Children’s Museum

Founded in 1980, Houston Children’s Museum is one of 190 children’s museums in the United States, founded by a group of parents who wanted to raise early childhood development within the community. The museum has some absorbing hands on interactive exhibits in subjects such as science and technology, history and culture, and more. In particular, The Market, an area where the kids will have fun – and learn at the same time – how to apply for jobs, get paychecks and use their ATM card. There is also a popular outdoor area that has toy boats and water pipes to enjoy too. This will be a hit with all the kids.

Children’s Museum Houston (CMH) is a children’s museum in the Museum District in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1980 and housed in a building designed by Robert Venturi, it offers a multitude of innovative exhibits and bilingual learning programs for kids ages birth to 12 years. It serves more than 1,400,000 people annually and operates as a 501(c)(3) under the direction of a Board of Directors. It is one of 190 children’s museums in the United States and 15 children’s museums in Texas. The Museum was founded in 1980 by a group of Houston parents who hoped to elevate early childhood development to a community-wide priority.[citation needed] The museum opened in 1984, and it originally leased space from the Blaffer Gallery of the University of Houston. Several years later, it moved to 11,000-square-foot (1,000 m2) of leased space in the former Star Engraving Company Building on Allen Parkway.

The current facility, located at 1500 Binz in Houston’s Museum District, opened in November 1992. Patricia C. Johnson of the Houston Chronicle said that the facility is “colorful.” The building, at the time the one of the furthest east museums in the Museum District, had 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) of space. It was designed to accommodate 350,000 annual visitors. The building was designed by Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi in association with Jackson and Ryan Architects who designed the space to evoke both institutional monumentality, “typical of the adult world” as well as playfulness befitting an institution primarily serving children. By 1997 the museum was having up to 700,000 annual visitors. Tammie Kahn, the executive director in 2009, said that by the year 1997 it was, as paraphrased by Jennifer Leahy of the Houston Chronicle that “apparent that the popular place needed more space.” The museum began plans to move to a new location in the late 1990s. After 1992, the museum’s administrative and support offices were on the second floor of the facility. As of the 2009 move, the administrative and support offices moved to a 17,000-square-foot (1,600 m2) newly constructed facility at the intersection of Binz and Crawford, one and one half city blocks from the museum facility. The outreach program Institute for Family Learning now occupies the second floor. The Museum operates as a 501(c)(3) under the direction of a Board of Directors.

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