Local News

State history museum lacks exhibit on state’s history

Posted March 27, 2009 10:09 p.m. EDT
Updated March 27, 2009 11:19 p.m. EDT

— For nearly 15 years, the North Carolina Museum of History has been trying to raise money to build a permanent exhibit on the history of the state.

Director Ken Howard said the museum has been working to get the exhibit since 1994. Right now there are only drawings to show visitors what it would look like.

The state has put together $7 million over the years toward the estimated $15 million exhibit. Lawmakers had planned to allocate $2.5 million more, but the money was “redistributed to help the state balance the budget,” Howard said.

Howard hopes private donors and corporate sponsors will help with the $8 million still needed, but pulling that off in this economy may be history making in itself.

Some visitors are surprised to find no permanent history of the state at the state museum. They say the exhibit is long overdue.

“It is pretty important…when you are learning about something to take and see things that are hands on,” visitor April Collins said.

Officials expect the economy to drive up museum visitors. In 2008, there were 373,000 visitors to the free museum. Those numbers are expected to increase by 10 percent this year.