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Below is some general information about Northwest Houston:
The Houston Museum District is an association of museums, galleries, cultural centers and community organizations located in Houston, Texas, dedicated to promoting the arts, sciences, and cultural amenities of the area. The Houston Museum District currently includes 19 museums that recorded a collective attendance of over 7 million in 2011. All of the museums offer hours with free admission, and 12 of the museums are free all the time. Bordered roughly by Rice University, the Neartown area and Texas Medical Center, the Museum District specifically refers to the area located within a 1.5-mile radius of the Mecom Fountain in Hermann Park. The Museum District is served by four stops on the METRORail, one specifically named for it and is easily accessible from US 59, State Highway 288 and Main Street.
The beginnings of the Museum District are found in 1977, when it became apparent that some action needed to be taken to provide easier access to the museums of the area. This call for community improvement evolved into the non-profit Montrose Project by the mid-80s but changed into the Museum District Development Association of Houston shortly thereafter. Based on the works of this organization, the Museum District was formally recognized by the City of Houston in 1989. The founding organization was dissolved in 1994, but the Museum District is now under the auspices of the Houston Museum District Association, founded in 1997. The Museum District attracts visitors, students and volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities to learn about and celebrate art, history, culture, and nature around the world.
In the late 1970s, the area currently including the Houston Museum District had fallen into disrepair, badly needing attention from local, county and state governments to improve roads and beautify the area, then unsafe for pedestrian traffic and cyclists. The Houston Museum District began as a grassroots community movement in 1977 led by Alexandra R. Marshall whose concept was to create a pedestrian-friendly district with the Museum of Fine Arts, at the intersection of Bissonnet Street and Montrose Boulevard, as its core. In such a strongly vehicle-oriented city, and one which to this day retains the title of the largest city in the United States without zoning, this was fairly progressive. The Museum District Development Association of Houston proposed a multi-phase plan to beautify and make more pedestrian-friendly the area located between Allen Parkway, Buffalo Bayou and Hermann Park. It took advantage of the opportunity to create in Houston an area of vital urban importance, similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans, St. Germain in Paris, and Georgetown in Washington, DC. Since its creation, the numerous efforts of the Houston Museum District organizations have included community improvement projects, tree planting, sidewalk planning, construction and expansion, esplanade design, development and beautification, establishment of public transportation to and from the area, police support and various cultural events. The Montrose Association, the Museum Area Municipal Association, the South Main Civic Association, the Cultural Arts Center of Houston and TALA all played a part in the development and subsequent success in the creation of the Houston Museum District.
Originally, funding was completely based on private sources-association member dues and members’ donations. Later, with growing awareness of the MDDAH and their work, funding came from numerous other sources. Today, total operating budgets for the member museums exceed $80 million, funded almost completely from revenues and private donations. Museum District funding includes approximately $1.5 million in Hotel Occupancy Tax funds from the City of Houston and the Houston Arts Alliance; contributions from all participating museums; foundation support from The Houston Endowment, Inc.; The John P. McGovern Foundation; The Wortham Foundation, Inc.; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; Susan Vaughan Foundation, Inc.; and corporate support from KHOU-TV Channel 11, KUHT-TV, the Houston Chronicle, Texas Monthly, Exxon, and Cadillac.
The Houston Public Library Clayton Library, Center for Genealogical Research is located in the Museum District. The genealogical collection, originally housed in the Julia Ideson Building in Downtown Houston, moved to the William Clayton Home, a Georgian-style house built in 1917, in the Museum District in 1968. A site for a new building, adjacent to the Clayton Home, was purchased in 1986. The new building, which was built in 1988, was designed to complement the Clayton Home. The city implemented a $6.8 million renovation project for the Clayton Home and the guest house and carriage house on the property in the 2000s. The city planned to renovate the property so it would meet LEED standards. The city installed an elevator in the guest house so the building could be used as an administrative office. The carriage house received an addition so it could function as a 100 person conference room. The Clayton site can accommodate one plenary session and four breakout meetings, which would be required for a national genealogical conference. The Houston Business Journal awarded the renovation as the best historic renovation for its 2009 Landmark Awards.
Source: Northwest Houston on Wikipedia