About Seven Wonders Art

Rising dramatically above Buffalo Bayou’s Sesquicentennial Park is  the seven 70-ft-tall pillars “Seven Wonders.” art installation. Flanking the park’s Promenade and Preston Avenue Bridge. The columns highlight Houston’s history through the themes of:

  • agriculture
  • energy
  • manufacturing
  • medicine
  • philanthropy
  • technology and transportation

Each column is constructed of 150 individual children’s drawings, etched in stainless steel plate.

By night, Mel Chin’s seven 70-foot columns glow like giant lanterns. Add the reflection from the water and washing the back of the Wortham Center in festive light. By day, the pillars break and filter sunlight, presenting an airy contrast to their 30-foot high brick bases.

To create these “wonders”, Chin collaborated with Guy Hagstette, Ray and Hollington Architects and 1,050 schoolchildren. What looks like lace from a distance is actually laser-cut steel. To honor the park’s concept, Chin asked schoolchildren born in 1986, Houston’s sesquicentennial year, to submit drawings depicting each of the seven themes: agriculture, energy, manufacturing, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation.

Selecting 150 for each pillar, he and artists Rachael Splinter and Helen Nagge translated each drawing into a computer image, which was then cut into stainless steel. These projections of the City’s present character came from the generation that will form its future. This is art you will want to take you children and family to enjoy. While you’re there take notice of all of the children’s work!

The Artist

laser-cut stainless steel panels, steel, lighting elements, masonry
Permanent installation, Sesquicentennial Park, Houston, TX

Seven 70 ft. towers feature 1,050 illustrations of “Heroic Themes” by Houston children born in the year of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the city. The backlit, laser-cut, stainless steel stencils act as lanterns, projecting youthful imagination into the night and echoing the surrounding skyline by day. This is spectacular in the evening light.