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This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale

Houston History Archives

this is our homeWith one major gift from Julius Settegast and Ben Taub, the University of Houston found its permanent home in 1936.  The gift, 110 acres of overgrown and largely inaccessible land, set the stage for something big in Houston.  Ten years later a gift from Hugh Roy Cullen saw new neighbors move in and together, throughout the twentieth century, these twin universities would bear witness to the unique evolution of neighborhoods in and around Houston’s Third Ward.

One neighborhood in particular, Riverside Terrace, presented an unusual case study in how race, resistance, and real estate help shape the soul of a city, block by block and street by street.

flyerIn 1987 Jon Schwartz took on the task of telling the decades-long narrative of Riverside Terrace and its residents in his 190 minute documentary, This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale.  Flush with home movies and photographs serving to complement interviews with residents, the film gives a direct, unembellished voice to those who have called Riverside Terrace home.  The result allows for an honest and unflinching look at race, religion, and socioeconomics in Houston and the difficulty of reconciling these weighty constructs with a concept of home over the years.

Scenes from the film may be sampled here, but we are pleased to offer the entire documentary for your viewing pleasure (minus the refreshments, unfortunately) in our Reading Room.  In addition to the film itself, we also have available for study Jon Schwarz’s papers relating to the progression of the film from fundraising, to research and production, as well as press coverage and information regarding film festivals and awards recognizing the film.  Be sure to take a look at the detailed finding aid for more information prior to visiting.ticket

Even today Riverside Terrace has much to say about us, and Houston will certainly cast a furtive glance in our direction to see what the years have wrought as well as what is next as Riverside continues to tell its story.

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