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Real Estate / Neighborhoods

Whimsical Green Wonderland Emerges from Teardown of Nearly 100-Year-old Business

The Real Story of Evelyn’s Park

BY // 05.04.17

When Bellaire’s historic Teas Nursery shuttered after nearly 100 years in business, it was only fitting that the century-old site breathed new life as a lush green space, paying homage to the land’s verdurous origins — this was the goal of brothers Jerry and Maury Rubenstein.

Following the nursery’s final sale in 2009, the sibling duo acquired the storied land and gifted it to the city of Bellaire, but not without a catch. The space had to be transformed into a park and later named after the brothers’ mother Evelyn, a lifelong Bellaire resident and avid outdoors woman.

Nearly a decade later, the five-acre tract has finally been reincarnated as Evelyn’s Park. Bellaire voters approved issuing $5 million in bonds to finance the park’s development and make sure the new green space happens.

With plush greenery and sleek architecture, the new manicured green space undoubtedly channels the Teas spirit, bringing everything from reclaimed seating fashioned with wood from the land’s original trees to a vibrant insect wall functioning as a community art project, all joined together by the park’s sprawling Great Lawn.

Park visitors can also indulge in on-site restaurant (modeled after the Teas Nursery’s original yellow house) The Ivy & James helmed by Jamie and Dalia Zelko (formerly Zelko Bistro); an Alice in Wonderland themed sculpture, which conceals 150 secret elements from the beloved book; and a state-of-the-art event promenade.

Event space at Evelyn’s Park (Photo by Tom Flaherty)

We’re bracing ourselves for a bevy of future activities including movies on the lawn, outdoor yoga, and a forthcoming farmers market.

Green bonus: Evelyn’s Park is poised to become one of the most sustainable parks in the country. A $300,000-plus partnership with Green Mountain Energy Sun Club will outfit the park with renewable and sustainable technologies.

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