March 23, 2015
Dr. Seuss museum coming to the author’s hometown
by Nick Davies
Dr. Seuss’s hometown of Springfield, MA is going to get a museum in the author’s honor soon. Greg Cook writes for The ARTery, the arts blog of Boston NPR station WBUR, that the museum will be the first of its kind.
The Springfield Museums—a complex of museums in the city’s downtown area that already includes a Dr. Seuss sculpture garden—announced on Thursday that the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum (for some reason they didn’t decide to call it the “Seusseum”) will open its doors in June of 2016.
The new museum will be located in Springfield’s Pynchon Memorial Building, with the ground floor serving as a children’s museum with “pint-sized recreations of local landmarks that inspired Seuss’s books.” Cook writes that designers at several Massachusetts firms are working on “kiddie versions of Seuss’s childhood home at 74 Fairfield St., the Seuss Bakery run by his mom’s parents, the Kalmbach and Geisel Brewery (nicknamed “Comeback and Guzzle”) run by his father’s family…the flowering dogwood trees in Forest Park that are believed to be the inspiration for the truffula trees in ‘The Lorax,’ and, of course, Mulberry Street.” They’ll expand to the second floor by 2017, which will be more of a traditional museum, featuring Seuss art and artifacts.
Kay Simpson, vice president of the Springfield Museums, says of the relatively recent addition of the Seuss sculpture garden, “The opening of the sculpture garden [in 2002] really positioned the museums for a flood of visitors from around the country. They immediately started requesting we have a Dr. Seuss museum.”
While Seuss ended up spending most of his life in California, his family is happy to have the museum in his hometown of Springfield. His stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates says of the decision, “That’s the right place. That’s where all his ideas come from.” Simpson echoes the sentiment, saying of Seuss’s two stepdaugthers, “Lark and Leagrey just feel that Springfield is really special and important to Ted… They see it as Ted is coming home.”
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.