The End of an Era
2013-10-02 14:51:14.000 – Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator
Sunday, September 29, 2013 marked the Mount Washington Museum’s final day of operation.
Since 1973, the summit museum has served as the primary public face of Mount Washington Observatory atop the 6,288 foot peak. Featuring hand-made exhibits about the mountain’s fascinating human and natural history, it has welcomed as many as 100,000 visitors each summer. We recently learned that these figures make it the most visited museum in the entire state of New Hampshire.
Unfortunately, after so many years of service, the museum’s dusty artifacts and aging exhibits make it a grossly outdated experience. The decision was made to invest in this important cultural cornerstone, and the Observatory began laying the groundwork for an entirely reimagined mountaintop educational offering.
In the spring of 2014, Mount Washington Observatory will cut the ribbon on Extreme Mount Washington
: an all-new, interactive educational experience that will provide visitors an appreciation for the mountain’s world-famous tagline, “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.”
In the meantime, much work remains to deconstruct the historic Mount Washington Museum, and prepare the space for its new life.
As the final visitor exited the exhibit floor on Sunday, a procession of Observatory staff and trustees filed in. They had come to mark the end of an era; to commemorate the Mount Washington Museum’s storied, 40-year history.
Executive Director Scot Henley and Curator Dr. Peter Crane recounted stories about the museum’s founding in the Yankee Building, and the move to its current location inside the Mt. Washington State Park Visitor Center.
Dr. Crane led a guided tour of the exhibits, humoring and educating participants with interesting details omitted from the interpretive plaques. For many employees, this would be the last time they stepped foot inside the historic space. It was both and exciting and bittersweet occasion as we talked over the plans for each artifact, and the future of the museum as a whole.
In the coming months, successive blog posts will outline the progression of the summit museum’s total transformation. Stay tuned for updates and pictures as we deconstruct the current exhibits, begin demolition, perform site preparation, and finally install the new exhibits next spring. It will be a fascinating series of complex tasks performed under the very tight constraints of weather and transportation logistics.
As work begins we still have just over $40,000 left to raise on the project’s $825,000 budget.
Help us bring this important project to completion by making a tax-deductible donation of any amount on Extreme.MountWashington.org
Thank you for your support!
Will Broussard, Outreach Coordinator