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Sugar Land Heritage Museum

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Since its creation in 2006, the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation has been gathering and cataloging historic artifacts left behind by the Imperial Sugar Company. The artifacts line the shelves of the foundation’s temporary museum space at 198 Kempner Street, but the museum has now found a permanent home.

Sugar Land City Council approved the final location for the Sugar Land Heritage Museum at the Sept. 16 meeting. Council determined the museum will occupy about 12,600 square feet on the second floor of the former container warehouse near the eight-story Char House within the Imperial Sugar Land redevelopment.

“The museum will present how Sugar Land grew from a small company town into one of the best places in America to live and work,” said Dennis Parmer, executive director of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. “It will be a must-see for any one living in or visiting Sugar Land.”

The museum, which will be built above the future Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, will showcase several exhibits categorized by the city’s timeline. The “Pre-1821” exhibit will highlight the area once inhabited by the Karankawa Indians; the “1821-1836” exhibit will show the first settlements formed; the “Plantation Era” will cover Sugar Land during the Civil War; the “Company Town Era” will display the growth of the Imperial Sugar Company; and the “Modern Era” will present Sugar Land as it is today, according to the foundation’s plans.

The Johnson Development Corporation, the developer behind Imperial Sugar Land, has an office on the site as well. Imperial Sugar Land’s General Manager, Shay Shafie, said the Heritage Museum is an important part of the master-planned community’s future growth.

“Our goal all along has been to create a new community that preserves the rich heritage and tradition of Sugar Land,” he said.

The museum is slated to open in early 2017, Parmer said. In the meantime, the current space will remain open to the public on Saturdays from 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, which is expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2015, will take up the first floor of the warehouse. The 10,000 square-foot venue is slated to open in 2016 and will feature six exhibits and an outdoor space.

“I see a lot of good synergy that can happen here,” Parmer said.


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I'm optimistic about this development. I've always wanted a look inside the facility, mostly the char house though. Missed a few opportunities when one of my cousins was working there when the site was active about 15-20 years ago.

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