A sneak peek of what Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman called “the finished-out space” of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation Museum this past Thursday shows a first class setting of the latest development at Imperial Market.
It houses both the museum and Sugar Land Visitor’s Center on the second floor of a historic building at the Imperial Sugar site, just behind the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center.
A year ago, the city of Sugar Land, partnering with the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation on the collaborative project, authorized a contract for the renovation of the historic building for the two operations. Reports indicate the contract went to Rosenberger Construction for $567,480.
For those relatively new to the area, Imperial Market, where the museum is located, is the branded site undergoing massive redevelopment on 26 acres at Highway 90A and Brooks Street. It’s also where the Imperial Sugar Company that started as a commercial raw sugar-grinding mill was founded in 1843.
The new museum, behind the Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, is nestled in the iconic home of the sugar factory. The area is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Marty Nicholas, president and pastor of Sugar Land Methodist Church who serves as the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation board president, announced the upcoming ribbon cutting of the new museum set for this Saturday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. What will follow later this spring will be a fundraising event, which will celebrate a community figure.
Nicholas told the “peekers” at the event that the Johnson Development Company had a generous hand in the construction effort of the museum building, the sugar factory’s former container warehouse.
“This would not be here if it were not for Larry and Susie Johnson,” Nicholas said of the generous contribution making the historic timeline display possible.
The current timeline exhibit catching one’s eye upon entering the museum, together with corresponding video consoles, will be followed with 80 more exhibits on what is now the first display platform.
Recalling how just a couple of years ago the floor of the museum building had a sugary film of molasses, Randy Kozlovsky shared his appreciation for the impressive work and condition of the new display, which will soon be available for the public’s enjoyment.
Volunteers, content committee contributors, and former Executive Director Dennis Parmer were all recognized for their efforts in preserving the important landmarks of the city’s history.
“Without all the people in background, this collaborative effort would not have possible,” said Mayor Zimmerman.
The museum venue and visitors center is expected to attract 150,000 visitors annually. The exhibits are intended to document Sugar Land’s history and the visitor’s center will showcase the city’s global makeup and facilitate and accommodate visitors’ needs.