Saturday, April 21, 2012

Fixing the Arizona Experience Museum Mess

For nearly two years, this blog has followed the awful mess caused by the seriously flawed 5 C Arizona Centennial Museum (AKA Arizona Experience Museum) project. That project, the “centerpiece” of the centennial celebration, failed miserably. It also destroyed an existing top rated and very historic museum in the process. 

Now, a newspaper editorial has presented a very constructive suggestion for fixing that mess. An editorial on page B6 of the April 21, 2012 Arizona Republic offers a solution that would mark Arizona’s centennial with two successes rather than a notorious failure. The link to the editorial, entitled “Solution to Marking Centennial” is:

The brilliant and inspired editorial makes the following points:

1.      The initial project became too expensive to seriously consider completion

2.      The new Arizona Experience website is achieving the goals of the Arizona Experience museum at a fraction of the cost

3.      The website makes the wide ranging information about Arizona available to the entire world, not just a handful of visitors to a brick and mortar museum

4.      There is a serious need for the K-12 educational programs previously offered by the mineral museum

5.      Arizona’s centennial year can still end with two remarkable successes: and a restored and improved mineral museum.

Will Arizona’s elected leaders respond to this thoughtful and practical suggestion?


  1. There just might be a chance that AZ could right the terrible wrong of closing the Mining and Mineral Museum when the Governor, AHS, and the Centennial 12 Foundation all knew that the money was not there. Money was wasted on contracts for designs that are now usless! But we may be able to return the building and as much of the MMM as still exists to those who so brilliantly ran it. Everyone needs to understand that this would require a unique arrangement, as we cannot expect the MMM supporters to agree to be subjected to AZ politics again!

  2. From the excellent editorial, it seems the
    Experience Museum is well replaced by the ambitious Virtual Arizona Experience website. The signs that the unfortunate and expensive Centennial "signature" project is dead are becoming obvious: Ken Bennett (who was on the Centennial 12 Foundation) is now raising money for a worthy and affordable project in Wesley Bolin Plaza and he has the Governor's support; the AZ Historical Society has admitted that the Experience Museum has financial problems and may never happen. Finally, the building is empty!

  3. On behalf of the students who begged to have the Mining and Mineral Museum saved, it's time to once again support them and get all of the organizations behind this effort. The ideas so logically expressed in the above editorial give hope to those who worked with schools and teachers, as well as the public, that a workable solution can be found. We need to think outside the box!!