THE WOMEN’S MUSEUM: AN INSTITUTE FOR THE FUTURE
Opening in 1909, The Coliseum building functioned as a cattle auction hall by day and opera house by night. Following an Art Deco overhaul in 1936 during which it became part of the Texas State Fair Grounds, the building ultimately fell to disrepair. Brought back to life, the Women’s Museum is a 70,000 s/f comprehensive museum housing a 180-seat theatre, permanent and temporary exhibition space, an educational institute, administrative offices, and a store.
Having strict historic preservation issues both inside and outside, the museum was designed to be dramatic yet respectful of the existing architecture. Perforated copper panels, a cantilevered, bent steel stair and a glass elevator are features in the main forum, The Gathering. Locally sourced materials and straightforward planning allowed the museum to built on time, on budget.