This cistern was built in 1926 as an underground reservoir for the city of Houston. Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern was used not only to store water but also as a fire suppression system. The reservoir was decommissioned in 2007 due to an irrepareable leak.
In 2010, Buffalo Bayou Partnership recognized the cistern for its unusual architecture and saved it from condemnation as historical landmark. BBP rebuilt the cistern as a tourist destination for art and history, with plans to host various light and sound art installations.
BBP partnered with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to host Rain: Magdalena Fernández at the Houston Cistern. This exhibition gathered widespread attention and lasted from December 2016 to June 2017. The cistern has become a popular tourist destination, as highlighted in The Texas Bucket List show:
Post photo from Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons.