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A Cathedral-Like Cistern Beneath Houston Is Now Open to the Public

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Paul Jennette
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At first glance, this giant water storage system under Houston looks more like the pillared nave of an ancient cathedral.

Over 15 million gallons of water were stored here until the 1970s, when a mysterious leak was discovered that eventually put the reservoir out of commission.

Because one of the beauties of the site is that it has these incredible reflections.

Like London s Thames Tunnel or DC s Dupont Underground subway station, these long-abandoned feats of engineering are being re-opened and re-appreciated by new audiences who are transforming relics of a city s past into a new kind of civic space.

—until the city saw the value of keeping it around.

The cistern officially opened last weekend, and tickets can now be purchased for visits, although it looks like they re sold out for quite some time.

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Paul Jennette
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