Third Century · Enhance Education and the Visitor Experience
On-site and online, Tudor Place needs expanded platforms to connect more people to their stories and America’s story.
New exhibition and education spaces are essential to bring the benefits of Tudor Place’s educational riches to the broadest possible audience of diverse backgrounds and interests. An exhibition space, Education Discovery Center, lecture hall, digital improvements, and freestanding Visitor Center will enhance the 21st-century visitor experience and enable engaging — and changing — content worthy of repeat visits.
Some 25,000 people visit each year for guided house tours, garden tours, field trips, and programs, but must be served in often cramped spaces lacking reliable climate control or disability access. Many programs for the 3,000 visiting students and children who come each year take place in car bays of the 1914 garage, without appropriate heating and cooling or nearby bathrooms. Public programs in the Dower House parlors and dining room can accommodate at most a few dozen participants. The Visitor Center, meanwhile, occupies the Landmark house’s one-time library, with pre-tour orientation relegated to the historic Conservatory. In extreme weather, orientation must move to a cramped inner corridor. Bathroom facilities for visitors consist of limited and fragile 1914 plumbing, with no space to store backpacks, strollers, or other baggage.
A Plan to Enhance Education and the Visitor Experience
The Master Preservation Plan will:
- Provide an Education Discovery Center to engage school-aged visitors from the general public and organized groups in programs that advance essential skills: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, collaboration and teamwork, literacy, and STEM.
- Enhance web-based resources to bring innovative Tudor Place education content to teachers and students off-site, on demand, and around the world.
- Adapt the 1867 Dower House Administration Building for education, meetings, and other uses, adding a hall capable of seating 75 people, with state-of-the-art technology for seminars, lectures, workshops, and other programs.
- Build a Gatehouse Visitor Center, enabling the library to be interpreted as it was used historically. The Gatehouse will welcome visitors with accessible arrival and storage areas, modern facilities, and an interactive orientation exhibit that complements tour content. Expanded reception facilities will also enable an “a la carte” menu of tours not currently possible.
- Enhance the visitor experience with technology accessed on mobile devices and other platforms.