Avenue of American History
- The Avenue of American History (AAH) is a revolutionary new breed of museum.
- The project calls for each generation to write its own history and for the collection of histories to be permanently recorded in a chain of individual buildings called "Halls of History."
- Every twenty-five years, a new Hall is added to the end of the chain, thereby creating an "avenue" of living accounts of American life created by those who lived it.
- The Hall of History - covering the period January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2025 - would have exhibits of recent contemporary culture that reflect the findings of a national conversation.
- Choosing what to include, celebrate, hide or ignore will be the central challenge as each generation - starting with the present one - presents its own legacy.
- The mission of the Avenue of American History Development Group is to open the AAH to the public in 2026, two hundred and fifty years after the birth of the United States of America. For more information on the specifics of the site, visit "Proposed Site".
Historical views of the Centennial Exhibition (1876)
- The Avenue of American History would be made up of three integrated and interdependent areas. Area One embodies the AAH's central reason for being, which is starting a tradition of creating generational legacies. That tradition would start with the current generation writing its history for the period 2001-2025 and preserving it in a Hall of History that captures the zeitgeist of the preceding quarter century (as previously discussed).
- Area Two is an open landscaped zone immediately adjacent to the Hall of History, 2001-2025. It is set aside for future generations to build their respective Halls. Each reserved building plot (12 placeholders, so to speak) for the next three hundred years is marked out with the time period identified in contrasting plant materials. In this respect, the Avenue of American History is open-ended, both physically and conceptually. Its value increases as American society continues to evolve. It is presumed that each future generation will choose to build it own Hall of History in the designated placeholder but the future is unpredictable. A future generation may choose to simply erect an obelisk, a glass cube, a representational piece of sculpture or some other symbol representative of their perspective. Or they may choose to plant a garden or erect a stele engraved with the URL of their era's website. In part, it is the very unpredictable nature of what will be left behind by each future American generation that adds to the excitement of the project.
- Area Three is the section of the AAH that provides a way of immediately introducing historical perspective into the complex. The idea is to build several Halls of History for the quarter-century periods before 2001. The retrospective section will contain the present generation's best guess as to what each past generation's view was of the most important events, personalities, social changes, cultural products and scientific advances that occurred at that time. These structures and the exhibits they contain are necessarily historical suppositions and will be so identified. How many retrospective Halls of History might be built would largely depend on funding.
- The Avenue of American History would be a not-for-profit institution funded by individuals, corporations and foundations.
- Another dimension being explored is the idea of creating a virtual tour of the Avenue of American History with access provided to everyone in the U.S. and around the world. A digital version of the AAH allows for no limit to the depth to which a visitor could investigate any aspect of history within each Hall.