Children’s Museum of Houston
Imperial Market is proud to be the home to the new Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center (FBCDC), a project of the renowned Children's Museum of Houston (CMH); the respected Sugar Land Heritage Foundation (SLHF); and the City of Sugar Land Convention and Vistors Bureau. These entities are housed in the historic "Container Warehouse" building at Imperial Market. The Container Warehouse is a two story, 25,000 sf historic property which hosts the CMH on its first floor and the SLHF and SLCVB on the second floor. The museum held a successful grand opening in May 2016 and is open to the public.
Museums from around the world, of all disciplines, view the CMH as a model for exhibit development, impactful program deployment, and effective, efficient management. National experts have recently offered the following accolades: In 2012, Forbes magazine recognized CMH as one of the top 12 children’s museums in the country; CMH is currently the Parents magazine’s #1-ranked children’s museum in the nation; contributors to Citysearch.com honored CMH with a rating of 5 stars, the highest possible; and the CMH star rating on TripAdvisor has earned a Certificate of Excellence. In their most recent polls, Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks and Click2Houston.com both named CMH as the “Best Museum in Houston.” The Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center will benefit from CMH’s 30 years of experience and its record of success. FBCDC will enjoy the efficiencies made possible by seasoned management and acclaimed educational staff who are nationally networked with industry associations.
Future Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center exhibits will enable parents to serve as their children’s first teachers and also complement school learning. They will be aligned with recognized educational standards and developed with partner expertise.
The catalyst in the formation of the SLHF was the closing of the Imperial Sugar refinery in 2003. The refinery, which had been in continual operation since 1843, housed a vast historical treasure trove of artifacts, documents, and photographs that traced the evolution of the site from its early days as a working plantation into its more modern era as a company town.
Many organizations began to work together at this time to ensure that the priceless artifacts and the history of the site were preserved. The City of Sugar Land, the Imperial Sugar Company, and Cherokee Investments developed a partnership approach to the creation of a community-based heritage museum which would collect, preserve, and exhibit the collection on the refinery site.
The City of Sugar Land has provided the seed funding for the formation of the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation along with generous support from Kempner Fund, Cherokee Investments, Johnson Development, Imperial Sugar, the Fort Bend Museum Association, and community representatives.