Ohio Historical Center To Increase Hours, Add Free Parking July
Visitors' Preferences Sought for Museum Makeover
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - The Ohio Historical Society announced today that the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus will offer increased hours and free parking beginning July 1. In addition, the organization will involve visitors' preferences in the planning process for upcoming changes to the center’s museum and library.
"We listened to our stakeholders and found a way to make it work within our budget," said Burt Logan, OHS executive director and CEO. "The change in hours will increase customer service and provide additional opportunities to engage and involve visitors in Ohio history. By offering free parking, it will be more affordable for people to visit the museum, attend an event or use our services."
Public hours for the museum and archives/library at the center will increase from one to three days and free parking will be available for all visitors at the center and for most special events at Ohio Village. The new hours will be: Thursdays from 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. –5 p.m. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office and OHS business offices will continue to be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Museum admission will remain the same: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (60+), $4 for youths (6-12) and free for children (5 and under) and Ohio Historical Society members. There is no admission fee to the archives/library and historic preservation office.
Logan said, "This was done after careful consideration of the effect of these actions on next year's budget and staffing resources as well as the ongoing initiative to change focus of the museum and archives/library into a collections learning center. We're still not up to a full week's schedule yet after last year's state funding cut, but we're making progress towards that goal."
As planning continues for the collections learning center project, the new hours will allow for increased public input into exhibit and educational concepts being considered. Testing with visitors will begin later in the summer and results will have a significant role in shaping what people can see and do at the Ohio Historical Center in the future.
"Previous studies have shown that the public wants more direct access to the society's extensive collections, more opportunities for hands-on experiences and ways to explore history using current technology," Logan said. "The increase in public hours will allow us the opportunity to continue those studies and involve more customers in the planning process."
According to Logan, the collections learning center project is being created in phases over the next few years as state and private funding becomes available. As part of the development phase, much of the behind-the-scenes work, such as cataloging and putting OHS collections online, has been accomplished. In addition to public testing, over the next several months, the public will be able to see more collections on view than ever before.
The Ohio Historical Center is one of 58 historic sites and museums administered by the Ohio Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as the state's partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio's history, archaeology, natural history and historic places. The headquarters for the historical society, the center will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in August 2010. For more information about programs and events, call 614.297.2300/800.686.6124 or visit www.ohiohistory.org/OHC.