The news is all wrapped up in the picture and caption above. Yesterday many of us learned from a mailed advertising flyer that the Finger Furniture flagship store that had reopened at 4001 Gulf Freeway in February 2010 after closing for the first time earlier in 2009 soon will be shutting their doors again. And this time, it’s for good,
We may only presume that the current competitive market among Houston-based furniture giants was the reason, although the family certainly had made their run in that field from the time that Sam Finger first opened his first Houston store in 1927.
Of course, for many of us, the news strikes again at the heart of our love and commitment to the preservation of Houston baseball history. Closing the store will bring an end to the on-site presence of the Houston Sports Museum inside the store at the former location of home plate in old Buff Stadium from 1928 to 1961.
I contacted museum curator Tom Kennedy as soon as I learned of this development yesterday. Even Tom does not yet know the family’s plans for the artifacts from the museum – or whether there is any family interest in resurrecting the museum elsewhere, alone or in partnership with other community groups or businesses. Kennedy promised to consult with Finger’s owner/CEO Rodney Finger and get back with me at the earliest opportunity.
It is sad news. We are losing the only extant museum at a historical site of importance to Houston baseball history and we don’t know if all the recent restorations and additions to the collection will be displayed elsewhere, put back in purgatorial period storage, distributed to family for their individual amusement, auctioned on E-Bay for the family trust fund, returned to individual donors, or bought up by out-of-town collectors and relocated to collectible shops in places like Miami and Oakland.
The museum and its baseball artifacts deserve a plan that protects and expands upon their integrity and importance to the history of this city. We can only hope that the Finger family will now take a leadership role in making sure this happens. Their true legacy is to the people of Houston and the history of our great city.