City Council approves Children’s Museum Lock 3 residency unanimously
— Akron Children’s Museum received support from Mayor Dan Horrigan and unanimous approval from Akron City Council to locate its home officially at Lock 3.
Nearly 10,000 children, parents, grandparents and tourists packed the Akron Children’s Museum Pop-Up Site at Lock 3 presented by PNC, during the winter months of 2015-2016.
“The Akron Children’s Museum serves as one of many initiatives that support efforts to create a vibrant downtown with affordable family-friendly attractions for residents, while also creating vibrant places and spaces that are inclusive,” says Mayor Horrigan.
“Akron Children’s Museum has been fortunate to find passionate, early supporters. The Summit County Historical Society wrote itself into our history by allowing us to demonstrate our value with the Pop-Up Site this season,” commented Ryan Hartschuh.
“The Pop-Up Site at Lock 3 exceeded all of our expectations. We knew parents wanted a place like this in Akron to bring their children, and their overwhelming support through attendance and positive feedback confirmed exactly that,” added Hartschuh.
With their inaugural months under their belt, Museum founders Betsy and Ryan Hartschuh are excited for what the future holds. The Akron Children’s Museum will spend the next few months renovating the space at Lock 3 and will explore options with the city of Akron to expand their offerings. Plans are also under way to open the Museum full-time this summer. During renovations, Akron Children’s Museum is offering some limited programming for kids.
“We’re excited about the community’s support and enthusiasm for the Museum. Our goal remains the same – create a dynamic, inspiring place for kids 12 and under to learn through play in environments built just for them,” Betsy Hartschuh states.
The location at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron turned out to be a contributing factor to the Museum’s success. “Lock 3 has so much to offer families and continues to be a downtown destination year-round. Making Lock 3 the future home of Akron Children’s Museum makes sense for the city and for our community,” Hartschuh added.
Akron’s Lock 3 and Downtown Operations Manager Tish Jernigan agreed that the partnership was a success. “The city of Akron, Lock 3, enjoyed partnering with the Akron Children’s Museum this winter season. We look forward to collaborating with them as they continue to grow.”
Dave Lieberth, chairman of the Summit County Historical Society, said, “the Society has been privileged to welcome a quarter of a million visitors to the Akron History exhibit at Lock 3 over the last 13 seasons. We’re equally privileged to turn over the space at Lock 3 to the Akron Children’s Museum, which has proven its success as a destination for families seeking affordable and educational fun for their children. It is a great addition to the Lock 3 venue.”
For more information about their programming, and to follow the progress of the Museum, visit AkronKids.org, or Facebook.com/akronchildrensmuseum.