The Chattanooga History Center on Wednesday announced it has started the second phase of construction work for its new 19,500-square-foot museum located at the Aquarium Plaza and scheduled to open in September 2013.
As the construction work begins, the Center is also launching a new annual giving club – the Chattanooga Club – for individuals and families who want to support the capital campaign, which is nearing the $8 million milestone thanks to significant donations from Unum, First Tennessee and several Chattanooga donors.
Since launching its capital campaign last year, the Chattanooga History Center has received strong support from local businesses and the philanthropic community, including a $150,000 donation from Unum, a recent anonymous donation of $100,000 and a $50,000 donation from First Tennessee Bank. With these donations, the Center has officially raised more than $7.9 million, which is more than 75 percent of its $10.5 million goal.
“We are surprised, gratified and pleased that our community has come together to support this community-wide effort that will bring first-class history museum to the Chattanooga area,” said Cannon and Rick Montague, board members of the Chattanooga History Center and co-chairs of its capital campaign.
As the capital campaign continues to gain momentum, the Chattanooga History Center has enlisted one of the most creative museum design firms in the world – Ralph Appelbaum Associates – to design and build the museum. The firm will create an exhibit space that uses a model of storytelling to not only share Chattanooga’s deep, rich history but educate and inspire people for years to come. Ralph Appelbaum Associates has used this unique approach to captivate visitors across the country with their work in the U.S. Holocaust Museum, The Country Music Hall of Fame, The NASCAR Museum, The National World War I Museum and the Newseum.
“The Chattanooga Renaissance continues today through the Chattanooga History Center,” said Rick Montague. “Our community deserves another world-class museum – one that helps preserves the stories of our past while teaching people about civic dynamics, the making of a city and the experiences of its citizenry, and how the citizenry came together to rebuild this great city and continues to shape its future today.”
As the capital campaign enters its next phase, the Center also announced plans to launch the Chattanooga Club – a new annual giving program tailored for individuals and families who want to support the Chattanooga History Center and help shape its future. People can become a founding member of the Chattanooga Club at one of the following donor levels: Platinum ($1,000 annual donation); Gold ($500 annual donation); Silver ($250 annual donation) and Bronze ($100 annual donation).
“The Chattanooga Club was formed to provide an easy, affordable way for individuals and families to support the Chattanooga History Center and its efforts to preserve our local history,” said Leah M. Gerbitz, attorney at Miller & Martin and chair of the Chattanooga Club. “Our community deserves a strong, vibrant history museum, and by joining the Chattanooga Club, you are helping ensure the Chattanooga History Center can continue to provide a better understanding of our history and give people the knowledge they need to drive civic actions that will shape our community’s future.”
For more information on the Chattanooga History Center and the Chattanooga Club, please visit www.chattanoogahistory.org.