The MECA Project is an initiative to restore the Dow School building (built in 1912) to its original historic character, while keeping MECA, its primary user, in place.
HISD, the previous owner, sold the Dow School block to the City of Houston. The City of Houston retained ownership of the Dow School Park and the park use will be retained. The remaining property and the Dow School building was conveyed to MECA. The Old Sixth Ward TIRZ/Redevelopment Authority borrowed approximately $1 million dollars to fund the City’s purchase of the property from HISD. The TIRZ makes an annual payment to Wells Fargo to repay the loan.
The Dow School building and property is maintained and managed by MECA. The property is deed restricted in a manner that, (1) protects the historic character of the Dow School building; (2) requires the property owner to be a non-profit corporation exempt from federal taxation; and (3) restricts the use of the building to cultural and educational purposes that primarily promote a public purpose of the City.
MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts) is a community-based nonprofit organization committed to the healthy development of underserved youth and adults through arts and cultural programming, academic excellence, support services, and community building. Learn more about them here.