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Calvert Marine Museum

  • Master Plan
  • Solomons, MD
  • 2007

Project

In the 25 years since founding, the vision of the founders to record,  preserve and present a  quickly disappearing way of life was successful.  The museum’s maritime collections of diverse artifacts, an oyster house, several light houses,  boats and aquarium became a major regional destination.  However, the community identity had turned away from the ocean, and was less relevant to a community on the fringe of Washington DC.

 

 

Process

Interviews with community and museum leaders identified significant strengths, and the fact that while a source of community pride, the surrounding community no longer identified with the exhibits and programs.  However, the active programs that were presented drew enormous crowds, resonating across interests since visitors liked doing more than observing.  From discussions, ideas emerged to connect the community to the water and the land, linking their experiences with those who had occupied the area in the prior 100 years.

Outcomes

Discussions identified opportunities to create a more active museum where visitors could do as well as observe, leading to projects that were small and large – model building, boat trips, paleontology digs on nearby sites, light house overnights and  ‘special days’ which brought visitors into the active environment.  Whether the need was physical change or fiscal resources, all ideas were documented as individual ‘donor opportunities’ leading to significant gifts allowing phased implementation .

Led by Walt Crimm while Director of EwingCole Cultural Design Practice