Depending on how you look at it, this could either be a gold mine or recipe for disaster. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the city of Boston, and the company Historic Tours of America have announced a joint plan to re-open the Tea Party Ships & Museum (pdf) near where the original tea-dumping, British-angering event took place lo those many years ago. The three groups will come together to help raise the $25 million needed to build a new home for the museum and get it up and running by the currently-projected first half of 2012. While it’s sure to be a tourist draw in general, reading between the lines, we think the groups must also hope thisTea Party activist movement sticks around for a few years so they can bring in even more visitors (or at least good for the museum’s officials for having the opportunity to cash in). On the other side, if you’re someone who aligns themselves more closely to New York’s Mayor Bloomberg who sees the movement as merely a fad, then maybe building a new museum just in hopes of capturing extra visitors who have vaguely align themselves to its origins isn’t the best bet, given how difficult the museum industry has fared over the past couple of years. Furthermore, the previous museum burnt down in 2001. When they started rebuilding it, it burnt down again in 2006, so it also has a track record of being attractive to fire. Here’s a description:
The new Tea Party Ships & Museum will be themed around the historic event, which took place nearby at what is today 470 Atlantic Avenue on Dec. 16, 1773, when colonists protested after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain. Rather than let the tea be unloaded, a group of colonists loosely disguised as Mohawk Indians boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor. The incident was the colony’s first organized act of insurrection and remains an iconic event of American history, beginning a series of escalating protests that led to the start of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. The new site will include a chance for visitors to re-enact the protest. It will also include a tavern and a tea room that will be accessible to the general public, as well as a restaurant that can be used as event space.