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 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 12:47 pm
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javal1
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Well, you may have seen our front page by now - complete with the rarely used red headline. I'm sure there's going to be many people who think this is a great move. I think it's a folly. I'll give my reasons over time (I smell an editorial coming), but I want to see other opinions. I'll just say this - anyone who thinks you can build an 8000-square foot museum for $5 million is fooling themselves. Comments....?




Museum of the Confederacy Contents to Split Three Ways


VA--The Museum of the Confederacy has found a new home for the world’s largest collection of Civil War artifacts. Make that homes. Three Virginia localities will serve as a museum “system,” replacing the single museum that has stood at 12th and East Clay streets since 1976. Officials Tuesday announced two of those sites - the Appomattox Court House National Park and the Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitor Center near Fredericksburg. (Offsite: Lynchburg VA News-Advance)



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 02:55 pm
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64thNYDrummer
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I don"t know anything about building costs but anyone who has tried to find parking space near the present site will probably heave a sigh of relief.

Dennis Conklin



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 03:14 pm
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HankC
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sounds like they are already off on the wrong foot.
 
To announce that the museum will be at Appomattox Court House National Park and then to have the Appomattox  historian say the museum will in no way be affiliated with the park certainly has me shaking my head...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 03:24 pm
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David White
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Javal:

I guess I'm confused why you are angry about this.  I can understand non- commital as to whether it is good or bad because there is not enough detail yet but why are you absolutely convinced it is bad.  I'm assuming the museum has convinced the areas to fund the cost of the structures for the tax benefits they will bring.  Maybe they are underscoping the costs but in the long run if it is $5M or $10M the community will eventually make it up and more.

The good:  More of the collection will be seen instead of stored and it will get more tourism for the areas as CW visitors linger longer in the area (hotels, stores  and restaurants prosper).

The bad:  Have to travel more to see the entire collection or the particular artifacts you want to see.  Finances not being thought out well enough?  Maybe.

To me the good outweighs the bad and I'm not so sure the finances are not be looked at.  Obviously one community is probably still looking at that aspect of the deal as it won't be announced until later.

I must say this is a much different approach than I had envisioned they were working on, I think it shows some innovative thought that they sure kept it under wraps pretty well.

 



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 03:25 pm
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David White
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Hank:

I think the article is poorly written in that regard, nothing is being done in conjunction with the NPS, it's being done with the cities/counties.  They are just locating near NPs to catch the traffic of CW visitors already going there.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 09:23 pm
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javal1
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Javal:

I guess I'm confused why you are angry about this.


Understood David. Judging from the mail I'm getting, many people are. That was the point of making my post as vague as it was. I want to see the opinions of others before I reveal my reservations. As I said, I will most likely be doing so in an editorial (and since I haven't written an editorial in almost two years, that's a big step for me!). I want that editorial to be fair, incorporating the opinions of a cross-section of Civil War enthusiasts.

Also, the article, while containing more details than others, still leaves many questions. I've been on the phone all day trying to get some answers. No luck yet, but I don't give up. What I am appreciating is the quality of opinions being expressed here, and I hope it continues.



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 09:28 pm
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susansweet
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I have one question in moving the museum .  What happens to the White House?  Will people go to see it  if the museum is not next door?  Can it remain there swallowed up as it is by the hospital?  I don't begin to think I speak for Joe but maybe this is some of what he is thinking ?  Correct me if I am wrong Joe. 

My other problem is how do you decide what items go where?  You get Jeb Stuart's Hat but we get Robert E. Lee's uniform?  Who decides who gets what?  I am glad I got to see it all together in Richmond, and think I must go back again in a few weeks to say goodby while I am again in Richmond.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Sep 6th, 2007 10:16 pm
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David White
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Susan:

Based on what I am reading, I think the Richmond museum remains in place too with artifacts and White House alongside.  Your point is good about who gets what artifacts but I can even imagine a rotating exhibit at all three sites.  However that adds expense and might tick me off if I wanted to see JEB's hat and it is at Appomattox and I only have time for the yet to be announced third location.



 Posted: Fri Sep 7th, 2007 01:30 am
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ole
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The MotC is an entity long past its prime. There may have been a time when competent management might have found a way to keep it viable. That seems to have been a few years ago. It is a shame that the salvation of this national treasure may be to break it up and build not one, but three facilities to hold it. Is it too much to ask why one new facility couldn't be built?

I'll apologize here, beause I know nothing of the MotC and am niot very likely to become concerned. It's management is and has been inept for many years. I guess there's little reason to expect any sudden change in that.

ole



 Posted: Fri Sep 7th, 2007 03:54 pm
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ArtorBart
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I, too, am saddened by the split up of the collection of the MoC. However, there is the possibility that each of the three sections may eventually grow into large, independent collections, so one day there could be three "whole" ACW museums instead of only one.

I don't think Appomattox was the best choice; what's wrong with Petersburg? Maybe too much competition from Pamplin Park?

The Confederate White House will certainly be victimized next by the growth of VCU Hospital, just as the MoC was. I cannot believe museum leadership didn't force the hospital/VCU to grant some kind of concession to the museum -- big deal, the univ. let you park free in the hospital garage! -- like monetary compensation for lost revenue due to the "blocking" of the museum.

Will admit that a visit to Chancellorsville will be augmented by the museum; so a visitor will have Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, The Stonewall Jackson Shrine, Spotsylvania, AND THE MUSEUM to see during a stop in that area -- the tourist certainly will need more than a few hours to take in the sights; they'll have to stay OVERNIGHT in a local motel, dine in an area restaurant as well, buy books and souvenirs at the musuem. Can anybody say "increased revenues"?

