Arts & Culture

Holocaust Museum Houston Announces Major Expansion Plans And A Record-Breaking $15 Million Donation

A multi-million dollar donation has enabled to HMH to move forward with plans to expand into the fourth largest Holocaust museum in the country.

Holocaust Museum Houston has announced plans for a major $33.8 million expansion of its building at 5401 Caroline Street, along with a multi-million dollar check from long-time supporters, Lester and Sue Smith.

“We believe strongly in the mission of the Holocaust Museum Houston, and that is to teach the lessons we’ve learned from the Holocaust and honoring the survivors’ legacy.” That’s philanthropist Lester Smith, whose $15 million dollar matching grant – from The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation – is the largest donation in the museum’s history.

Holocaust Museum Houston CEO, Dr. Kelly Zúñiga, says the museum will more than double its size to a total of 57,000 square feet, allowing it to house expanded exhibits, classrooms, library space and a 200-seat auditorium. “This museum in its expanded version will be able to reach so many more students and the community at large, and make a tremendous impact as far as fighting hatred and really encouraging hope in our community.”

The museum will close on July 24 in order to relocate to a temporary facility at 9220 Kirby Drive, Suite 100. HMH’s temporary museum will open on September 5 and remain open to the public while the original building is being expanded, which is scheduled to begin in October.

Two-thirds of the current building will be razed in order to construct a new three-story building. When construction is completed in early 2019, the newly-named “Holocaust Museum Houston, Lester and Sue Smith Campus” will become the fourth largest Holocaust museum in the country.

Listen to Catherine Lu’s complete interview with Kelly Zúñiga below:

Listen to Catherine Lu’s complete interview with Lester Smith below:


Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

More Information