informal events. Design precedent for the park’s centerpiece reflects the town’s contextual, economic and cultural ties to the oil and steel industries.
Constructed of ‘bronzed’ steel, the new tower is permeable to suit the hurricane-prone area. Its 52’ height will make it visible from all parts of the town – a “symbol of pride in the past and hope for the future” (from The Liberty Gazette).
This project was completed in collaboration with Val Glitsch, FAIA.