In July 2021, the beloved listener-backed Houston station, KPFTannounced that he was leaving his familiar home in Montrose (419 Lovett Blvd.) after the owning company Pacifica forced the sale of the eroded building.
Now, the beloved station and community hub will celebrate its 52nd year in a new facility. KPFT’s new headquarters is located in Third Ward at 4504 Caroline St., just steps from Houston Community College’s central campus and The Ion, Rice’s innovation district.
“There’s no place like home,” KPFT chief executive Robert Franklin said in a statement. “KPFT is moving to our new home in the heart of Houston. We are very excited and looking forward to moving into our new building and welcoming all of our programmers and community supporters to their new favorite community station home.
Nestled in the Museum Park neighborhood, the station’s new location offers the opportunity to collaborate with nearby cultural centers including the Buffalo Soldiers Museum, Mexican Institute, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Asia Society, Holocaust Museum Houston and the Clayton Genealogical Archive, according to a press release.
Launched in 1970, KPFT is one of five original Pacifica Foundation radio stations; others are located in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
The station has been the hallmark of specialty programming featuring local and regional artists and musical genres. Programming has traditionally operated with a decidedly left-leaning bent, focusing on local, national and international public affairs, quality of life issues and social justice platforms.
More than just a radio station; KPFT quickly became a meeting place and gathering center in Montrose. The impending sale, forced by the dilapidated state of the building, triggered considerable concern among fans and supporters. For the past two years, the station has been mainly managed remotely by volunteers when looking for new accommodation.
“This has been a team effort with Pacifica’s national professional technical staff playing an important role in ensuring this location meets the many technical specifications required by a radio station,” noted board member Susan Young. national administration of Pacifica, in a press release. “And at KPFT, we are grateful for the unanimous support of the Pacifica National Council to move forward with the purchase of KPFT’s new home.”