A Proposed use of future space located in the Wakefield Building
OVERALL SIZE SPECIFICATIONS
Overall Approximately Square Footage
40’ X 70’ OR 2,800 square feet
NOTE: There is no outside land or property with the building other than an
approximate 5’ space from the outside walls of the structure to the
Approximate Floor Space
Main level: 36’ X 66’ (2,376 square feet)
Upper level: 36’ X 66’ (2,376 square feet)
Approximate height (floor to ceiling)
12’ height on main level
9’ height on upper level
USE OF SPACE – MAIN LEVEL
COCA COLA SODA FOUNTAIN DISPLAY/COUNTER OPERATION
1) A major component of this new museum facility will be to reconstruct a working soda fountain area perpendicular to the south wall near the right front of the store. The goal is to establish a seating area of period fountain, booths, tables and chairs near the right front of the store. This 1930’s-1950’s style soda shop will be built using period fountains and other equipment in order to operate this feature of the Museum as an attraction designed to both draw residents and visitors into the building to relive what, hopefully, was a fondly remembered element of an earlier, more prosperous and exciting time in both their life and the life of America and its people. Visitors will be able to purchase Coke, ice cream and other products at the fountain. The rationale for introducing this concept is designed to identify Coca Cola Bottling as a major early economic investor of the region. It is desired that, hopefully, the Museum will be able to utilize some of the equipment made available through artifacts owned by the Carver family to outfit this soda fountain operation.
2) Create an exhibit related to the Coca Cola Bottling Company and the Northern Neck Ginger Ale, demonstrating their role and importance to the to the town, county and region will be incorporated in the Soda Fountain area.
3) Staff or volunteers will work in this area to welcome visitors into the museum and to sell products at the counter. This individual, as possible, will provide visitors with information and assistance on:
How to tour the facility
General historical information as required
General travel information
Purchasing from the fountain area or general store
GENERAL STORE DISPLAY/MUSEUM STORE AREA
1) Create up an area along the north wall to replicate a general store from the 1920’s-1930’s. this would include fixtures and display materials found in a period store. Part of this display will exhibit the history of general stores both from the time period and Westmoreland County. It will include the history of this particular building and the important role general stores had in the communities that they served.
2) Establish a museum store area within the General Store Display to sell various store merchandise both related to the Museum and its mission and similar products that would have been found in a general store from this period.
3) Create an interactive area for school children and others can “relive” and participate
in the type of activities that would have taken place in an early store environment.
POST OFFICE DISPLAY/VISITOR INFORMATION
1) Establish along the northern wall a replication of a section of an early Post Office that might have been found within a 1920’s-1930’s general store. This would include an enclosed area where the Postmaster would have worked, rows of post boxes and a small area outside where patrons would have gathered and discussed the news of the day.
2) Create a county visitors’ information area that will be integrated to flow effectively within the Post Office Display and provide travel and regional tourism information to visitors and travelers to Westmoreland County.
3) Create an interactive exhibit area that will provide children and others the opportunity to understand the importance of early post offices to the social and political structure of rural communities.
PORTRAIT GALLERY (TEMPORARY)
The rear portion of the south wall and the east or rear wall will be used to temporarily display the 12 portraits currently hanging in main Museum. These will be displayed along with cases containing artifacts and other memorabilia related to each of the historical individuals depicted in the portraits. The Peale portrait will continue to hang in the Washington Room as there is the precedent of the building being constructed for that portrait and the large Lee portrait will also continue to hang in the current exhibit room of the main Museum which identified as the Lee Room.
The temporary gallery area will take up most of the remaining space that will be set up as a 1200 sq. ft. multi-purpose room on the main level of the new facility as it would occupy the central part of the main level behind the General Store, Post Office and Soda Fountain Areas. This area would be established for meeting space, workshop and other community activities as well as space to exhibit small temporary exhibits brought in on loan from other museums or created independently by the staff of the Westmoreland County Museum.
USE OF SPACE – UPPER LEVEL
Currently the space on the upper level would not be available for public use as it is not handicap accessible. A side door currently is situated near the rear of the south wall. This door assembly was constructed after the conversion from an automobile facility to a drug store and led to the upper level which was and is currently sub-divided into a series of smaller rooms from use as living quarters. At some future date it would be desirable to convert a part of an existing large open area of the upper level for classroom or multi-purpose space that could potentially be used for school groups, workshops, small lecture or meeting space and other similar type of museum or community use or activity. The space could be dedicated for use a library for either the Museum or the NNVHS. Finally, this space could potentially be used to introduce the history of the region and its people that would be exhibited as described in the paragraph below.
There currently exist several smaller rooms that would make ideal “single subject” exhibit rooms where visitors could progress from one room to the next and be totally immersed in a single topic in each room. Some examples could be as follow:
A timeline on the history of the county and its diverse ethnic and cultural groups
A pictorial and artifact history of regional churches, education and other social interaction
A pictorial and artifact history related to the important regional industries including agriculture or farming, the lumber trade and fishing and the lives of regional watermen.
A pictorial and artifact history of important or key county and/or regional residents or cultures that have lived or existed in Westmoreland or neighboring Northern Neck counties over the past four hundred plus years
Rotating or temporary exhibits and pictorial displays
Renovation of one or more of the original rooms as they might have appeared when the Smallwood family moved there in the early 1930’s
These remaining room spaces could be potentially used as storage, office and work space or a smaller and more specific library/research area.