Duluth Children's Museum
One of the first children’s museums in the country, the Duluth Children’s Museum opened in 1930 as a resource for teachers, schoolchildren and families to learn more about their world neighbors. The organization’s name was changed to the A.M. Chisholm Museum in 1954 following the donation of the Chisholm family residence, which was used as a permanent home for the Museum. In 1975, the Museum relocated to the Depot and it became a member organization of the St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center. The organization reclaimed its original name in 1994.
The Children's Museum has been a tenant of the Depot since 1977. In recent years, the Museum has experienced substantial growth in membership and visitors. Recognizing its need for more space in order to serve its 9,000 members, the Museum launched a capital campaign. That fundraising effort continues, however it has become apparent the Museum needs more space now in order to sustain operations. The Museum will be moving into a new and larger, temporary home in the Clyde Park complex on 29th Avenue West. The Museum expects to open in the new location by no later than May 29, 2012.
The temporary space is in the former Athletic Republic building attached to the Duluth Heritage Sports Arena. It will give the Museum nearly double the public floor space of what was available in the Depot, providing expanded opportunities for creative and educational activities for a wider age range of children. The site is located just around the corner from the building on Helm Street that the Children's Museum purchased and is raising funds to renovate into its permanent home.
The Children’s Museum will continue to use the space at the Depot, but in a different way. Visitors to the Depot will be able to view artifacts from the Children’s Museum’s extensive collection, many of which have had to be stored off site due to space limitations. Elements of the collection will be displayed in a manner consistent with the exhibits of the Depot’s other tenants. This will be done in conjunction with the ongoing collections review process, which is an essential step in preparing the collection for relocation. Ultimately, the artifacts from the collection will be exhibited and used for educational purposes at the permanent, phase two site.
Moving to the temporary location gives Museum supporters time to continue efforts to raise funds to renovate the former Duluth Brewing and Malting building on Helm Street and provide more innovative programs and learning opportunities. The Museum is committed to serving all children of our region, providing them a healthy, safe place to use their imagination, explore new ideas, develop social skills and learn through play.