Behind the Scenes Building Tour

April 6, 2020


We recently asked for suggestions for online content to share with our followers and museum supporters. One of the main things people requested is a tour of the Polly Rosenbaum building showing where we are at now. As you can imagine, a lot has changed since the AZ Mining and Mineral Museum closed in 2011 (see a history of the legislation here). While the building is still mostly vacant, we have accomplished many things in the past few years, including several building improvements and the 'big' move of the mineral collection from storage back into our building last fall. Organization has been a priority throughout this whole process and the Monday Crew volunteers have assisted with much of the heavy lifting by moving file cabinets, sorting boxes, and hauling furniture. Over the winter months, volunteer Bill Y. dedicated countless hours to sorting gift shop material and reboxing delicate collection items. Since we don't yet have a full staff roster, we are lucky to have Bill and other Monday Crew members willing to help us keep things moving!


The building is a work in progress, and we have a long way to go, but we are moving forward and want to stay transparent through this whole process. Check out our photos below and let us know your vision for the museum. 


Enter through our front door on Washington Street. This area once hosted the front desk and gift shop.
Directly west of the gift shop area is the Copper Gallery, which we used to host the public at our first event in October. Over the winter we moved several cases from the Flandrau on UA campus to the Copper Gallery where we plan to set up some temporary mineral exhibits. Thank you Flandrau for donating them! What kinds of mineral displays would you like to see here?
Here is a view of the main gallery floor, taken from the SE corner of the mezzanine level. It is mostly used for storage at this time, but we plan to build out a full exhibit space. Lots of potential here!
Another view of the gallery from the NW corner mezzanine.
A glimpse of our current secure collection space, which houses minerals stored in boxes and flats. Thanks to volunteer Bill Y. for helping move and organize these items.
Gift shop storage!
Let's check out the staircase. This was the main way that visitors accessed the mezzanine level.
And here's the view from the mezzanine, which wraps around the gallery floor. The mezzanine was an addition during the 1991 renovation that prepared the museum to house the Mining and Mineral Museum. The area used to host mining-related exhibits and provide access to ADMMR offices. Do you have any ideas about how we can use the mezzanine level in the new museum?
Heading outside for our last feature: the mining mural on the north wall of the building, at the corner of 15th Ave. and Adams St. The mural features a haul truck and people (mostly to scale!) and was painted in 2002 by local artist Bonnie Mostert Lewis.

We hope you enjoyed this insider tour of our building - we see nothing but potential for the future. What about you? Don't hesitate to contact us with your comments, questions, and visions for the museum - all ideas welcome!