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Visitor Center Associate & Site Guide, Farnsworth House Historic Site

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National Trust for Historic Preservation


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Published 20 days ago

First conceived by world-renowned architect Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and completed in 1951, the Farnsworth House is an icon of modern architecture and continues to inspire artists and designers around the world. Built as a country retreat for Dr. Edith Farnsworth, the house is a building of white-painted steel and glass, which stands in striking contrast to its naturalistic setting. Located in a floodplain landscape along the Fox River, the setting is integral to Mies van der Rohe’s aesthetic conception and continues to be managed and developed as the house and site are restored and interpreted.

JOB SUMMARY

Support guest services including: opening and closing the Visitor Center, Barnsworth Gallery and Farnsworth House; serving as sales associate, cashier or customer service associate as needed; managing online, telephone and in-person ticket sales; operating the retail shop and cash register; merchandising and stocking; and providing outstanding customer service. Provide a welcome, hospitable environment and rewarding experience to museum visitors through gift shop merchandise knowledge; maintaining a clean, well-organized environment on the sales floor; and a rewarding experience through occasional guided tours.

DUTIES

Visitor Center Operations

  • Staff the Visitor Center and gift shop, providing a friendly, efficient and knowledgeable atmosphere that supports the needs of visitors. Maintain a strong working knowledge of all merchandise in gift shop
  • Operate cash register POS system, including processing of cash and credit cards
  • Maintain and re-stock merchandise in the gift shop each shift worked and assist with inventory control procedures, including manual count of merchandise and recommendations for re-orders
  • Help receive, unpack, price and stock gift shop items if necessary during each shift. Stock bags, register tape and other supplies.
  • Maintain open communication with supervisor, notifying of customer requests for merchandise, low stock of items and issues
  • Understand and conduct Visitor Center opening and closing procedures which includes counting cash, reconciling reports and documenting deposits.
  • Print reports needed for daily tour operation using OvationTix and scheduling software.
  • Assist with greeting tour groups and individuals as they arrive at the Visitor Center
  • Assign docents to tours. Conduct general museum tours approximately 90 minutes in length, when needed. Assist group tours as needed.
  • Answer visitor’s questions or collect contact information when needed to follow-up
  • Address issues in theater room if they arise, including ensuring the music and/or presentations are functioning properly.
  • Keep visitor center and washrooms stocked and clean and well organized, which may include vacuuming and washing floors and scouring bathrooms, washing bathroom mirrors.
  • Monitor Barnsworth exhibit gallery. Turn on lights, vacuum, dust, check wardrobe positioning, clean exterior door. Sweep walkway as necessary. Minor cleaning or drying of golf carts as needed.
  • Deal skillfully with a diverse variety of groups under a wide array of circumstances
  • Continually broaden knowledge of Mies van der Rohe and Modernism to better serve our visitors 

 Tour and Guide Program

  • Assist with guide training and coordination, serving as occasional Guide; assist with site interpretation and interpretive exhibits and educational programs.
  • Assist with tour orientation & logistics including theater/exhibit support; update site interpretation and interpretive exhibits, help coordinate educational programs.
  • Assist with university and group lectures, as well as group tour logistics.
  • Assist with tour program and training enhancements, such as filming training tours, helping develop self-guided tour literature and an interpretive book.

Project Assistance

  • Assist with a variety of special projects as requested.

General Expectations

  • Answer visitor questions or collect contact information when needed to follow-up
  • Deal skillfully with a diverse variety of groups under a wide array of circumstances
  • Continually broaden knowledge of Mies van der Rohe and Modernism to better serve our visitors
  • Answer telephones. Take messages.
  • Assist visitors and volunteers with transportation around the site (golf carts, occasional use of personal vehicle)
  • Other duties as assigned

QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 2 years of college or equivalent educational/work experience, with experience in retail sales and visitor services. Demonstrated interest in museums or historic sites preferred.
  • Experience in tourism promotions, marketing, programs and events, as well as experience in web, print and broadcast media.
  • Strong communicator who is personable, outgoing, polite and courteous, and enjoys interacting with a wide variety of people and is comfortable speaking in front of groups.
  • General office and administrative experience.
  • Basic analytical and problem-solving skills, including issue identification and prioritization. Basic project-organization skills. Ability to achieve results with moderate supervision.
  • Excellent attention to detail. Strong organizational skills required. Strong verbal and written communication skills. Bi-lingual language skills a plus.
  • Experience successfully interacting with key stakeholders. Ability to collaborate and achieve results. Demonstrated success in working with culturally diverse colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Ability to prioritize, multi-task efficiently and respond to a high volume of ongoing requests in a timely fashion. Ability to adapt and be flexible in a dynamic work environment required, including working effectively with frequent interruptions and handling changing and/or unscheduled tasks with accuracy. Public contact and ability to work successfully in close proximity to others required.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit and skill set a plus.
  • Ability to continually develop skills related to use of rapidly changing technology and communications best practices.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products required. Experience with web site maintenance and other online promotional tools. Experience with OvationTix and TAMS or similar retail systems, as well as ability to learn National Trust accounting and reporting software
  • Minimum physical requirements include: ability to lift and carry up to 25 lbs on a frequent basis and occasionally more; ability to push or pull up to 25 lbs on a frequent basis and occasionally more; ability to bend, squat, kneel, twist/turn, climb, and reach above the shoulder frequently; ability to stand for extended periods and to walk the site, including several walks of ¼ mile per day, climb stairs, physically access areas of historic buildings not fitted for public access; ability to drive a golf cart 15 passenger van.
  • Driving duties require candidates to be at least 21 years of age, with a valid Illinois driver's license held for at least 3 years (CDL not required) and acceptable driving record. DMV background check required upon offer.
  • Able to work weekdays and some weekends
  • Regular and reliable attendance required.


First conceived by world-renowned architect Mies van der Rohe in 1945 and completed in 1951, the Farnsworth House is an icon of modern architecture and continues to inspire artists and designers around the world. Built as a country retreat…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Part Time Schedule
  • 2-Year Degree Required
  • Entry level

How to Apply

Please submit resume and cover letter at the application portal linked above.

Please submit resume and cover letter at the application portal linked above.

Location

14520 River Road, Plano, IL 60545

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