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Marisa Ramirez
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Third Ward Collaboration Pairs UH with Neighbor Ryan Middle School

April 23, 2009 - Houston - A University of Houston gathering celebrates the legacy and promise of the Third Ward community, specifically Ryan Middle School, a significant entity in the heart of the historic area, but which has languished through challenging times.

"Through art, digital media, architecture and photography, we are learning and teaching about our neighborhood and school histories," said Professor Carroll Parrott Blue, director of the project. "Our goal is to promote some of the much needed changes that can revitalize our Third Ward communities and institutions."

The university joins students from Ryan Middle School to honor the history and heritage of the school and the Third Ward at an exhibit from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 28 in the Atrium of the UH Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lot 16B off Elgin Street.

Led by Blue, the project paired students from the UH College of Architecture, the Center for Public History and the School of Art with students from Ryan Middle School and nearby Jack Yates High School.

With the assistance of Carl Davis of the City of Houston Planning and Development Department, the group was able to capture, firsthand, the experiences of former teachers and students who passed through the halls of Jack Yates High School between 1926 and 1958. Davis is working with city officials to secure an "historic building" designation for Ryan Middle School.

Among the items to be on display:

  • Portraits and architectural images by a UH photography student featuring three community leaders and three members of the 1958 class of Jack Yates High School. Ryan Middle School was the original site of Yates High School.
  • Designs created by three UH architecture students for a new art gallery at Ryan Middle School, scheduled to begin construction this summer.
  • 16-minute digital history of the civil rights movement's impact on Third Ward, featuring photos and interviews compiled from UH history students.
  • New essays from UH public history students on the impact of the national and local civil rights movement on the Jack Yates High School Class of 1958.

WHAT: A Celebration of the Historic Ryan Middle School
WHEN: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Tuesday, April 28
WHERE: University of Houston Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, Atrium, first floor

For directions and parking information, please visit