The purpose of the corporation shall be to increase and diffuse knowledge and appreciation of history, and to that end to establish and maintain in the City of Brownsville, a museum and reference library, to collect and preserve objects of historic interest, to protect historic sites from needless destruction, to provide facilities for research and publication, and to offer popular instruction and
opportunities for aesthetic enjoyment.
The Historic Brownsville Museum Association, a 501 ©(3) not-for-profit organization, is located at 641 East Madison Street in Brownsville, Texas.
Since the association organized in 1982, the picturesque Spanish Colonial Revival passenger depot, formerly used by the Southern Pacific Railroad before being abandoned and allowed to deteriorate, has been fully restored for use as a museum and was opened to the public in 1986.
Through major grants from the Meadows foundation, the Brownsville Foundation for Health and Education, and a local philanthropist, totaling $300,000, a new education complex has been constructed. This structure compliments the existing architecture and adjoins the museum. The building serves as a site for educational programs, adult and student, circulating exhibits, and community functions. Since its opening in the fall of 1991, thousands of school children, community and civic groups, international organizations, as well as City, County, and State Governmental bodies have meetings and receptions in the facility. The National Park Service hosted a seminar dedicated to the presentation of scholarly papers on the Mexican-American War, the Palo Alto Conference.
The museum association completed a courtyard between the two buildings using inscribed brick and stone pavers, and native foliage. A masonry fence was built along the Sixth Street side while travelers on Seventh Street will see the restored Rio Grand Railroad engine though a wrought iron fence. The courtyard serves as a gracious passageway and meeting area between the historical displays in the museum and the education complex. A Spanish-style fountain enhances the effect more than $1million has been spent in bringing the museum to its present condition. This includes land acquisition, renovation of the abandoned depot, and construction of the education center, courtyard and the newly built engine building.