Monday, February 20, 2012

Is the Arizona Centennial Museum obsolete?

As described in prior posts, the Arizona Centennial Museum morphed into the Arizona Experience Museum. The terms are now synonyms for an embarrassing centennial  failure. The nameless buiding at 1502 West Washington Street (Centennial Way) is now an empty shell.

Now,  states the following:

To commemorate the once-in-a-lifetime event of Arizona’s hundredth birthday, the Governor and Arizona Historical Society envisioned a museum that would capture the state’s history, celebrate its people, and embrace its future. Working with world-renowned museum designers, Gallagher and Associates, the AHS began to seek ideas from across Arizona to create plans for a true journey of discovery. The museum would feature of immersive, multimedia, and interactive exhibits to introduce visitors to meet some of the people who nurtured the state through its early years and others who are innovating its tomorrows. Showcases would include the natural resources that shaped its history and are transforming its present day, highlighting encounter the ingenuity that tamed the wild frontier and is envisioning Arizona’s next frontiers. Visitors would hear from Arizonans in their own words-- the voice of all of the diverse cultural and ethnic groups that call this state home. The Virtual Arizona Experience was initially intended to serve as the web site for the museum, but it quickly developed an identity of its own, adding content and applications that are better suited to being handled online, and creating a rich, dynamic supplement to the museum experience.
Question:  Why build a $15 million dollar museum filled with interactive displays featuring material that can be better presented on the internet?

Analogy: If a new movie appeared on the internet before it was released in theaters, who would go to the theater to see it?  If the internet version had added "content and applications", could the theater even give tickets away?


  1. Its a week after the official Centennial. The money for the "Centennial" car plates is supposed to pay for the glorious Centennial Museum. Looks like that will not happen. So where will the money go?
    There is no way the AHS will have the museum done by the end of the year. Alaska has the Bridge to Nowhere...we have the Museum to Nowhere. ...Museum of what? Why not take the little money they have and sink it into a website. Easier that way. Looks like Brewer and Woosley has destroyed museums in Arizona for a long time.
    It's Feb. 21st do you still feel the Centennial Buzz....the excitement? Don't all chime in at one time. It's over Mrs. Brewer and Mrs. Woosley. I bet the Governor is hoping all of this just goes away.

  2. The whole Arizona Experience sounds like a typical muddle headed Phd. version of Arizona handed to a bunch of East Coast exhibit designers.
    The AHS alreadfy has a museum in Tempe, which has few artifacts. Their exhibt halls are almost empty. Their topics reflect the boring history of the Phoenix area. Not much there. Few visitors. So what did you think the AHS would put into that poor excuse of a Centennnial Museum.
    The AHS should have built their "premier" Az history museum in the State's Capitol somewhere near the capitol area or downtown Phoenix where it would do some good. Check on the history of that. Lots to read about there. Why the heck should Tempe have a better location.Battle between the "downtown crowd vs. the suburbs".The Arizona Capitol Museum is where.....? Yes that's right its in the Capitol. Where is Az Dept of Library and Archives....right again.

    1. Perhaps the Marley Center Museum was built in Tempe becasue its primary intended purpose was not a history museum. Perhaps that is why it features a cocktail lounge right at the entrance.