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Houston, Texas: Temple-Like Half-Underground Reservoir

Half-buried and huge, the abandoned Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern, built in 1926, resembles an eerie temple with dozens of towering cement columns. Tours are offered, but you might just want to stop and peek in.

Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

105 Sabine St., Houston, TX
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Just northwest of downtown. From Old Katy Rd turn south onto Sawyer St., drive about a mile, then turn right onto Sabine St., then a quick right into the parking lot.
Reservations required. Tours Th-F 3-7, Sa-Su 10-5. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Free to look. Tours $5.
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Visitor Tips and News About Temple-Like Half-Underground Reservoir

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Temple-Like Half-Underground Reservoir

The first Thursday of the month is free to tour the Cistern! I loved it!

[Jolynn Singh, 05/18/2022]
Cistern: Temple-Like Half Underground Reservoir

The cistern is easy to access (no ladders). There are occasional art installations. Reservations are required to visit.

[Laura L, 06/24/2019]


Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern

The Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park is a former drinking water reservoir built in 1926 for the City of Houston. As one of the city's early underground reservoirs, it supported the municipal water systems goals of fire suppression (water pressure) and drinking water storage. After operating for decades, an irreparable leak was discovered and, after a few years, the reservoir was decommissioned in 2007.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership has opened this industrial relic, with future plans to present temporary art installations in this unique public space.

[Valerie, 06/29/2016]

From the website: "The space is only accessible via small hatches that open to 14-foot ladders creating enormous logistical difficulties in viewing and navigating the area."

Nearby Offbeat Places

Public Park in Burned-Out ChurchPublic Park in Burned-Out Church, Houston, TX - < 1 mi.
Barbara Bush Reads a Book on a BookBarbara Bush Reads a Book on a Book, Houston, TX - < 1 mi.
Giant Cellist - VirtuosoGiant Cellist - Virtuoso, Houston, TX - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Spaceman Buddies, Houston, TX - 5 mi.

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