Charlotte Museum of History hopes to bring in new visitors
By Andrew Doud
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Financial difficulties forced the Charlotte Museum of History to close its doors last May. Now, after months of reworking its business plan, the museum is opening back up in the county’s oldest home.
The Hezekiah Alexander Homesite was built in 1774 and is now the new focal point for the Charlotte Museum of History.
Monday, movers were bringing in old pieces of furniture original to the house as the museum works to refocus on bringing in new visitors.
"This is a great place to come and learn about the earliest settlers here and what they experienced,” historian Leslie Kesler said.
The Charlotte Museum of History used to be in a building next door, but as the sign on the door now reads, it's closed.
"We had to figure out how to reduce our expenses,” said Kathy Ridge with the Charlotte History Museum.
The museum had to cut costs, pay off debt and is now focused specifically on the colonial history of Mecklenburg County, hoping the trimmed-down business plan and hard-to-find artifacts will bring in more visitors.
"It ought to be a tourist destination for visitors from all over North Carolina," Ridge said.
For people like Billy Maddalon, co-chair of Charlotte East, having the museum reopen is a benefit to the eastern part of the city.
"Anytime the museum is open and healthy and people are visiting, that's good for the east side, but again, it's also good for Charlotte," Maddalon said.
Right now, tours are offered only on the first Saturday of every month, but the museum plans to be open more days in the future.