Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Was the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum Governor Brewers idea?

Some one had a 100 year bad idea. That was to replace the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum with another history museum. The theme of the new 5C history museum (if that is a theme) is citrus, cotton, copper, cattle and climate.

Who hatched this peculiar idea? Governor Napolitano began centennial planning, but there was apparently no 5C museum in the plans when she left. The best clue we have as to when the idea appeared is in the recent Arizona Republic (1) story on the 5C centennial museum. Arizona Historical Society “leaders” stated they began meeting with the governor’s office about a year ago.

So, whose dimly lit idea was it? The early meetings were shrouded in secrecy protected by lies and gag orders. Little is know about anything prior to the Governors “by invitation only” presentation at the mineral museum in January.

There are a few clues in the meeting minutes of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Historical Society. These are posted online in the historical society’s web site. In a late 2009 meeting, the director informed that board that “something big” was in the works, but she was not allowed to talk about it.

There are a few more clues in early 2010 minutes. In January, the director said she had been working with “the governor’s office, the Office of Tourism, and five representatives from private industry. In March, she said “the Governor contacted AHS last year”, and “there have been numerous meetings with the Governors office and representatives of the industries”. In April she “reminded the board that the Centennial Museum is a Governors mandate for AHS”.

Now, it seems unlikely that someone in one of the five industries would have proposed a new museum featuring the four other industries, especially since they are not related. Likewise, why would the Office of Tourism propose a museum featuring cotton and cows? Finally, the director of the historical society appears to be disassociating herself from the genesis of 5C in every way possible.

Therefore, we are left with just one candidate for the originator of this 100 year category bad idea: Governor Brewer.

  1. New theme for historic site, Kevin Kelly, Arizona Republic, page B1, Wednesday August 11, 2010

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