Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center

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Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Building Photo.jpg
Established 2008
Location Ft. Collins, Colorado
Type Local History and Science
Director Cheryl Donaldson
Executive Co-Director
Annettee Geiselman,
Executive Co-Director
Curator Linda Moore,
Curator of Collections
Treloar Bower,
Curator of Education
Website Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a partnership of two educational institutions that merged in 2008 to create a combined science and cultural resource for Fort Collins and northern Colorado.


Fort Collins Museum[edit]

The Fort Collins Museum began as the Pioneer Museum in 1941 with the help of the Indian Relic Hobby Club, the Pioneer Association, and the Daughters of Colorado Pioneers. Operated by the City of Fort Collins, the Museum's first curator was Clyde Brown, a member of the Indian Relic Hobby Club and a Fort Collins native. In 1976, the Pioneer Museum relocated into the old Carnegie Library building and became the Fort Collins Museum. The Museum has evolved into a regional center focusing on area history and culture.

The Fort Collins Museum's collection totals over 30,000 artifacts, including a significant collection of Folsom materials from the Lindenmeier Archaeological Site north of Fort Collins, agricultural implements, household necessities, paintings, and clothing, reflecting the diversity and values of the peoples of the Cache La Poudre River Valley. Multiple galleries feature temporary and permanent exhibitions, and four historic structures – three cabins and a schoolhouse – reside in the outdoor Heritage Courtyard, including "Auntie" Stone's cabin, the oldest cabin in the Fort Collins area. The Museum also offers a variety of on-going programs and educational opportunities and is home to the Local History Archive.

Discovery Science Center[edit]

Discovery Science Center was founded in 1989 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to provide enjoyable, hands-on explorations in science and technology for the region. Discovery Science Center houses more than 120 interactive exhibits designed to engage learners of all ages, offers an array of planetarium shows, overnight camp-ins, and classes, and makes these resources highly accessible by providing scholarships and free family memberships to qualified participants.

Discovery Science Center fosters science literacy among the community’s school aged children by providing challenging, enriching opportunities in hands-on science education, helping ensure that they develop a passion for lifelong learning. Since 1993, Discovery Science Center has also hosted the Poudre School District’s annual Science Fair.


In 2005, Fort Collins voters passed a “Building on Basics” tax package,[1] which approved and provided funding for the merger of the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center. Since then, the two institutions have been focused on planning, developing, and establishing a public-private partnership that will bring together these two cornerstone cultural organizations. At the core of the planning process is the museums’ partnership promise: to deliver an exceptional visitor experience while fulfilling the mission of each museum. Designed with a seamless experience as the goal, visitors will explore and engage in exhibits and programs that unite science and culture in unique and thought-provoking ways.

Future plans for the partnership include building a new 47,000 square foot jointly owned and operated facility, to open in 2012, that will provide hands-on explorations in science and technology and house both historical and scientifically themed exhibits relevant to Fort Collins and the northern Colorado area. The City of Fort Collins will contribute land it currently owns – at the intersection of Mason and Cherry streets – near Old Town Fort Collins and the Poudre River – for the construction of this state-of-the-art joint facility.

On May 30, 2009, Discovery Science Center closed its former location at 703 E. Prospect Road in Fort Collins and re-opened on June 30 in the Fort Collins Museum building, at 200 Mathews Street.

On October 30, 2011, the Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center closed to the public to begin the moving process to the new museum facility at 408 Mason Court. The museum will re-open to the public in 2012 as the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, which will feature 16,000 square feet of permanent and changing gallery space, two fully outfitted classrooms, an expanded Local History Archive, a small cafe, and a digital dome theater.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′06″N 105°04′25″W / 40.5849°N 105.0737°W / 40.5849; -105.0737