August 15, 2016

The Museum Project

Group Of Young Children Hanging Out In Park

Palo Alto needs a history museum, because it will:

·   Build empathy within our diverse community and nourish pride and civic engagement.

·   Provide community gathering and meeting spaces where everyone feels welcome.

·   Professionally preserve and interpret historical treasures like the City archives, for little public money.

·   Tell Palo Alto’s incredible stories in a modern Museum that will inspire this, and future, generations.

We're making progress on the challenge from the City of Palo Alto to raise $ 1.75M by November 30 - but we need your help to complete that goal!

We had an extremely successful session with City Council on December 11. Our progress report was well-received and several community members, including our County Supervisor, Joe Simitian, wrote and spoke on behalf of a Museum to preserve our heritage. After a very constructive discussion, Council unanimously approved our request for an extension to the lease option for the Roth Building through November 30, 2018.

In addition, Council offered new and creative incentives:

  • A challenge grant of over $665,000 in historic preservation funds will be added to the project provided we raise at least $1.75 million by November 30.
  • Time and expertise: council members will work directly with our board to assist in fundraising.

These are tremendous gestures of real support, and we are grateful.

Our next goal is to raise $1.75 million by November 30. Once met, Council will release the challenge funds, discuss the sale of additional preservation funds to benefit the rehabilitation, and they will continue the lease option.

We will need your help to maintain our option to rehabilitate and preserve an extraordinary historic building—and achieve our goal to create a well-deserved history museum for the Palo Alto-Stanford community.

We deeply appreciate all our donors, and commend City Council for the creativity they have extended to preserve and share the history of our community.

But it is YOUR support and gifts that will make this possible. If you can give or make a no-risk pledge, please do so to help us meet this challenge by November 30.

GIVE NOW AND DOUBLE YOUR GIFT! Thanks to a gift from the Hewlett Foundation, we can DOUBLE your gift made by Nov. 30, 2018.

NOT READY TO DONATE – BUT WANT TO MEET THE GOAL? Make a PLEDGE for a future gift, which counts toward the goal but is not collected until the goal is met. Download the pledge form HERE.

Serious fundraising for the Museum project by community volunteers began about 10 years ago, when rehabilitation costs were estimated at $6-7M. By 2014, construction costs had risen, and costs to install and operate a state-of-the-art museum were added, raising the goal to $20M. Over that decade, thanks to donors like you, we’ve raised close to $10M, some of which has already been invested in architect, City and consulting fees, exhibit planning, fundraising, staff and operations.

1. Rehabilitating the Roth Building for $9.2M,

2. Installing a Museum (exhibits, archives, education room, collections, meeting rooms and public spaces) for $8.8M and

3. Ensuring we have $2M to operate the Museum at a high standard. That adds up to $20M.

Focusing on the rehabilitation, we have $5.7M of the $9.2M needed to complete the Roth construction project, leaving a $3.5M gap. City Council has challenged us to raise half that gap by November 30, 2018.