New look for Mount Washington Museum - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

New look for Mount Washington Museum

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SARGENT'S PURCHASE, N.H. -

"This is the most meaningful project that the Mount Washington Observatory has seen in decades," said Scot Henley, the executive director at the observatory.

Henley is excited about the impending overhaul of the Mount Washington Museum.

"It's gonna be a giant leap forward for the Mount Washington visitor experience," Henley said.

Already, the museum attracts more than 100,000 visitors every year.

"Believe or not this is New Hampshire's most visited museum," Henley said. "And we're only open five months out of the year."

The renovation, to be finished next spring, will completely alter the feel of the museum at the top of the mountain. The museum has been around for a few decades, so some of the exhibits are pretty traditional. But that's going to be changing soon.

"It's time to move the museum into this century and provide a really high-tech, interactive experience," Henley said.

The new museum, which will be called Extreme Mount Washington, will give visitors a taste of winter on the mountain.

"They'll be a simulator where people can sit behind the wheel of a snow cat and pilot our machine up the Mount Washington Auto Road," Henley said.

Another exhibit will feature time-lapse videography of rime ice, a feathery substance that forms when fog encounters subfreezing temperatures.

Henley tells us some of the current themes will still be left intact.

"Some of the key messages from today's museum will be carried into the new space, as well," Henley said.

The exhibits will be built off site, and then trucked up the Mount Washington Auto Road next spring. With a price tag of $825,000, the new museum isn't cheap, but most of the money has already been raised.

"We've been working hard on fundraising," Henley said. "We've gotten to the point where we're at $720,000."

Henley knows all of the hard work will be worth it.

"It's a very visible face of the Mount Washington Observatory and it's definitely in need of an upgrade," he said.

If you use the Mount Washington Auto Road, museum admission is free.

Click here for more information on Extreme Mount Washington.

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