HOUSTON - Houston isn't terrific at preserving its own history, just think about how many times we've tried to tear down the Astrodome. But in Midtown, the National Trust for Historic Preservation announced that the LULAC Council 60 Clubhouse on Bagby Street will stand for many years to come.
LULAC, or the League of United Latin American Citizens, has fought to better the lives of Hispanic Americans in the United States since 1929.
"The work that happened here helped propel the Mexican American civil rights movement in this country. From the head start program, modeled after LULAC's little school of the 400 to promote school readiness for children from low income families, to Ser Jobs for Progress, the largest work placement program in the nation located right here in Houston, many national programs and policies trace their roots to the hard work inside these walls,” said Barbara Pahl, a National Trust Senior VP.
The Council 60 Clubhouse has been boarded up and empty since 2013, and damage from Hurricane Harvey made the building increasingly vulnerable to redevelopment.
"Unfortunately, we don't do a very good job of preserving our history, as a council member that's something I’m trying my best to do, this building is one of those things we need to preserve for our history,” Councilman Robert Gallegos, District I, said.
In response to the disaster, American Express awarded a disaster recovery grant to LULAC of $140,000.
That'll go a long way to fixing council 60's exterior, but it's what's on the inside that counts.
"The house might have some cracks in the foundation it might be missing a window, but it's still there. And it stands as a beacon to all of those say in the Latino community ,'hey, it's taken a beating, but it's still there.' We must remember this - Latino history - is American history. It is 100% and it should never ever be denied,” said Roger C Rocha, the LULAC National President.