American Civil War Museum Taking Shape

American Civil War CenterWe now have an artist’s rendering of what the new American Civil War Museum will look like along the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The new building is the culmination of the recent merger between the Museum of the Confederacy and American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.

The new two-story building will have 39,818 square feet for exhibits, an immersive theater, a small cafe, a catering kitchen, offices and storage. The museum’s unparalleled collection of Civil War artifacts will be housed in a state-of-the-art preservation and storage area covering 4,600 square feet.

Exhibit space will include 3,140 square feet on the first level and 3,500 square feet on the second level. The Civil War museum also prepares exhibits for the National Park Service in the Pattern Building, which increases the total exhibit space to about 11,000 square feet, said S. Waite Rawls III, co-CEO of the museum.

I have no doubt that Christy Coleman and Waite Rawls will help to see to completion a state-of-the-art museum that contributes to the economic development along the city’s canal and attracts visitors from near and far.

What I still want to hear more about are plans to reach out to local schools and other parts of the community that are under served for one reason or another. What will education look like in this new facility? Certainly with the financial resources available and the talent being pooled as the result of this deal there is an opportunity to think anew about this crucial component of any history museum.

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14 comments… add one
  • Andrew Raker Sep 1, 2014 @ 15:17

    Why isn’t there a 34 star Union flag in front of the Museum?

    It looks like it fits well among the historic building, but still looks modern and inviting. Like you, I’m interested to see what becomes of the education programing. They’ve got a bit more time to plan that, as well as many other things, but it’s good to keep stakeholders informed of what’s going on.

    • Kevin Levin Sep 1, 2014 @ 15:18

      It’s just an artist’s rendering. I assume there are many details of the design that are not shown and/or will be altered in some way.

      • Andrew Raker Sep 1, 2014 @ 15:25

        Sorry, I meant my comment about the 34-star flag in response to the earlier discussion about any Confederate flags. Like you, I would argue that the current flag is the one appropriate for use outside the building.

        • Kevin Levin Sep 1, 2014 @ 15:26

          OK. I don’t really have any idea what they plan to do beyond what flags are currently displayed one way or another at both locations.

  • stampdxer Aug 31, 2014 @ 5:54

    Perhaps has something to do with the name change to the American Civil War Museum from Museum of the confederacy.

  • Jessie Alan Sanford Aug 30, 2014 @ 19:18

    Not really, my question still stands why in this picture of the museum they are no flags of the Confederacy? I do believe this go’s to the heart of the content. You still have not explained your objection to flaying a flag that is relevant to history to a museum called The Museum of the Confederacy?

    • Kevin Levin Aug 31, 2014 @ 2:03

      I did and I have explained my position on the display of the Confederate at numerous times on this blog. Given the many ways in which the flag has been used over the years I believe it is best displayed in a museum setting where it can be properly interpreted. Not sure what else I can say.

  • Jessie Alan Sanford Aug 30, 2014 @ 18:15

    And sir, that’s your opinion. The flags of the South could be flown lower than the US flag and show the true the sprit of the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Museum? Are could it be you think your truth is the only truth?

    • Kevin Levin Aug 30, 2014 @ 18:31

      Yes, this is my opinion. Yes, they can fly it lower if they choose to or they can choose to properly interpret the flag in a historical context.

      • Jessie Alan Sanford Aug 30, 2014 @ 18:42

        And Sir I ask you again as I have asked many of your blog friends, why does the flags of the Confederacy put y’all in a such a hissy?

        • Kevin Levin Aug 30, 2014 @ 18:45

          You are the one that brought it up. Seems like you are the one currently in the midst of a “hissy”. Thanks for commenting, but this is a distraction from the content of the post.

  • Jessie Alan Sanford Aug 30, 2014 @ 16:38

    Why are the flags of the South not out front? Must not have any thing to do with the Museum of the Confederacy huh.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 30, 2014 @ 17:48

      Because the museum staff is wise enough to understand that the Confederate flag is best displayed and interpreted in an exhibit. The flag you fly outside of a museum is the flag of the United States.

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