TPWD News Release — July 31, 2006
LAPORTE, Texas — Visitors to the San Jacinto Museum of History and Monument can begin riding the elevator to the newly renovated Observation Floor as soon as the end of summer.
Officials anticipate the reopening to take place on Labor Day Weekend. A special ceremony and family activities are planned to celebrate. On Labor Day, Monday, Sept 4, kids can ride free to the top of the world’s tallest monument column.
One child’s elevator ticket is free with each paid adult ticket.
The elevator has been closed since September 2004 after a safety study concluded that a series of upgrades and repairs were necessary. The study showed that the monument, built in 1939, was not up to current building safety codes.
In June 2005, $2.14 million was appropriated by the Texas Legislature for the repairs. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, which maintains the San Jacinto Monument, awarded the contract and work began. Important components of the project included the installation of a sprinkler system, new fire alarm system, upgrade of elevator safety equipment, the creation of an “area of rescue” in case of fire on the Observation Floor, safety improvements upon the main stairway, and installation of fire-rated construction on the administrative floors and restoration of the plaster ceilings in the museum and lobby areas.
The private, non-profit San Jacinto Museum of History Association has operated the San Jacinto Museum at the base of the monument since 1939.
To make all the necessary renovations, entrance to the Museum closed from late December 2005 through spring 2006.
Now the permanent exhibit in the Museum gallery, the gift shop, the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, and the Jesse H. Jones Theatre for Texas Studies that presents Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto are open for the public to enjoy. The opening of the elevator on Labor Day Weekend will complete the experience.
San Jacinto Museum of History Association Interim President Larry Spasic said he is looking forward to having the grounds full of visitors who would like to ride the newly-renovated elevator.
“The view from the top of the 567-foot monument is spectacular. Once at the top of the Monument, you can stand on the Observation Floor right under the massive Texas star,” Spasic said. “Visitors can see the Houston skyline and the ship channel and look down on the sacred battlefield where soldiers fought for Texas’ independence from Mexico.”
Thousands of school children visit the San Jacinto Museum of History and Monument each year. This is a perfect place for them to learn details about Texas history in a truly hands-on environment. The San Jacinto Museum of History is proud to offer a Teacher’s Curriculum Guide to help make a visit to the Museum a meaningful educational experience. Additional information on the curriculum guide and related educational opportunities are available online. Beginning immediately, school field trips can be scheduled for the fall by calling the Museum at (281) 479-2421.
The San Jacinto Monument is located on the 1,200-acre-acre San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site near Houston in the Pasadena/Deer Park/La Porte area.
The San Jacinto Battleground State Historical Site includes the battleground itself, the monument and museum, the marsh boardwalk and the Battleship TEXAS. Park admission is $1 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Battleship tours may be booked at (281) 479-2431.
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