CLAYTON LIBRARY CENTER FOR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

 
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The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is located in the heart of Houston’s Museum District. The Center consists of a 23,000-square foot library completed in 1988, along with three historic original library buildings built in 1917: the main Main House, the Carriage House, and the Guest House. The entire City block was originally developed by Will Clayton, who was a leader in industry government.

 
 
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The project, which earned LEED-NC Silver, included preservation and adaptive reuse of the three original buildings. To enhance the grounds surrounding the Clayton home, careful recreation of the gardens and brick walkways was done to regain the charm of a southern heritage garden. All plant materials chosen for the garden would have been available in Houston in 1917

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The main house now contains library book stacks while the guest and carriage houses accommodate the offices of the Houston Public Library Foundation and a large meeting room, respectively. Restrained interventions preserve the integrity of the original buildings while muted colors and a simple material palette update the spaces for their new uses. The modern gestures — notably the meeting room added at the original garage — are functional and minimal, defined by simple volumes expressed in white brick that mirror the rhythms of the façade and echo its features.

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The grounds serve as a neighborhood park and as a Southern Heritage Garden: all the plantings were popular and available in Houston in the 1920s. The house is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.

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RECOGNITION

Urban Land Institute 2010 Houston Development of Distinction Awards Finalist

Preservation Houston 2010 Good Brick Award

Preservation Houston 2009 President's Award for Clayton Family

Houston Business Journal 2009 Landmark Award for Historic renovation & Public/ Private Partnership Finalist

Real Estate and Construction Review 2009-2010 Green Building of America Award City of Houston mayor's Green Building Tour 2010

Rice Design Alliance Architecture Tour 2003

AIA Houston Chapter: Architecture Center "Green Works Houston" with USGBC Houston Chapter, 2007

Houston Architectural Guide, 3rd Edition, AIA Houston 2012

Cite 81, Spring 2010, "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, The Clayton Library Rehabilitation" by Nicola Springer

Southwest Real Estate & Construction Review: Green Success Stories Edition, 2009-2010

Houston Chronicle, 2 March 2009, "Journeying through time: Clayton center puts those from the present in touch with the past"

Houston Chronicle, February 2009, "Saving the City's Treasures"

Business Journal, 14 December 2007, "Historic center for family tree research growing into 'green' era," by Mary Ann Azevedo