International Museum of Surgical Science

The International Museum of Surgical Science is dedicated to enhancing an understanding of the history, development of, and advances in, surgery. It is the only museum in North America covering such subject matter. I wanted to visit for many reasons. Not only because of my current role, but also, because I’m genuinely interested in the history of surgery – except for when it becomes a little too gory. Continue reading “International Museum of Surgical Science”

American Writers Museum

Greetings from Chicago where it is currently 1°C and snowing! Definitely a change from the desert heat of Las Vegas. Due to the weather, we decided that visiting a museum would be wise. The American Writers Museum, located on Michigan Avenue, is dedicated to celebrating the influence of American writers on American history, culture, and identity. Continue reading “American Writers Museum”

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village

I literally have no idea where to even start with this review. I’ve been wanting to visit The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for years. So much so, that we diverted our holiday for two days purely so I could visit. The Museum and Village are filled to the absolute brim with iconic objects and buildings, displaying everything from President Kennedy’s Lincoln to the Wright Brothers entire bicycle shop. I am going to divide this post into the Museum and the Village. Happy reading. Continue reading “The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village”

The Neon Museum

I have always had a great interest in the history of Las Vegas. In particular, the development of ‘The Strip’ and the stories of those who contributed to its highs and lows. If you are in Vegas and looking to learn about this history then pay a visit to The Neon Museum. According to their Statement of Purpose, The Neon Museum is dedicated to “collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment.” By the end of this post, you’ll hopefully see how they’ve managed to successfully achieve this goal. Continue reading “The Neon Museum”

The Mob Museum

If you ever find yourself in Vegas needing a break from the intensity of it all, The Mob Museum (National Museum of Organised Crime and Law Enforcement) is a must. Located in Downtown Las Vegas, the building originally housed the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. Construction began in 1931 and finished in 1933. Today, the building is registered on both the Nevada and National Register of Historic Places.

It was built to accommodate federal officials who were looking for a home before the Hoover Dam opened. As the only federal judge in Nevada was based at Carson City, 400 miles from Las Vegas, judges would visit from Los Angeles and San Francisco twice a year. In 1945, Vegas finally had a full time judge. Flash forward to 1950 and the courthouse held one of the Kefauver Committee hearings. This was a special investigation into organised crime led by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. The outcome of these hearings was that the underbelly of crime in America was finally exposed, especially in places such as Las Vegas and Chicago. Continue reading “The Mob Museum”

Kualoa Private Nature Reserve

Kualoa Private Nature Reserve is located on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i. On 16 October 1974, it was inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its political and religious significance. Today, the Reserve offers a diverse array of tourist experiences. Considering the location has been used for quite a few Hollywood films, it does attract a lot of tourism. To help manage the negative environemntal impacts caused by high tourist numbers, it was great to hear that the Reserve is engaged with multiple cultural and community sustainability initiatives. For example, there is a conservation program that sees volunteers remove invasive plant and fish species from their 800 year old ancient Hawaiian Moli`i fishpond. There is also a guarantee in place that there will be no property development on the site. Continue reading “Kualoa Private Nature Reserve”

Santa Monica Pier

Although it has been just over a month since returning from America, I still have a couple of blog posts to write. The first is all about Santa Monica Pier. I had to spend quite a bit of time researching its heritage status. From what I’ve discovered, the Pier itself and its historic entrance sign are yet to be registered on the National Register or California Heritage Register. They have, however, been acknowledged by the Santa Monica Conservancy and appear on the City of Santa Monica Historic Resources Inventory as Santa Monica Historic Landmarks. Continue reading “Santa Monica Pier”

Iolani Palace

On our final day in Honolulu we visisted the stunning Ioalni Palace located in the Capitol District near Downtown Honolulu. The palace was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua and served as home for the last reigning monarchs of Hawai’i. In 1962, the palace was registered as a National Historic Landmark and is the only royal residence in the United States.  Visiting both the Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace truly allowed us to gain a much deeper understanding of Hawai’i, its culture and its history. Continue reading “Iolani Palace”

Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

As well as swimming at Waikiki Beach and enjoying the amazing food, I really wanted to visit a couple of museums and heritage places in Honolulu. The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum (aka Bishop Museum) is the State Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Primarily, I wanted to visit to learn a bit more about the history of Hawaii. In particular, how it became a state of America. This post is going to cover both a temporary exhibition currently on display titled Unreal: Hawai’i in Popular Imagination and highlights from the Bishop Museum’s permanent collection. Continue reading “Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum”