Director's Message

Welcome to the Houston Maritime Museum!

Welcome to the Houston Maritime Museum!

Welcome to the Houston Maritime Museum’s website. Here you will find important information on our current exhibits and collections, programs, membership, and volunteer opportunities. I invite you to explore and learn more about the history, development, and growth of HMM.

Over the past 15 years the museum has been on an incredible journey. Starting out as a small private museum for founder Jim Manzolillo’s extensive collection of maritime artifacts and ship models, the collection has grown to over eight galleries that cover the world of maritime history and culture from early navigation and exploration, to World War II and the modern merchant marine, and also to today’s energy industry. A highlight of the museum is our comprehensive exhibit on the history of Buffalo Bayou; the origins of the Houston Ship Channel and the impact of the port on our daily lives, the economy of Houston, and the nation.

I am excited to share with you the start of the museum’s newest voyage; The Houston Maritime Museum is sailing to a new home port. The tremendous amount of interest in the museum has significantly expanded our vision and size since its inception. Based on the larger scope of the project and its importance to the city and beyond, we are pursuing a new and more central location just east of downtown Houston along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The museum will be a part of a large mixed-use development and easily accessible from all directions.

The new museum will be a destination for Houstonians and visitors from around the globe and will serve as a landmark venue to tell Houston’s story from beginning to the present and beyond. Highlights of the new space include expansive exhibit and collection spaces, classrooms, event and meeting venues, restaurant and much more..

A $45 million Capital Campaign will kickoff this fall with our ground breaking planned for mid 2018 and completion scheduled for end of 2019. For updates on our exciting new voyage, please visit

While the new museum is under construction, we will continue our day-to-day operations at our current location, so plan to visit us today to learn more about the “Wonder and influence of maritime history on our world”!


Leslie Bowlin
Museum Director