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In the News: KHOU Hidden Gems—Julia Ideson Building

by Lisa Carrico on 2023-10-05T17:55:00-05:00 in History Research Centers, HPL News | 0 Comments

KHOU's Brandi Smith interviewed Houston History Research Center Manager Letrice Davis for this Hidden Gems segment all about the Julia Ideson Building! 

From the story:

Since the building is part of the Houston Public Library system, the HHRC is open to the public, including its microfiche, old yearbooks and even its 4,000-piece photo collection.

"It's important to preserve the documentary evidence of Houston because it allows researchers to come in and understand how the city started, what significant things have happened here and how the people have changed," said Davis.

The HHRC occupies a small portion of the first floor. Just outside its doors, the history lessons continue via a free audio tour of the building. Visitors can learn about the building itself and its façade. About a dozen other stops fill you in on how a tile mural of Don Quixote came to be, what the other murals in the building are all about and what’s special about the Norma Meldrum Children's Room.

"Ninety-five percent of the furniture in that room was original to the building," Davis pointed out.

The chairs, tables and shelves all date back nearly a century. It’s all been not just preserved, but restored.

"When they did the restoration, they made sure that they even went back and got microscopic paint chips so that they could restore even the color to the building," said Davis.

Its uniqueness is highlighted in spots like the Reading Room, complete with a Venus de Milo statue.

"(It's) really amazing to work here with so much history," Davis smiled. "It's just really a beautiful building. I understand totally why it's such a draw for people who are having events or just visiting the city and want to look around."

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