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The Hidden Costs of Museums

National  + Weekender  | 

Some people love museums, and others find no use for them. But, when it comes to neighborhoods and planning, the concept isn’t always so black and white. In 2014, there were 35,000 museums in the United States, double the amount that existed in 1990, and as museums continue to appear, some neighborhoods are fighting back.

While most people consider the cultural and artistic-laden real estate to be an improvement to a neighborhood, they still cause traffic congestion and noise. Earlier this year, a plan for a museum at Patriot Park, a 350-acre park in Mount Pleasant, SC, was rejected because it exceeded the 50-foot height limit by 75 feet. While the designs were updated for a shorter, but wider building, the community continues to deliver backlash because they argue the design doesn’t fit the coastal city, and they want to keep a “small town” feeling.

Other museums, like George Lucas’ Star Wars museum, which finally found a home in Los Angeles, also faced hardship in being accepted. It was turned down by San Francisco and Chicago, before finally finding a home in L.A.’s Exposition Park.  Ground was broken in March.


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