Momentum grows behind Houston's proposed Hispanic History Research Center

Briana Conner Image
Monday, April 15, 2024
Hispanic History Research Center coming soon to Houston Public Library
The Hispanic History Research Center, designed to house the Houston Public Library's Latino archives, is expected to be completed by 2026.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Hispanic History Research Center in Houston has been in the works for years, but now, significant signs of progress are developing.

The center is designed to be a home for the Houston Public Library's Latino archives, but community leaders are also adding their input for a grander vision.

More than 200 people got to talk with city leaders over the weekend about their ideas for a center that hosts the archives, community, and resource rooms, as well as exhibits unearthing Hispanic history in Houston.

That meeting was held at the center's future facility located in the East End on Navigation Boulevard along Buffalo Bayou's Turkey Bend. The city bought the building for about $10 million last year.

Voters approved funding for the center in 2017, but community activists said they had a hard time getting information about progress for years after that.

SEE ALSO: Hispanic Heritage Month: Latina-owned publishing company providing bilingual books in Texas schools

Now, they welcome the momentum and attention their effort is getting, especially with the recent election of three new Hispanic city council members.

The council members are also working together with the support of state leaders to digitize the archives and make them accessible to everyone at the new center.

David and Millie Contreras are community activists and also members of Houston's chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC.

"There's a lot of history out there that, perhaps, you may not know or your grandparents may know, but you never asked. Unless you ask, they'll tell you. There's stories out there, and this is community history. It's Houston history. It's Texas history. And it's American history. So that's what the youngsters and people in the community are missing out on," the Contrerases said.

The two activists are hoping none of us have to miss out on this history for too much longer.

The Hispanic History Research Center is expected to be completed sometime in 2026.

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