CHARLESTON, SC.- The cultural sites along Charleston's Museum Mile have come together to launch Museum Mile Weekend on September 26 and 27, 2009. A single pass will allow visitors complimentary admission at twelve sites along Meeting Street. Many of the cultural institutions will also offer special programs during the inaugural Museum Mile Weekend.
Launched in 2008 as a cooperative marketing effort among non-profit organizations, Charleston's Museum Mile features the richest concentration of cultural sites open to visitors in downtown Charleston. Along and around the one-mile section of Meeting Street, visitors can discover six museums, five nationally important historic houses, four scenic parks and a Revolutionary War powder magazine.
"The Museum Mile Weekend Pass is a unique opportunity for locals and tourists to see the cultural attractions at a terrific price. If purchased separately, adult admission for the participating sites would be close to $100 for adults and $50 for children. The Weekend Pass is only $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under," explained John Brumgardt, Director of The Charleston Museum.
Participating Sites on Saturday and Sunday:
Aiken-Rhett House - 48 Elizabeth Street
Built in 1820 and greatly expanded by Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s, this house and its outbuildings have survived as a time capsule virtually unaltered since 1858.
The Charleston Museum - 360 Meeting Street
America's first museum showcases the cultural and natural history of South Carolina's Lowcountry. On Saturday, The Charleston Museum will feature children's crafts from 10am to 12noon, as well as curator-led tours of the natural history, military history and textile collections throughout the morning.
Children's Museum of the Lowcountry - 25 Ann Street
The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry offers eight hands-on interactive learning environments for children 3 months to 10 years. Come explore CML's new feature exhibit, Pirates! or help celebrate the museum's sixth birthday with Cupcake Decorating at 2:00 pm on Saturday and Party Games at 3:00 pm on Sunday!
Confederate Museum - 188 Meeting Street
Since 1898, the Daughters of the Confederacy have operated the Confederate Museum, which contains flags, uniforms, swords and other Confederate memorabilia. Closed Sunday.
Joseph Manigault House - 350 Meeting Street
"Charleston's Huguenot House" was built in 1803 and is a premier example of Adam-style, or Federal, architecture. On both Saturday (11:00, 4:00) and Sunday (4:00), focus tours at the Joseph Manigault House will give a glimpse of the house's fascinating World War II history, in addition to regular house tours.
Powder Magazine - 79 Cumberland Street
South Carolina's oldest public building, The Powder Magazine (circa 1713) served as an arsenal within the old walled city of Charleston. The Powder Magazine will be hosting living history programming, 10am - 4pm on Saturday and 1pm - 4pm on Sunday.
South Carolina Historical Society - 100 Meeting Street
The Historical Society collects, preserves and publishes South Carolina's history. The collection dates from 1670 and includes books, manuscripts, maps and images. The South Carolina Historical Society will be open to visitors and will feature a small exhibit on "Women in South Carolina" as well as tours of the historic Fireproof Building held at the top of each hour. Extended hours are Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sunday 2pm - 5pm.
Gibbes Museum of Art - 135 Meeting Street
Experience Charleston's history through art! Explore stories of the Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photographs and more. Families can enjoy Community Day with hands-on activities, museum tours and special performances from 10am - 1pm on Saturday. Docent-led tours of the museum will be offered at 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Old Slave Mart Museum - 6 Chalmers Street
The Museum's exhibits focus on this domestic slave trade from the perspectives of historically-documented buyers, traders and enslaved African Americans, and speak to their stories, contributions and legacies.
Heyward-Washington House - 87 Church Street
Built in 1772, "Charleston's Revolutionary War House" was the townhome of Thomas Heyward, Jr., Revolutionary War patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence. In addition to regular house tours, special culinary focus tours are offered both Saturday (11:00, 4:00) and Sunday (4:00) at the Heyward-Washington House.
Nathaniel Russell House - 51 Meeting Street
Visitors have admired the grand Federal style townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell since its completion in 1808.
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon - 122 East Bay Street
Completed in 1771 as the New Exchange and Custom House, visitors can explore Charleston's colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War past while retracing the steps of presidents, patriots and pirates!