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John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons.

What’s Behind the Water Walls?
Commons Building Features Parking, Dining, Meetings and More

When is a garage more than a garage? When it’s the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center Commons, the newest Texas Medical Center facility that houses a parking garage and much, much more.

 the John P. McGovern Texas Medical Center

Located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center at the intersection of Bertner and Moursund, the structure is best recognized by two, towering 60-foot walls that send water cascading down the entire six stories of the building into a pool, where it shoots back up again to create a dramatic effect.

Not your average parking garage, but then again, there’s much more to the Commons than parking.

Behind the water wall exterior are an assortment of amenities designed to make the Commons a place where individuals can meet, eat, shop, conduct banking transactions, and yes ... park.

The facility serves as a “common” gathering place for the enjoyment and convenience of Texas Medical Center visitors, patients, students, and staff. Thirty-thousand employees work within a five-minute walking radius of the building.

The ground level is home to “Waterside Court,” a food court offering a Starbucks Einstein Bros. Bagels, Great American Cookies, Kim Son, KFC Express, and Luther’s Bar-B-Q along with the Waterside Café. Inside dining with television is available as well as outside dining with views of the lawn and water walls. On level six, the top floor, is Trevísio, a restaurant featuring modern Italian cuisine. Nearby are a student lounge, study rooms, meeting rooms, private dining rooms, offices, a bank, and a gift and flower shop.

Sandwiched in-between the first and sixth floors are four floors of parking spaces open to the public. Underground are two additional floors of parking, bringing the number of parking spaces to approximately 500.

In designing the facility, architects took great care to make it aesthetically compatible with neighboring buildings, hence it looks nothing like a garage. The only telltale sign is a single, discreet, combination entrance/exit.

“The Commons gets its name from the philosophy that it’s ‘common’ to us all ... it’s here to be enjoyed by everyone in the Texas Medical Center,” said Texas Medical Center president and CEO Richard E. Wainerdi, Ph.D.


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