Ed Grusnis, owner of The Antiquarium, knows that the past matters. His River Oaks shop specializes in antique maps, prints, documents, and a host of other items that make history buffs swoon. But he also knows we live in the present. And this particular present, with COVID-19 worries, has been trying for everyone.
It's not just about stay-at-home orders and people feeling stir-crazy from too much Netflix. It's about Houstonians in need becoming even more so. What could Grusnis do about it, then? For an answer, he looked to the past.
"The recurrent theme coursing through the city is one of remarkable tenacity, generosity, and charity," he tells CultureMap. "As Ima Hogg once said, 'The first thing Houstonians do when they achieve success is share with others.'"
So, Grusnis decided to use the past to help out in the present. He launched an initiative to raise $20,000 to donate to Texas Children’s Hospital, the Houston Food Bank, and the Houston SPCA.
To raise the funds, he's selling framed reproductions of the Allen Brothers' Plan for the City of Houston for $795. Plus, $200 from each and every sale of the print will go to the purchaser's choice of those three non-profits.
Grusnis plans to keep offering the deal "as long as the Food Bank is in need from COVID-19," which might be longer than anyone in the Bayou City would like.
"Since 1836, the continuing philanthropy [of Houstonians] has totaled many billions of dollars for hospitals, schools, parks, and the arts," Grusnis continues. "This spirit of giving is a thread that connects us through eight generations right through today with a pace-setting medical establishment, lively cultural scene, a prestigious educational establishment, and a sense of community."
Grusnis plans to continue that heritage.
Anyone wishing to order can email the store or call 713-622-7531. All orders will be filled when The Antiquarium reopens.