JFK Hyannis Museum Celebrates 25th Anniversary, Announces Future Plans

HYANNIS – A celebration was held Tuesday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum.

The museum, which preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family and their connection to Cape Cod, opened in July of 1992 and has welcomed 1.5 million visitors from around the world.

Museum staff and board members, Town Manager Mark Ells and State Senator Julian Cyr spoke about the importance of the museum and provided their own memories of previous visits.

Executive Director of the museum John Allen said it has been rewarding to listen to the comments of visitors on the museum floor and feel their emotions.

“The reality of inspiration that he represented is still very fresh. The whole focus on public service – people talk about that,” Allen said. “And I think they look for that sense of hope, too.”

The museum was founded by Rebecca Pierce Merrick, who still serves as curator, and current Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross.

“One of the reasons that we founded the museum, of course, is that visitors wanted something more,” Pierce Merrick said. “When they came to Hyannis and the Cape they really were looking for some way to connect to the Kennedy family.”

Pierce Merrick said the support of the late Senator Edward Kennedy was very important for the success of the museum.

“Senator Kennedy was here with us from day one,” she said. “We worked closely together so that always from the beginning through today, with the continuing wonderful relationship with the Kennedy family, that our story includes the Cape, and is so important, but it also is always very respectful and appropriate and something we can all be proud of.”

The museum had more than 37,000 visitors in its first three months after opening. Interest remains as more than 30,000 have visited so far in 2017.

The museum’s board members unveiled an alternate logo for the museum signifying the 25th anniversary.

Along with looking at the past and present of the Main Street Hyannis museum, officials also made an announcement regarding its future.

Allen announced a planned renovation of the museum’s lower level after receiving a $100,000 donation from the Scudder Family, the owners of Hy-Line Cruises.

The funds will be used to help upgrade the downstairs with an auditorium/media room and community room, which will be named “The Scudder Family Community Room.”

“I was so impressed with the work that is being done here and has been done for the past several years,” said Philip Scudder, the VP of Marketing for Hy-Line. “I was just very impressed with how things have really grown.”

Scudder discussed the possibility of making the donation with his family after a meeting with Allen regarding the renovation of the museums lower level.

“It just seemed like a wonderful tie-in to the community and we wanted to spearhead that action and thought it would be a great way to help out,” Scudder said.

Allen said museums are moving towards being more interactive with the advancement of technology.

“We’ll have a chance to add more as we convert the space and the facility and get some of that virtual reality that comes in and really gives that experience and brings it home so that people can wear some of the legacy side,” Allen said. “It’s also the sustainability and accessibility with ways of vision and hearing that we don’t have right now so we can make it more available and relevant that way.”

The facilities will be used for education and cultural programs to expand the museum’s outreach to local students and the Cape Cod community.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.Com NewsCenter

About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy