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Holocaust Museum Houston Expansion Opens

Holocaust Museum Houston has opened the doors to the Lester and Sue Smith Campus, an expanded facility that now ranks as the nation’s fourth-largest museum dedicated to the Holocaust.

PGAL served as architect of record on the $34 million expansion, which nearly triples the size of the 1996 museum to 57,000 square feet.

Located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District, the LEED-certified expansion replaced the original one-story building with a three-story structure featuring a new roof opening atop the building’s cylinder that welcomes daylight and transforms into a light-filled beacon at night.

The new building houses a welcome center, four permanent galleries, two changing exhibition galleries, classrooms, a research library, a cafe, a 200-seat indoor theater and a 175-seat outdoor amphitheater. A three-story butterfly sculpture at the heart of the museum features a kaleidoscope of 1,500 multicolored butterflies that represent the 1.5 million children who perished during the Holocaust.

“Our team was honored to play such a prominent role in expanding this important institution so it can continue to inspire, enrich and heal our community,” says Phat Nguyen, AIA, Senior Associate at PGAL.

Holocaust Museum Houston is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit

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