Best White Elephant Houston 2008 - Tien Tao Temple - CLOSED
Whether it is known as the Tien Tao temple or the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace, this edifice certainly stands out in Kingsbridge Park, its typical southwest-side suburban neighborhood. This five-story pyramid-esque, vaguely Mayan-looking structure is topped by a 40-foot golden geodesic dome which is flanked by two smaller domes and two exterior staircases — the overall effect is something like a sawed-off Mayan temple of the sun. And this intended East Asian nexus is utterly empty — the leader was deported back to her native Hong Kong. Today, the structure seems a good fit only for its leader's return, or perhaps purchase by an aspiring supervillain in search of a World Domination Headquarters.