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Observatory reaches capital campaign goal for ’Extreme Mount Washington’ summit museum

CONWAY — Mount Washington Observatory has announced the successful completion of its capital campaign to build "Extreme Mount Washington," a high-tech, educational experience on the summit of Mount Washington.

The non-profit scientific research and educational institution has been planning and fund-raising for the complete renovation of its mountaintop museum since 2010, and the fully re-imagined attraction is expected to provide the most significant improvement to the summit visitor experience in decades.

“We are thrilled to have crossed the finish line on this exciting project,” says Mount Washington Observatory executive director Scot Henley. “As the most visited museum in the state of New Hampshire, our mountaintop museum is such an important public face of our institution and a key interpretive experience for visitors to Mount Washington State Park. The new educational experience will share the science and excitement of this incredible place to guests of all ages in a modern, interactive format. It will be a showpiece for Mount Washington Observatory, Mount Washington State Park, and the greater White Mountains region.”

Nearly $1 million has been raised for the project through the generous support of more than 400 foundations, corporations, and individual Mount Washington Observatory members, donors and fans from across the country.

“As a non-profit institution, a project of this scale simply would not be possible without the support of our donors and the foundations who believe in our mission,” noted Henley. “On behalf of the staff and trustees of Mount Washington Observatory, we thank each and every person who contributed to Extreme Mount Washington. This project will be a lasting tribute to your support for Mount Washington and the observatory.”

The observatory extends a special thanks to the Gladys Brooks Foundation, the Putnam Foundation, Public Service of New Hampshire and the Northeast Utilities Foundation, Jane's Trust, and the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for their extraordinary generosity.

Replacing the observatory’s 40-year-old Mount Washington Museum, Extreme Mount Washington will deliver the awe and wonder of a Mount Washington winter — the mountain's most extreme season that only a small handful of the peak's 250,000 annual visitors get to witness. Through hands-on, high-tech exhibits, Extreme Mount Washington will present a compelling sampling of the "World's Worst Weather" to summer visitors from all over the world.

Designed by Jeff Kennedy Associates of Somerville, Mass., the new museum will feature a user-controlled flat-panel display showing “clear day” views from the summit in all seasons, an interactive snowcat simulator, a recreation of the 1930s observatory including the anemometer used to record the famous 231mph wind, a special display on rime ice and more.

The Mount Washington Museum was closed in September, 2013 and the space has been completely gutted and reconfigured in preparation for the new exhibits. All exhibit components are being constructed at an offsite facility this winter, and will be transported to the summit for installation as soon as the Mt. Washington Auto Road opens this spring. A ribbon cutting event is being planned for early June, 2014.

More information about Extreme Mount Washington, including a comprehensive master plan, renovation photos and a special preview of the new exhibits, may be found on Extreme.MountWashington.org.

About Mount Washington

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate. Since 1932, the observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

 

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