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Major changes are on the way for The Columbus Museum as the Chattahoochee Valley’s hub for art and history today announced dramatic renovation plans that will transform both the building and the grounds. The transformation is made possible thanks to generous gifts to the Reimagining The Columbus Museum capital campaign, which has topped $20 million, more than 90 percent of the Campaign’s leadership phase goal.
“We are elated to share our plans to transform the Museum with the public, and the fundraising success to date thanks to the remarkable generosity of our supporters,” said Museum Director Marianne Richter. “The ‘reimagined’ Columbus Museum will be more welcoming and interactive, a true cultural gathering place.”
The first major renovation since 1989, the Museum’s goal is to share the story of all the people who have contributed to the rich history of the Chattahoochee Valley while expanding its position as a beacon of arts and culture that will draw visitors to the Chattahoochee Valley from everywhere. Plans call for a full-scale renovation to include:
- A new and expansive Children’s Gallery with an adjoining Children’s Garden, adjacent to the Museum’s main entrance, to encourage creative play and discovery
- A welcoming public courtyard to engage visitors immediately as they enter the Museum
- Redesigned History Galleries that tell the stories of all the people of the Chattahoochee Valley
- Improved connectivity to unify the Art, History, and Children’s Galleries
- Restorations to the historic Bradley Olmsted Garden and expanded ways to integrate the Garden with community greenways and bike trails, such as the Dragonfly Trail Network.
“We are deeply appreciative of the hard work of Campaign Co-Chairs Kathelen Amos and Elizabeth Ogie, Honorary Co-Chairs Thornton Jordan, and Elizabeth T. Corn, and our dedicated Campaign Committee for leading a remarkably successful capital campaign to make this long-awaited transformation possible,” Richter continued. “We are also grateful to the Muscogee County School District for including The Museum in its ESPLOST funds, dedicating $3 million for improved and expanded collections storage collections care, and needed infrastructure upgrades.”
The Museum renovations will create a sense of openness to the entire property, inside and out, allowing for more natural light to pour into the interior spaces and shine down on the exterior gardens. The redesigned entrance will feature a spacious lobby, which leads to a café, shop, orientation space, and a grand entrance to the Children’s Gallery. Playing off the beauty of nature and the historic Gardens, a new overlook and terrace will be constructed just outside the Atrium for visitors to enjoy any time of year.
“We are profoundly grateful to the Museum’s long-standing friends and supporters who share this vision for the future, and who have been enthusiastic investors in this project,” said Kathelen Amos, Campaign Committee Co-Chair, and Board Trustee. “We are equally thrilled and excited about the support we have received from newer friends and supporters, who value our mission and want to be a part of this tremendous cultural asset as it is positioned to serve future generations. We look forward to working with the community to garner additional support to help reach our goal.”
Three nationally acclaimed firms were selected for the Museum renovation: architecture firm Perkins & Will, exhibition design firm Local Projects and exhibition design firm The Design Minds. Construction is set to commence in November 2022 and conclude in early 2024.
“I am so thrilled to be a part of this ‘reimagining’ of The Columbus Museum,” said Campaign Committee Co-Chair and Board Trustee Elizabeth Ogie. “Our members’ and donors’ responses to all the plans have been overwhelming and humbling. The Museum is the heart of our arts community, and this transformation will make everyone proud to claim this place as their favorite gathering and learning spot.”
While construction is underway, The Columbus Museum will be on tour throughout the Chattahoochee Valley. An exclusive offering of art and history exhibitions, educational programming, and member events will continue at partner locations around Columbus. The Museum Shop and additional scheduled programming will be at the Scarbrough House, located at 1327 Wynnton Road, during the closure.
For more information on donating to the capital campaign or to become a member of The Columbus Museum, visit ColumbusMuseum.com.