Monday, July 16, 2012

Arizona Experience Museum hoax

In the spring of 2011, the following news release appeared:

Arizona Experience Museum to be ready by state’s centennial
Construction is scheduled to begin this summer on the Arizona Experience Museum, one of the state’s centennial projects. Plans call for enhancing and transforming the current Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum at 15th Ave. and Washington St. in Phoenix. The new museum will be an interactive, technology-driven venue showcasing Arizona’s past, present and future. Plans are on track for the museum’s renovations, with completion expected by 2012, Arizona’s Centennial. The museum will include a new main entrance on Washington, new main lobby, gift shop and reception area, and orientation theater. Museum designer is Gallagher & Associates, architect is Westlake Reed Leskosky, general contractor is Mortenson Construction, and construction consultant is Rider Levett Bucknell

Investigative reporters at ABC 15 have now discovered that neither the Arizona Historical Society nor the Arizona Centennial Commission ever raised any funds for construction of the Arizona Experience Museum (formerly the aborted 5C Arizona Centennial Museum).  The seed money provided by Freeport McMoran was eaten up by the designers.

Obviously, the actual construction fund status (zero) was known in May of 2011. So why was this misinformation about centennial preparations published?

Was it an attempt to mislead potential donors?

AZRE Arizona Commercial Real Estate 
Construction: Project News, May/June 2011
Posted on May 1, 2011 by AZRE


  1. I wonder if Freeport really cares that any money they gave was really spent and wasted on the state's foolishness? Freeport will still get the votes they need in the state legislature for any legislation they deem necessary for their expansion or survival. Whether it cost them $250,000 or $1 million for favorable consideration on their projects is all they care about.

    What a waste! We lost a wonderful museum over someone's unattainable dream and fantasy.

  2. Actually, my experience is that Freeport tries to be a good corporate neighbor. They have spent millions of dollars trying to make Globe-Miami a better place to live. If they know the money for a project was wasted, my guess is they will allocate the money to other, more worthy projects.

    1. Prior to the Governor's announcement of the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum, Freeport was a major supporter of the mineral museum. Their sudden participation in it's destruction has yet to be explained.

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