Macon’s new Tubman museum set to open next spring

jkovac@macon.comApril 10, 2014 

  • A 6000 pound air conditioner chiller is lifted onto the roof of the future Tubman African American Museum on Cherry Street Thursday.

The new home of the Tubman African American Museum, whose towering, sharp-angled shell had languished at the foot of Cherry Street for much of the past decade, is expected to open next spring.

At a Thursday tour to show off the 49,000-square-foot building’s under construction interior, the Macon museum’s executive director gazed up at the domed roof.

“We think that this building has the potential to be the kind of center and anchor ... of downtown,” Andy Ambrose said.

“This new facility is gonna have a tremendous impact in the community and in downtown. We think it’s gonna help reshape and really bring new energy to portions of downtown.”

The museum’s focal point rotunda is cavernous, cathedral-like.

Its steepled rooftop, at its peak, rises 84 feet above the floor, which makes it, by design, a foot taller than the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame across the street.

“I call it the gateway to the community,” Tom Sands, chairman of the museum’s board, said. “We want it to have great curb appeal.”

The terrazzo-floored museum, along with its historical and educational role, will play host to dance performances, reunions and weddings, officials said.

According to a news release, it will also feature an exhibit “on the history, legacy and impact of African American music and musicians from Macon” -- the works of Otis Redding and Little Richard in particular.

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