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Houston Public Library (HPL) leadership, staff, and honored guests gathered on Wednesday, September 13 at the Houston History Research Center (HHRC) within the historic Julia Ideson Building for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and rededication of the HHRC's Texas Room. The former Texas Room is now officially known as the Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton Reading Room. Speakers at the event included, HPL Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Friends of the Texas Room President Mister McKinney and Dr. Rowena Dasch, daughter of Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton. Also in attendance was Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton's second daughter Dr. Adele Houghton. Architectural Historian Stephen Fox gave the keynote address. The ceremony was followed by a reception.

A sixth-generation Houstonian, Dorothy Knox Howe Houghton (1944 - 2018) was a gifted historian, author and researcher, and a fierce advocate for historic preservation in Houston. The archival materials she and her co-authors assembled for the book "Houston's Forgotten Heritage: Landscape, Houses, Interiors, 1824 - 1914" are now housed in the HHRC. She founded the Friends of the Texas Room and served as its president for years, supporting the work of the HHRC, and was instrumental in the restoration of the Julia Ideson Building.  

"Dorothy Knox is a descendant of the founders of Houston as well as the founders of Houston Public Library," said Lawson.

 "This is such an important and fitting honor for not only the founding president of the Friends of the Texas Room, but also for one of the most active members of Houston's historical community," said Mister McKinney of Mister McKinney's Historic Houston, who serves as the second president of the Friends group founded twenty years ago in 2003.

 "Dorothy Knox's spirit of relentless historic preservation through the support of the HHRC archives serves as an example and reminder of the difference that one dedicated person can make, and the results when you can motivate others to follow. Houston's future will benefit from Dorothy Knox’s support of its historical past."

ABOUT THE HOUSTON HISTORY RESEARCH CENTER (HHRC) Created in 1976, the HHRC is Houston Public Library's special collection focusing on Houston and Texas history. Its archival collections include one of the largest architectural archives in Texas, a significant local photographs collection, and a growing Hispanic collection. Other holdings include rare books, pamphlets and maps, and an extensive collection of oral histories. Through HHRC’s efforts, researchers can view original materials from local Houston groups, listen to oral histories, and browse a selection of digitized materials online. Learn more about the HHRC at The Friends of the Texas Room offer continual and invaluable support in the enrichment of the HHRC through donated materials and volunteer effort.


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