Patriotism Museum Closing, Going Online

8:16 PM, Jul 24, 2010   |    comments
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  • National Museum of Patriotism
  • National Museum of Patriotism
  • National Museum of Patriotism

ATLANTA -- The National Museum of Patriotism in Downtown Atlanta will close its doors for good on July 31st and move to a new home in cyberspace.

The museum, which sits right across from the Georgia Aquarium, has been hit hard by the economic downturn.

"All of us are suffering in the down economy," said Executive Director Pat Stansbury. "People aren't coming out in droves like they used to. They don't have the expendable income like they used to."

The museum moved to downtown from Spring Street 15 months ago in the middle of the recession.

It's expensive real estate without steady ticket sales.

"In this economy, our mission and message would suffer if we continued to do business the way we're doing it," Stansbury said. 

Stansbury said the museum board made a tough decision a few weeks ago to move out of the space on Baker Street and open up online.

"Going virtual will give us a deeper impact, broader reach than we could ever get in a single building in a single city," Stansbury said. 

The move comes as a big surprise to visitors, who described the museum as a hidden jewel.

"This is a great facility with a lot of great displays," said museum visitor Eric Scoggins of Woodstock. "It's sad that it will be going away."

But the new virtual museum will be easier to access and free, Stansbury said. 

"You won't be able to come here to see the exhibits," she said. "You'll be able to see everything online and interact with us online."

The museum plans to keep its headquarters in Atlanta and hold events around town throughout the year.

It will change its name to the National Foundation of Patriotism and remain a non-profit 510c3 organization.

The museum will stay open through Saturday, July 31.

Some of the displays will go on loan to other museums, some will go into storage for events and the rest will be sold.

No word yet on who or what will take over the museum's space.

The new virtual museum will open in the fall.

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