Thursday, January 6, 2011

Update to “What’s happening to the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum”, Jan 2011

The original post (June 5th) summarized how the bill transferring the mineral museum to the Arizona Historical Society was prepared and passed by the legislature, and how the Governor tasked the AHS with destroying the mineral museum to create the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum.

The Oct 9th post updated that summary, following the formal transfer of the mineral museum to the AHS after the Governor signed the bill and it became law.

As of this date (January 5th 2011), the mineral museum still exists, but its future is very much in doubt.  School busses still arrive at the mineral museum, bringing students to an experience they remember for a lifetime.  The historic stamp mill is still operated periodically by volunteers, and the museum still serves children outside of Maricopa County with the outreach program.  Extraordinarily dedicated volunteers still operate the museum under very discouraging circumatances.

Informal reports say the museum will be closed in June. At that time Federal stimulus funds will be used to install solar panels, new air conditioning, and new lighting.  Presumably, the building is to be converted into the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum after that work is done.

However, the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum appears to be a failure in progress.  No funds have been raised, and no plans have been prepared. There are some indications that the 5C museum will be fitted with left over displays built for Best Fest by the Arizona Centennial Foundation.  If so, it could only open long after the centennial is over.

Documents reviewed on this blog show that the AHS has failed in the past on similar projects.  A failure of truly grand proportions is the Marley Center Museum in Papago Park in Tempe.  That museum never drew the projected crowds planners and promoters said it would.  This huge, not yet paid for building still costs taxpayers 2 million dollars per year.

Prior posts on this blog show (with cited supporting documents) that the planned conversion (mineral museum to 5C museum) will not reduce costs as the Governor claimed.  The AHS budget has already increased by 50% in FY 2011.

Recent publications (cited in prior posts) show that history museums like the proposed 5C Arizona Centennial Museum are failing across the country.  They are being replaced by far more popular science technology museums.  Why would a 5C history museum be successful?

Although mineral museum supporters negotiated changes in the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum bill, the AHS has never acknowledged them.  The changes require that a mineral museum remain intact within a portion of the building.  Even after the legislature passed the amendment, the AHS continued to promote their original plan.  That was to distribute what ever mineral specimens might remain in the building among the new 5C displays prepared by their east coast contractor.

What you can do:

 The goal of this blog is to repeal the very unfortunate and impractical 5C Arizona Centennial Museum bill.  The first step in accomplishing that is to kill the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum.

The Governor is believed to be pressuring Arizona mining companies to fund the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum. Yes, that right, she expects mining companies to fund the destruction of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.  That is nuts, but if you to read all the early posts on this blog, you would get and understanding of how this peculiar situation came about.

Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold Inc. is under particular pressure.  Their logo has even been placed on the Arizona Centennial Commissions website with the notation “major donor”. That appears like an attempt to embarrass them into hading over the cash.  (Note: The Governor is the Co chair of the Arizona Centennial Commission).

So, the most useful thing mineral museum supporters can do at this time is to contact Freeport McMoran and ask them to please not fund the destruction of the mineral museum.  If they do not cave in, hopefully the others will not either.

Freeport McMoran copper and Gold Inc.
333 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
1 602 366 8100
Community Relations
For general questions, call Community Relations at: +1 602.366.8116 or
+1 800.528.1182 extension 8116, or email us

1 comment:

  1. Good posting. All true. I will contacting the mining company. I can't believe that they are that naive to give these people a lot of money.