Big things are happening at the Holocaust Museum Houston – very big, in fact.
On June 20, in the facility’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Auditorium, the museum revealed designs for a dramatic $49.4 million expansion campaign of its current building at 5401 Caroline St.
Mayor Sylvester Turner took part in the expansion announcement to add approximately 35,000sf of additional space, more than doubling the building’s current size, to a total of 57,000sf, to make Holocaust Museum Houston the fourth-largest Holocaust museum in the country.
Also revealed: the name of the principal donors – Sue and Lester Smith – who made the largest contribution in the museum’s history ($15 million!), and their matching grant secured naming rights to the new building – while also bringing the capital campaign to its groundbreaking funding goal.
As part of the building plan, two-thirds of the current building will be razed to make way for a three-story structure to house exhibits, classrooms, library and administrative offices. Construction is scheduled to begin in October and be completed in early 2019.
The Museum also announced that $33.4 million – 68 percent of its $49.4 million capital and endowment campaign goal – has been raised to date, as fundraising enters a more public phase. The Museum currently entertains 110,000 visitors per year, 43,750 of whom are students. The expanded facilities are expected to increase student field trips by 50 percent in the first year alone, and projected overall attendance will grow by nearly 35 percent.
Take note: Construction will require HMH to temporarily relocate most of its permanent exhibit, classrooms and administrative offices to 9220 Kirby Drive, Suite 100. The Museum will close on Monday, July 24, to begin the move and open to visitors at its temporary location on Tuesday, September 5. For more information, visit www.hmh.org.