Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza

City Of Houston Will Rename Downtown Plaza In Honor Of Former First Lady Barbara Bush
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced it as part of the renovation of the public space located between the Central Library and the Julia Ideson Building.

By Al Ortiz

Houston Public Media

December 6, 2016

Listen: Honoring Barbara Bush’s legacy of promoting literacy
00:00 /01:16 Download
From left to right: Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Neil Bush, Maria Bush, City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen, and City Council Member and Vice Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Davis, during the press conference held at City Hall to announce the project for the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza in downtown Houston.

The renovation of the plaza means a total facelift that will include two reading gardens, a jumbo-sized viewing screen to project movies and hold visual events, as well as an art lawn for exhibits and a café bistro.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the City will rename the Plaza located between the Central Library and the historic Julia Ideson Building in honor of former First Lady Barbara Bush. The location will be renovated and will be known as the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza.

The Plaza will have two reading gardens, a jumbo-sized viewing screen to project movies and hold visual events, as well as an art lawn for exhibits and a café bistro.

“Hundreds of thousands visit the plaza during downtown events such as charity walks, parades, festivals, outdoor exhibitions and City occasions. We will transform that useful space into something exceptional and it will become a destination in its own right,” Turner said during a press conference held at City Hall.

The Mayor underscored Mrs. Bush’s commitment to promote literacy in the United States and one of her sons, Neil Bush, noted he hopes the new plaza and its name will motivate others to do the same.

“To have a plaza named, the Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza, to lift up her legacy, hopefully will inspire others to make it their legacy too,” commented Bush, who announced his family has donated $500,000 dollars to the project.

The energy company Phillips 66 and the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation have also each contributed that same amount for the renovation of the plaza.

The goal set by the Houston Public Library Foundation is to raise 5.5 million dollars and begin construction in 2017.



Press Release: Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 6, 2016 Barbara Bush Literacy Plaza A physical focal point for literacy in Houston HOUSTON, TX Literacy is the cornerstone to being successful, and a community with a high literacy rate also has high productivity and even higher...

read more

GROOMED FOR LITERACY, a Youth Literacy Program

Groomed for Literacy is a partnership between the Houston Public Library, Put It In a Book Foundation and other literacy and education stakeholders. The program intends to address the literacy gap for under served youth, with specific emphasis on young boys of color....

read more

Houston Public Library MYLink Card Campaign

THE HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY RECEIVED THE 2016 JOHN COTTON DANA LIBRARY PUBLIC RELATIONS AWARD Partnering with HEB-Texas, the large grocery store chain with a strong commitment to early literacy (a commitment that in this case entailed contributing more than $500,000 in...

read more

Houston, The City That Could

The Houston Chronicle is marking its 115th anniversary by highlighting the stories, names and places that shaped the City of Houston. 1901-2016 HOUSTON, THE CITY THAT COULD Houston got an early start in cultural arts establishments Women's groups played major role in...

read more

Houston Chronicle: Opinion Letters

Library Beginnings Regarding “Houston got an early start in cultural arts establishments” (PageA6, Saturday), I was delighted to read the article concerning the establishment of Houston Public Library, and The Woman’s Club of Houston’s key role in that establishment....

read more

Fun Workspaces in Space City

Adam McCoy shows some great and walkable places to get business done in Houston, and the Houston Public Library is one of them. The piece includes interviews with the Houston Public Library's Nicole Robinson, Deputy Assistant Director, Digital Inclusion and Danielle...

read more

Houston Chronicle: Opinion Letters

INTERNET AND LIBRARIES Regarding “Closing the gap” (Page A22, Wednesday), Internet access is essential for students studying today. However, I wonder if the problem could be eased by extending library hours? Despite threatening rain last Sunday, we witnessed computer...

read more