Bethel Church Park
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was founded in the late nineteenth century and located in a post-Civil War Houston neighborhood founded by freed slaves. After the first church buildings were destroyed, a single-floor church building was erected in 1923. In 2005, a fire left only the exterior masonry walls in place. The structure sat abandoned until 2009, when the City purchased the property to convert it into a community park. Before work could be performed, Walter P Moore designed emergency shoring and installed bracing within a 24-hour period to protect the public and the structure. The existing walls then had to be strengthened to withstand hurricane wind speeds required by the City’s building code. Walter P Moore helped restore the heavily damaged, unreinforced masonry walls by designing strengthening techniques that, when applied to the exposed masonry, contributed to the overall aesthetic.