We are pleased to announce that the Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center Museum will be moving from Worcester to Chicopee, Massachusetts. This move to the Pioneer Valley represents the next step in the growth and development of the FDR Center Museum for a number of very important reasons. First, the people of Chicopee and the surrounding communities, as evidenced by the positive press coverage and local citizen reactions, have been entirely welcoming of our move to the Pioneer Valley. Second, the Mayor of Chicopee, Michael D. Bissonnette, is a forward thinking person of great vision who understands and appreciates the grand legacies of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the New Deal. As Mayor Bissonnette stated in a newspaper article published on May 12, 2007 in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette regarding a possible move to Chicopee: “We would love to have the FDR museum in Chicopee. This is FDR’s kind of town. It’s a blue-collar town with a lot of senior citizens who raised their kids on the back of the New Deal.” The new space identified to house the large FDR Center Museum collection is significantly larger than our present Worcester space, with much greater potential for further development in the future than our present museum setting in Worcester. Third, the FDR Center Museum will become an active partner with Elms College in the establishment of a Roosevelt Public Policy Institute to teach students about the New Deal legacy, provide students with internships and other learning opportunities through the FDR Center Museum, and formulate and promote public policies based upon the principles of the New Deal. The President of Elms College, Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr. is also a person of tremendous vision who will actively partner with the FDR Center Museum for the benefit of students and faculty of Elms College, as well as the greater Chicopee community. In short, the move of the FDR Center Museum to Chicopee will bring with it an active partnership with the Chicopee community and Elms College, providing for exciting possibilities not possible in our present environment in Worcester.
To that end, the FDR Center Museum will be working in active partnership with the city of Chicopee and Elms College to have our grand reopening in the original historic and classically designed Chicopee Public Library building in Market Square in downtown Chicopee, adjacent to Chicopee City Hall and less than a half mile on the same road from the campus of Elms College. The Chicopee Public Library building, originally opened in 1913, the year Franklin D. Roosevelt assumed the duties of Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Woodrow Wilson Administration, is an ideal setting for the rebirth of the FDR Center Museum. The FDR Center Museum will be a centerpiece of downtown Chicopee cultural offerings to school children, college students, parents, senior citizens, tourists, and everyone else interested in the history and culture of the Greatest Generation who fought the Great Depression and World War II. Our goal is to re-dedicate the FDR Center Museum on March 4, 2008, the seventy fifth anniversary of the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States on March 4, 1933!
The FDR Center Museum will be closing its doors in Union Station in Worcester by June 16, 2007. During the summer and fall of 2007 and early 2008 as we prepare our new FDR Center Museum space in Market Square, special museum collections will be on display to the public through the Chicopee and Elms College library systems, and unique programs and events will also be offered in preparation for the grand re-dedication of the FDR Center Museum in Chicopee. Further information and announcements will be forthcoming in the next several weeks. President Roosevelt once wrote that “the only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” The move of the FDR Center Museum from Worcester to Chicopee is a realization of these visionary words written by President Roosevelt as World War II was coming to an end in 1945. We now move forward with strong and active faith.
Very truly yours,
Dr. Joseph J. Plaud
President and Founder
Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center Museum
FDR Center Museum Website: www.fdrheritage.org
The clasically designed original Chicopee Public Library
In conjunction with the move to Chicopee of the FDR Center Museum, we are also pleased to announce the formation of the…
“Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 27, 1936