On December 5, this stunning, historic space at 500 McKinney reopens to the public after an extensive renovation led by Phoebe Tudor. Much of the refurbished building will be available to rent for events and parties.
Do yourself a favor and take a long walk through the rehabbed rooms. They’ll remind you that you live in a city rich with history.
Ideson was the city’s first professional librarian and worked here for more than four decades. According to the Texas State Historical Association:
By the time of her death in 1945, the collection had increased from 13,228 to 265,707 volumes, and annual circulation had risen from 60,000 to 600,000. Her efforts to improve physical facilities had resulted in the addition of five branches, a new Central Library in Spanish Renaissance style, and the first municipal bookmobile in the state.
Boston architects Cram & Ferguson designed the Ideson Building. Since 1976, the space has housed the archives of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, which includes photos, personal papers, architectural drawings, maps, posters and more.
I took a tour of the building yesterday, led by Margaret Lawler, executive director of the Julia Ideson Library Preservation Partners.
I was captivated by the original chairs in the children’s book room, which feature carvings inspired by nursery rhymes and fairy tales.
In every room, the original paint colors and woodwork have been restored. The intricately painted and coffered ceilings are beautiful, particularly the ceiling in the center of the building that’s studded with red and green flowers. Head for the second or third floor landing and look up.
Take a walk through this historic space in December. You’ll love it.
Source : http://blog.chron.com/bookish/2011/11/houston-public-librarys-gorgeous-renovation/