Video created by Downtown Houston
Allen’s Landing is an historic park that truly defines our city. Often described as “Houston’s Plymouth Rock,” it was here in 1836 that August Chapman and John Kirby Allen stepped ashore and claimed Houston as their own. This site, at the confluence of Buffalo and White Oak Bayous, also became Houston’s first port, a thriving commercial hub and a symbol of our city’s entrepreneurial spirit.
After years of neglect, Buffalo Bayou Partnership took the lead in revitalizing Allen’s Landing into an active and vibrant destination along downtown’s waterfront. Included among a series of enhancements are: entry plaza, embarcadero, historic wharf, hike and bike trails, and public text art designed by local artist team ttweak. John Runnels’ stainless steel canoes grace the entrances and trail lighting add to the splendor of this historic area.
Central to BBP’s continued revitalization of Allen’s Landing was restoration of the Sunset Coffee Building, one of the few remaining industrial buildings on Buffalo Bayou and a contributing structure within downtown Houston’s Historic District.
The Sunset Coffee Building was built in 1910 as an annex to the 1880’s W. D. Cleveland & Son’s wholesale grocer supply building. Both buildings were located at the foot of Main Street and specialized in accepting goods as they came into the port. The Sunset Coffee Building functioned as a coffee roasting company, indicating coffee’s key role in Houston’s economy and development. As directed by the Buffalo Bayou and Beyond Master Plan, Buffalo Bayou Partnership purchased the long vacant Sunset Coffee Building in 2003. This was a bold move towards preserving Houston’s most significant and historic site.
After more than a decade of work, Buffalo Bayou Partnership completed renovation of the historic Sunset Coffee Building in 2016. Designed by the nationally recognized architecture firm Lake | Flato, along with local architect BNIM, and nationally recognized landscape architects SWA Group, the restored 12,000 square foot Sunset Coffee Building houses BBP’s administrative offices, rooftop terrace plaza, and a future boat/bicycle rental facility.