It doesn’t look like much yet, but the changes underway in Browder Springs Hall are pretty thrilling. But wait–Browder Springs Hall? Is there a new building at the Village? Nope, Browder Springs Hall is the recently rechristened Print Shop. We’ve talked before (http://dhvblog.org/2011/05/27/the-spark-2/)about how recurrent flooding is changing the way we interpret Main Street. The Print Shop has always been one of the most vulnerable buildings, but when the water was rising, we couldn’t exactly move that equipment out of the way. Cleaning up after a flood wasn’t easy either, and so we made the decision a few years ago to find a new, better home for the printing equipment showcased in that building. Some of it went to other museums, and some of it ..
(/images/postimages/pdk_mg_3298.jpg)Almost exactly one year ago, we re-opened the General Store. If you haven’t visited us in a long time, the space may surprise you. Just about everything is touchable, and there are plenty of activities and roles for visitors to play. You can shop, weigh beans, run a cash register, play checkers, write or sort mail, wrap packages–and one of our favorites–sweep and dust. (Is it wrong that we get such joy out of letting visitors help us clean?) Of course, whenever we do something new, there’s a familiar fear. Will this work? Will visitors understand? Are we setting ourselves up to be destroyed by a herd of 4th grade boys? Will they learn anything? Though we haven’t done any formal studies on the success of th ..
No, we don’t have Gaultier–he’s the wrong century for our museum. But we are delighted to have received a piece by Charles Frederick Worth. I don’t know if Madonna would have liked his clothing, but throughout the decades around 1900 all the other women in America longed to wear a dress by the undisputed leader of the Paris fashion scene. The House of Worth was the shopping destination for American women rich enough to journey to Europe for fitting and to spend amounts that would embarrass some of our modern fashionistas. Worth was known for some signature fashion touches, such as using lots of lace. But he championed the practice of constantly changing fashion trends. New shapes, details and colors rendered last year’s dress passé. Am ..
As you all know, we close to the public in January and August, the two months that feature our worst weather and our lowest attendance. A few years ago when we analyzed the cost of staying open to the public versus how much revenue we generated during those months, it was clear that we were losing money being one of the only outdoor museums in the country that operated twelve months a year. So, we now close to the public during those two months. But that does not mean that we are all in hibernation. Our administrative, education, and curatorial staff and our maintenance contractors continue normal working hours. We always have post-Candlelight chores, like putting away the decorations and stowing the candles and stanchions. Of course, work on Gone To Texas really picks ..
Dallas has a rich history. Perhaps surprisingly for a relatively young city, it also has quite a few historical organizations devoted to preserving aspects of that history. In 1998, when Gary Smith, President and Executive Director of Dallas Heritage Village, suggested to me the idea of organizing a conference devoted to local history, I was immediately intrigued. Our semi-annual regional history journal, Legacies, had thrived for nearly ten years, partly because it was a collaborative effort among several historical groups. These and other similar groups might find a conference a perfect project through which to promote local history. Gary and I contacted staff members at five other historical organizations, all of whom were enthusiastic about the idea. The Executive Di ..