Editor's note: This story has been updated with information about the appointment of Cynthia Wilson as interim executive director of the Houston Public Library System.

Officials with the Houston Public Library announced the closure of the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library at 4100 Montrose Blvd., Houston, in a March 28 news release.

In a nutshell

According to the release, the closure is due to ongoing safety and facility issues as well as a faulty elevator that renders the building noncompliant with Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility standards.

The Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library will be replaced with a new building and new location in the Montrose Collective, a mixed-use shopping center at the intersection of Montrose Boulevard and Westheimer Road.According to the release, the new location will provide the community with an upgraded, modern library experience and expanded hours.

The new library will span 12,000 square feet and will include a second-floor patio, a children’s play area, meeting rooms and reading areas.

Taking a step back

Houston city officials have been looking to rebuild the Montrose library since 2019.

The first step of the timeline included a town hall held September 2019 to gather resident feedback on the possible move of the library.
  • Houston City Council gave the green light on a land deal with developer Radom Capital for relocation during a December 2019 council meeting.
  • Council voted in 2021 to spend $4.6 million to build the new library.
  • Additional funding was approved in November 2022.
  • Council approved another $250,000 in September 2023 for the project to cover heating, air conditioning, elevators and network equipment.
The new library is expected to open this fall according to Houston Public Library officials.

Quote of note

Rhea Brown Lawson, executive director at Houston Public Library, said while the closure may cause some inconvenience, the library system is focused on providing a better-equipped and more accessible library facility for customers.

"Although the doors may close, the knowledge and memories shared within the walls of Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library will forever endure," she said. "I look forward to welcoming customers to the new library later this year.”

Something to know

The nearest library branches to the Montrose community open to residents during the transition period include:
  • Central Library, 500 McKinney St., Houston
  • Smith Neighborhood Library, 3624 Scott St., Houston
  • Looscan Neighborhood Library, 2510 Willowick Road, Houston
Customers can still use the book drop for returns at the Montrose Boulevard location until April 4. Online services are still available for reading and informational needs.

Related highlights

The city of Houston announced March 28 in a separate news release that Cynthia Wilson will serve as interim executive director of the Houston Public Library System, replacing Lawson. Lawson served as HPL's executive director for almost 20 years.

Wilson is a former educator, executive leader in workplace performance management and currently serves as Houston Mayor John Whitmire's senior advisor for organizational culture and education.

Whitmire said he has asked Wilson to immediately begin work on improving the library system's communications, management, employee morale and operations.