The long-awaited grand opening ceremony for the 5,200-square foot, state-of-the-art Santa Monica History Museum is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, at the facility’s new location on the Santa Monica Public Library campus, 1350 Seventh St.
The event is open to the public and will include a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and free museum tours. In addition, the museum’s 35 years of continuous service to the community will be celebrated.
The new museum will serve as a cultural center for the Westside and provide a premiere destination attraction for Santa Monica’s national and international visitors, museum officials say. They note that the facility is intended to serve the educational needs of youths through free school classroom tours and innovative programming, and it will help give children as well as adults a greater appreciation for the Santa Monica community.
“We are positively thrilled to finally see the realization of our dreams to create a brand new home for Santa Monica’s vibrant history,” said Louise Gabriel, president/CEO of the museum.
“This project took several years to complete, and could not have been accomplished without financial support from many individuals, families, businesses and organizations in our community, the tireless work and effort put in by our board members and staff, and the goodwill and encouragement of our many friends and neighbors and the wonderful residents of Santa Monica.”
Museum exhibits cover the city’s history from its founding to today. The hands-on interactive displays include a Douglas DC-3, a “Then and Now” display of landmarks and streets, and the Outlook News Headliner that places and prints the visitor into an actual front headline of the past. Other exhibitions include rare oil paintings from the 1800s, gowns and outfits from the 1800s and early 1900s, tools that were used to build the first fence in Palisades Park, an early school desk and many other items.
Focus exhibits cover a range of significant subjects, including the amusement piers, artists, architects, the arts and local innovators such as Shirley Temple, Lawrence Welk, General James Doolittle, astronaut Sally Ride and noted architect Frank Gehry. The museum’s Santa Monica and California research library has a vast collection of rare books and publications, as well as an image archive with over 600,000 photographs.
Opportunities for volunteer workers and docents are available for women, men, active seniors and students ages 17 and older. To apply, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/.