Dedication & Ribbon-Cutting Mark Asia Society Texas Center Opening
Dignitaries celebrate Houston's gateway to Asia
HOUSTON, April 14, 2012 — Asia Society Texas Center introduced its new building to the people of Houston and honored architect Yoshio Taniguchi on Saturday at an outdoor Dedication Ceremony on the grounds of the Center. Click here to watch the video.
“This is a building for all Houstonians,” Executive Director Martha Blackwelder told the audience of 200 assembled under a clear Texas sky. Attendees included civic and business leaders, Texas Center supporters, and residents of the neighborhood.
“We want to be Houston’s gateway to this increasingly important region of the world. We want to be the place that brings Asians and Houstonians together for a shared future.”
The Center’s Tiger Ball on Thursday celebrated the new building’s supporters and contributors; the Dedication Ceremony emphasized the significant role the Center will play in the social, cultural, and economic life of the nation’s fourth largest city.
“It is an amazing building,” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker, “but what is more important is what is going to take place inside this building, and what it represents as a gift to all of the citizens of Houston, an expression of faith in the future of Houston.”
Those delivering remarks, which included, in addition to Mayor Parker, Asia Society Board of Trustees Co-Chairs Ronnie C. Chan and Henrietta H. Fore, Texas Center Board of Directors Chairman Charles C. Foster, and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, were quick to express their appreciation to the Center’s designer, internationally recognized architect Yoshio Taniguchi.
“He has designed the most beautiful building,” said Nancy Allen, Texas Center grand patron and board member. “I walk through the door and I see the beautiful harmony, proportion and elegance that Yoshio has designed.”
Taniguchi, who joined Allen at the podium, spoke warmly of his experience in working with the Texas Center.
“It has been almost eight years since I was given this wonderful opportunity to design this significant project,” he said. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of those who supported me.”
Gordon Quan, a former Houston City Council member and the Co-Vice Chair of the Texas Center board, underlined the great change the Center represents for Houston’s relationship to its Asian population.
“This marks a watershed moment for the Asian community in Texas,” said Quan, the first Asian to sit on the City Council. “When my parents moved here more than 50 years ago, we were less than one-half of one percent of the population. Some said we were insignificant. Today I think we show that this community is significant and a major contributor to our community in Houston.”
Reported by Louis Parks