Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Arizona Historical Society has a secret

The Arizona Historical Societies website shows 5 museums, one of which is the Centennial / Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.  The description for the mineral museum begins as follows:
The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum commemorates the mining industry that helped build Arizona. Arizona is the Nation's number one mining state with the largest value of non-fuel mineral production in the country. The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum can trace its origin back to the first Arizona Fair, held in November of 1884! The mineral display was said to "overshadow all else." The collection, already one of the finest in the world, has been growing and improving since that time. 

The accompanying mission statement is;
To educate Arizona's citizens about our mining and mineral heritage and to demonstrate that minerals are the cornerstone of Mankind's existence; that minerals have aesthetic value; and, that minerals have functional value.

That sounds quite impressive.  Why no mentions of it becoming even better? Why is there no information about how the mineral museum is going to be “enhanced” with cotton and cows?  Why absolutely no mention of the $10 million plus 5C Arizona Centennial Museum that is going to replace it?

There is nothing on the website about the centennial museum other than perhaps the word “centennial” that was tacked onto the name. There have been no press releases about the centennial museum since the Governor’s original one over a year ago.  There has never been any kind of a public announcement by the AHS. The Arizona Centennial Commission used to have the centennial museum on their website as their “number one signature project”, but that has disappeared. Neither the AHS nor the centennial commission will answer questions about the centennial museum.  Even the fund drive has not been publicized. Exactly how do you raise money in secret?

Why the secrecy?  Is the AHS afraid to promote their $10 million plus new wonder of Arizona?

Are they afraid that they will be subjected to extensive media ridicule as they were when they built the failed Marley Center Museum (Tempe)?

Are they afraid it will fail before it is built, like their History Museum at Rio Nuevo (Tucson)?

Are they afraid the public will be enraged over millions spent on another non essential history museum in the midst of a financial crisis?

Are they afraid Arizonians will resent their sole source out of state contractor?

Are they afraid there will be a public outcry over the loss of K-12 science education programs?

Are they afraid that public will become aware of their relatively large staff and $6 million taxpayer subsidy?

Whatever the reasons, the centennial museum began is secrecy (reinforced with gag orders) and continues in secrecy.

It is time for the “enhancement” of the historic and top rated mineral museum to be brought into the sunlight.


  1. I am willing to bet that Woosley would be very happy if the whole Mineral Museum/5"C"s/Centennial Museum just go away. Just like she did with Rio Nievo boondoggle. That way she would not have to do her job. Maybe she will leave before all of this has to happen.

  2. AHS spent 1.4 million dollars for plans that will never be used. A drop in the bucket of the $230,000,000 wasted on Rio Nuevo, Or maybe 1/230th of a wasted project. Big drop!