Today, it's been cleaned, restored and expanded. The cost -- more than $32 million, and more than half of that came from private donations, ranging from one dollar to several million.
Those old enough to recall how it first appeared will feel like kids again. The stunning atrium, with its coffered ceiling has been cleaned, its faded stain painstakingly returned to the look it first had. In place of beige paint on stucco walls, there's a rich terra cotta red -- the original color.
Then there's the new wing -- modern and climate-controlled to contain its huge collection of early Houston documents and rare books.
The jewel box building was reintroduced today with a ribbon cutting. It is hoped to become a center of "civic celebration," including weddings.
See it today on Hometown Live on Eyewitness News at 4pm!