Overlooking Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Ship Channel Turning Basin, this 11.6-acre park is located in one of Houston’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods. The community of Magnolia Park, named for trees planted by developers, was established in 1890 and annexed to the City of Houston in 1926. On September 16, 1934, Mexico’s Independence Day, Hidalgo Park opened with the dedication of a quiosco (a gazebo-like structure often seen in Mexico), designed and constructed by Vidal Lozano, a Mexican-born resident of Houston. Located in the western section of the park, the quiosco’s faux bois superstructure was built atop a brick plaza with paths radiating across a lawn bounded by trees. Two paths extended eastward across the remainder of the park, which comprised lawns and trees.
By the 1960s, a baseball diamond was added to the central section of the park. In 1987, architect Robert Leathers designed a turreted wooden play structure, which was built by community members at the center of the park and called Parque de la Amistad. An additional baseball diamond was added, and in 1991, a bronze statue of Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Founding Father of Mexico, was installed east of the playground. Parque de la Amistad was replaced in 2003 with a brightly colored playground animated with spray fountains. In 2014, the baseball diamonds were renewed. Today, mature trees line the perimeter of the park and shade the central playground while the remainder of the park is open, affording expansive views and accommodating active recreation and cultural celebrations.