by Jake Townsend/ May 2016

On April 6, Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, Speaker of the House Beth Harwell, Rep. Steve McDaniel, chairman of the Douglas Henry State Museum Commission, Lois Riggins-Ezzell, executive director of the Tennessee State Museum, and Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author, were on hand to break ground on the new Tennessee State Museum.

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Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million to build a new home for the Tennessee State Museum. A 137,000-square-foot facility will be built on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall at Rosa L. Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street.

“We’re planning to accomplish a 100-year project with this new state museum—in terms of both quality and stature. I want to thank the General Assembly for its partnership and commitment to make this investment,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “We’re taking an innovative, hybrid approach to the museum’s design that will be an extraordinary experience and complement the other cultural and entertainment opportunities Tennessee has to offer. Tennessee has played an important part in our country’s history, and we have a dynamic story to tell.”

Showcasing one-of-a-kind artifacts, historical documents, and art, the museum will tell Tennessee’s story in a new, interactive, and engaging way. A “Tennessee Time Tunnel” will serve as the backbone feature in providing a chronological and experiential journey through Tennessee’s history. The new state museum is scheduled to open in 2018.

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