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Orange Show opens to the public

May
09
1979

On this day in 1979, the Orange Show, an open-air, multimedia sculptural installation dedicated to the orange, was opened to the public. The show, located in east Houston on 2401 Munger Street, was conceived and built singlehandedly over a period of twenty-five years by Houston postman Jefferson D. McKissack. He first became interested in oranges when he trucked them from Florida throughout the Southeast during the Great Depression. He built the exterior walls of what became the Orange Show in the mid-1950s, as part of his plant nursery on two vacant lots across the street from the bungalow where he lived. He began work on the interior space in 1962. Built without architectural plans, the Orange Show evolved into a labyrinth of stairs, catwalks, and passageways encompassing two amphitheaters, several enclosed display areas, a guest shop, a wishing well, fountains, and two observation decks. The entire complex is painted in bright primary colors and festooned with striped awnings, banners, two United States flags, and seven Texas flags. Considered the state's leading example of a "folk art environment," the Orange Show is open to the public on weekends and holidays from March through December.

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