Wednesday, February 23

The Forbidden Gardens for the Wall Street Journal

Texas certainly has its share of weirdness.  15 years ago, Seattle businessman Ira Poon invested $20 million to create a miniature replica of China's Forbidden City in a Houston suburb.  The 40-acre site also included a miniature terracotta army, like the one that guarded the tomb of China's first emperor

The Forbidden Gardens museum was certainly quirky and largely ignored by its neighbors in Katy, Texas.  Ignored, that is, until the highway department planned a freeway expansion right through the site.  Without an alternative location for the exhibits, the museum opened its doors to an all out fire-sale.  Droves of visitors came to claim a piece of the display that many had never visited before.

It was a strange day.  Elated bargain hunters toted off wheelbarrows full of terracotta while museum employees grieved for their lost jobs and the end of an era.  You can read the poignant article by Angel Gonzalez here.

Forbidden Gardens - Images by Julia Robinson

1 comment:

  1. Wow...had no idea that was there. I watched Emperor of the Sun not too long ago for the third or fourth time. It would have been nice to have gone into that museum. But I guess it's better I've got a freeway now that can drive me straight to BigLots or HomeDepot instead.