John Jacob Observation Tower
Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center
The Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center, located 25 miles east of downtown Houston is the site of a man-made reservoir and an abandoned fish hatchery. A fine example of Texas Gulf Coast prairie land, the park is a prime birdwatching spot on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. The Environmental Center is a major resource for school children to study nature and learn about alternative energy technologies and native plants.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department commissioned PDG Architects to design an observation tower to provide unobstructed panoramas of the surrounding wetland and coastal prairie. The tower has two viewing platforms accessed via a sculptural winding stair and an electricity-regenerating elevator. PDG Architects specified sustainable and durable materials that carry forward the design theme of the existing park structures.