Fingers crossed!

 

ArtorBart



 Posted: Fri Sep 7th, 2007 05:33 pm
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David White
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I was hoping we'd know more about this deal this morning but apparantly not.  Javal did anybody call you back yet?

One question I have is if you step back and look at the situation, how does this solution address the fundamental problem that caused them to look for a solution in the first place, i.e. the current museum running in the red due to poor attendance and funding cuts?

Will the satellite museums pick up the slack and fund the Richmond shortfall by operating with extra profit margins?



 Posted: Fri Sep 7th, 2007 10:00 pm
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PvtClewell
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I can't say whether or not there is mismanagement at the MofC, but keep in mind Richmond demographics. The city is nearly 60 percent African-American, which may be one reason why there is a misplaced statute of Arthur Ashe (one of my favorite tennis players) on Monument Boulevard.

Having said that, I imagine almost anything with "Confederate" or "Confederacy" attached to it these days is politically incorrect and won't get much support from city government. It certainly is pretty much that way nationally, why would it be any different in Richmond? It's no surprise to me the MofC is in despair. You don't see much pushing of Richmond as the capital of the Confederacy here as a tourist attraction.

I also suspect much of the crowding issues the MofC suffers with VCU Medical is zoning or ordinance related. And who has the most money and influence between those two institutions to get things done?

Seems to me the MofC can best be served by getting out of town before sundown, and if its survival means three separate locations, so be it.



 Posted: Mon Sep 10th, 2007 01:50 am
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TimHoffman01
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The current location of the MOC is dismal.  It is completely cut off by the hospital, for those readers who have never been there.  Over the past few years it has not only been battling construction of new hospical buildings on just about every side, but also related (or not related for that matter) street repairs that have totally disrupted traffic to the entire area.  Several folks around here have stated it is sometimes very hard to find access to the medical buildings, let alone the museum.  Add to that the fact that even some locals do not realize that you can part in the hospital lot and have your parking validated by the museum, and it adds to an environment that actively discourages visitation.  With that the PC climate is simply icing on the cake.

My own personal experience would probably parrallel that of a great many out of town visitors.  I went last year to visit the naval exhibit.  First I had to navigate Richmond's one way streets, then the maze of street construction NOT related to the hospital (one road was closed with absolutely no prior warning), then the hospital construction, once I got to the parking deck I found that fully one half of the deck was closed for resurfacing and cleaning.  I guess the DO have to do that periodically.  I went all the way through, without finding a single space, and had to explain that to the parking attendant at the end so I wasn't charged for my ride through the deck.  Had I been from out of town, I can assure you that would have been the extent of my visit.  Probably my last one too.  As it was, I work for the local community college, so I parked there and walked about 6 or 7 blocks.  The exibits were worth it, but still....



 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2007 03:33 pm
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younglobo
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I have been sick lately and just got to this topic, I know i am a little late but let me throw my 2 cents in the well

PvtClewell wrote:


Having said that, I imagine almost anything with "Confederate" or "Confederacy" attached to it these days is politically incorrect and won't get much support from city government. It certainly is pretty much that way nationally, why would it be any different in Richmond? It's no surprise to me the MofC is in despair. You don't see much pushing of Richmond as the capital of the Confederacy here as a tourist attraction.


 

Bama46 wrote:

It is clear thaty cannot stay where they are, the citizens of Lexington were afraid of the word "Confederacy", and it is inconceviable to have a museum of confederate artifacts being called anything else.
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I am sure that costs and from what i am hearing in your posts the community/hospital building in that area have alot to do with the museum moving. I am also sure that the Museum of the Confed. The name it self scared off the local polititians. It happened here in the state of MO due to political pressure our recent gov. changed the name of the MO Confed. Veterans home to "Civil War Veterans home " which is about 10 miles up the road from me at Higginsville, MO. The site even had to take a Confed flag down that had flown on the present site for ever. Sure the reenactment Community and SOCV screamed long and hard before, during, and after the changes, but the decision stands. The only thing we can do is Vote for new leaders.

Myself I would of liked the MOC to stay in one location, from where i live the chance/time to get to see sites out east are few ( have only been to Gburg once when i was 13) and spreading it around my hurt some folks chances of seeing the whole thing.

man think that was more than 2 cents

 

 



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 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2007 06:18 pm
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younglobo
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BAMA
I agree. I have a favorite quote on history, (my wife is sick of hearing it) "those that do not know their history are doomed to repeat it." The real money is in Hospitals/healthcare now and not history probably never will be , sadly alot of our population could give a flip less about history and are more concerned with the outcome of american idol ect. And some citizens in our country need a thicker skin stop being whinney babys.



 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2007 06:52 pm
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HankC
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Actually the complete quote, from the first ever history professor, is
 
"those that do not know their history are doomed to repeat it - and usually in the next semester"...
 
;)
 
 
HankC



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 Posted: Wed Sep 19th, 2007 05:03 pm
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sweetea
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This may sound dumb, but.... why doesn't the hospital move?  Been done by other hospitals, y'know.

I've been to MOC twice.  I still feel awed by what I saw.

Since MOC is moving, why not the Valentine Museum?

I never had a problem with parking, as I used hospital parking.  (Have I let the cat out of the bag?  Will I be arrested... maybe tasered?)

 

 



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