Towering 567 feet high, the San Jacinto monument is the world's tallest monumental column and stands as a tribute to the 1836 military victory that won Texas' independence. While this awe-inspiring structure draws 225,000 visitors a year, its museum meant to showcase the historical event leaves much to be desired.

Since the San Jacinto Museum opened in 1939, relics like the 14-foot-long battle scene painted by Sam Houston's son, Andrew Jackson Houston, and the sword Santa Anna jettisoned while fleeing the battle, have been stored in the museum basement and left unseen. In total, less than one percent of the museum's 18,000 artifacts have seen the light of day - mostly due to inadequate space.

But planning is now underway to remedy that. Funds are being raised to purchase land where the 40,000-square-foot exhibition hall/visitors center is set to open in 2017, just one-mile away from the museum's current location. Though the Texas architect has yet to be selected, one thing is certain: the new annex will provide infrastructure needed by a modern museum, including interactive technology to educate visitors with the site's history and geography.

The 13-acre prospective site, adjacent to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife battlefield historic site, is envisioned to be "a new Herman Park". The hope is to provide a destination, landscaped and equipped with picnic tables and walking trails, to draw not only visitors but also residents of Houston Ship Channel-area communities.