SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Erie Canal Museum in Downtown Syracuse has just finished its first major upgrade in nearly 25 years.
The brand new renovation of the first floor has just been opened to the public.
It took about 10 years of fundraising, planning and construction to get to this point.
The project cost about $700,000 to complete.
Museum Executive Director Natalie Stetson tells NewsChannel 9, “We need to stay fresh, we need to have new things, we need to have the visitors eyes light up when they walk in and its wonderful to walk around it myself and feel fresh."
Stetson says the design is to tell a cohesive story from beginning to current day.
It starts with informational displays about the first mention of a canal across New York State in the early 1700’s.
The first shovel finally went in the ground on July 4, 1817 in Rome, New York.
The new exhibits carefully weave together artifacts, digitally designed panels and interactive displays.
"Parts of the exhibit like this and a few of the other interactive things give people a break to say, okay I'm reading about this but what does that mean, how does that work." Stetson says.
The last major renovation was the Heritage Area Visitor Center building constructed in 1992.
Stetson says, "We hope that we can help visitors really be proud of that, be proud of Syracuse and the role we played in the development of the country."
The museum is open everyday with the exception of major holidays.
The main entrance is under construction for about two weeks, so for now, use the Water Street side.
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