Innovation Lab Unfreezes History and Embraces Dynamism

Innovation Lab Unfreezes History and Embraces Dynamism

Hotel de Paris Museum™’s affiliation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation is helping build a preservation movement.

As a site of the National Trust, I recently participated in a cross-divisional meeting of the Trust’s senior staff. HdPM has a seat at the table when it comes to discussions about how to integrate the Trust’s historic sites into the overall work of the Trust.

Hotel de Paris Museum™ is involved in a project known as “Innovation Lab,” which is working to re-imagine historic sites by probing deeper into the topic of sites integration into the Trust and its efforts to make the organization ten times more effective.  The work Hotel de Paris Museum™ and the National Trust are engaged in is, in the words of Executive Vice President and Chief Preservation Officer David J. Brown, “… thoughtful, forward looking, serious in tone, yet reflective of our values of collaboration and innovation with the goal of making a difference.”

Over the last couple of years, HdPM has worked to unfreeze history and embrace its dynamism.  Instead of being stagnate, we are accentuating multiple points of view to tell a wider range of stories that reflect the diversity of American history.  We believe this layered approach creates a larger audience for the museum and broadens our base of support.

The removal of physical barriers, development of secondary stories, distribution of information beyond our “period of significance,” and participation of our visitors in the tour experience have all begun to change the traditional house museum model found at HdPM just a few years ago.  Our tours are more vibrant and engage the senses beyond sight, to include sound, touch, and sentiment.

Hotel de Paris Museum™ is an ideal stage for the Innovation Lab.  Our small size allows us to be nimble and move forward with strategic ideas.  This shift in preservation thoughts and practices, and implementation of “active engagement” has been well-received by the public and is increasing HdPM’s on-site visitation, on-line visitation, museum shop sales, and donations.

For more information about Innovation Lab, go to

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