Downtown Museum Closed 9/4 to Prepare for Move

Downtown Museum Closed 9/4 to Prepare for Move
Hayward Area Historical Society is preparing for an historic change!

Hayward Area Historical Society is preparing for an historic change. Their longtime home at the corner of C and Main Streets will be closing on September 4 so they may prepare for their upcoming move to a new location. The organization has purchased the old Joseph Magnin’s Department Store building on Foothill Boulevard between Russell Way and San Lorenzo Creek. The building has been vacant for over two years. HAHS plans to occupy the north end of the building and lease out the remaining areas.

The Hayward Area Historical Society has been collecting and preserving the community's history, and providing experiences for students and visitors to connect with the past since 1957. HAHS preserves and interprets the history of San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Ashland, Fairview, Mt. Eden, Russell City and Hayward. The Society recognized long ago that a larger facility would eventually be necessary to house the growing collection, having filled up every nook and cranny of the old Eggert building. Space for people was becoming a problem, too. Visitors attending popular programs and events often experienced standing room only conditions.

In the new museum the Society is planning to create an exciting and innovative destination that will further contribute to the cultural life of the Hayward area. Plans include a larger Research Center to accommodate a greater number of users, an expanded children’s area, and of course more collections on display in a much larger exhibit gallery. A large temporary exhibit gallery will feature new and traveling exhibitions, and a special event space will be used for a variety of programs and events that examine and celebrate the diverse heritage and culture of the Hayward area. There will be plenty of free parking available in the large lighted parking lot on the building’s east side.

While the downtown location may be closing on September 4, there will still be a variety of HAHS programs going on at other sites. This October HAHS will once again mount a spectacular Days of the Dead exhibit at Meek Mansion in partnership with the East Bay Art Collaborative and HARD. The historic McConaghy House on Hesperian Boulevard is open on weekends from 1 to 4 PM for tours, and special children’s programming on Saturdays starting at 10 AM. Some merchandise from the Downtown Museum store will be available at the McConaghy House gift boutique. And teachers may still check out a traveling history trunk for their classrooms, or request a HAHS educator to come to their school.

Executive Director Myron Freedman says HAHS has been working with Oakland-based architectural firm Gyroscope to develop plans for the new museum. The firm specializes in museum planning. Renovation will happen in phases, but Freedman reports that HAHS plans to reopen in 2012 with new exhibits.