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The Telecom Digest for July 18, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 174 : "text" Format
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Museum of Telephone History at risk (Dave Garrett)

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Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 23:07:56 -0500 From: Dave Garrett <dave@compassnet.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Museum of Telephone History at risk Message-ID: <MPG.2a6ea11be6e9659a98a2fd@> Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the museum except as an appreciative visitor. My wife and I frequently walk our dog past the building housing the museum. It is (or was, until recently) an actively operating AT&T facility with the museum occupying donated space on an upper floor. We became concerned upon seeing the for-sale sign appear at about the same time that the fenced parking lot went from being practically full of service trucks at night to housing only a handful of them, and a recent update on their website http://www.houstontelephonemuseum.com/ confirmed our fears: >>>>> The Doc Porter Museum of Telephone History is in trouble. AT&T has put our building up for sale, and we have just discovered that no provisions have been put in place to move or house our vast collection. We currently are located on the second floor of 1714 Ashland Street in Houston, Texas, in the historic Heights area. This space houses our wonderful collection of telephones, switchboards, instruments, documentation, books, and all the other pieces of telephone history that has taken many years to compile. Our collection is one of the last in the country. With the closing of the telephone museums in Dallas and others, we are the one of the last in Texas, and one of only a handful in the country. Most everyone who visits our Museum is extremely surprised and delighted by our tremendous collection of telephone history. We are in desperate need to relocate. Any ideas? Please contact us. We will be updating this page. <<<<< They have a truly impressive collection, and I have no doubt that most anyone reading this would find much of interest. This isn't the first time that the building has been put up for sale, but given that the property covers almost a full block in the middle of a high-value residential area currently undergoing a fair amount of new development, I expect it's not long for this world. AT&T has generously made space available in each of the three locations the museum has occupied since 1966, and it's operated as a labor of love by retired telco employees. I'm hoping that AT&T will once again come through for them, but the update above doesn't sound good. Dave
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