Gettysburg’s newest museum completes construction phase
Exhibit installation to begin in January
GETTYSBURG (November 27, 2012)—The construction phase of the Seminary Ridge Museum—Gettysburg’s newest museum—is complete; exhibit installation is set to begin on time in January, and the museum will open to the public July 1, 2013--the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg.
The project is a joint venture of the Seminary and the Adams County Historical Society, organized under the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation, a seminary subsidiary.
Once open, visitors will be able to explore history where it happened, walk halls where wounded soldiers suffered, experience General Buford’s view from the Seminary cupola and stand where many on both sides lost their lives. Exclusive preview opportunities will be available beginning in the spring of 2013.
Housed in the historic Schmucker Hall on the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg campus, the museum is the centerpiece of the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg. Providing enhanced historical experiences for a variety of audiences, the $15 million project will rehabilitate and reuse a building that has been called “the most important Civil War structure not owned by a public entity.”
“The beauty of this project is that it not only adapts an historic building for an interpretive purpose, but it also preserves that building,” said Barbara Franco, executive director of the Seminary Ridge Museum. “We did not alter the historic integrity of the building—we worked around it. You will find original flooring and wood, original plaster, original window sills that feature characteristic distortions. This building is one of the most historically significant structures of the Civil War, and its preservation was paramount. The fact that we are able to include a museum within its walls is a win-win for everyone.”
The museum will occupy 20,000 square feet on four floors of the 1832 National Historic Landmark building . The museum’s main exhibits, Voices of Duty and Devotion, will focus on areas not covered in depth by any other place in Gettysburg—the first day’s battle, the care of the wounded, and faith and freedom.
The new museum is designed to meet the needs of a variety of audiences. An outdoor trail with historical wayside descriptions and activities will expand the museum’s appeal as a destination for family audiences. Multi-media elements and dramatic settings in the exhibits bring history to life through the voices of real people: Seminary steward Emanuel Ziegler and his family’s harrowing experiences during and after the battle; the nurses and doctors who tended the wounded; African Americans who sought freedom in Adams County as fugitives from slavery and fought for freedom with the United States Colored Troops; the sacrifices and heroism of the soldiers.
The project is a joint venture of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the Adams County Historical Society and the Seminary Ridge Historic Preservation Foundation. Outdoor trails have been designed in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway Initiative, Main Street Gettysburg and many other Gettysburg partners.
Group rates will be available; cupola tours will be available as a reserved/ timed ticket.
See more at www.seminaryridgemuseum.org