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History Museum named best new attraction

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More than $12 million in renovations downtown is paying off for the History Museum on the Square.

Officials with the 154 Park Central Square museum this morning announced it scored the top spot as the best new attraction of 2019 by readers of USA Today’s 10Best.com. It beat out the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in New York in the No. 2 spot.

“We are incredibly grateful for the community for helping us win this honor,” museum executive director John Sellars said in a news release. “Now, the rest of the country will know what a treasure we have here in the Ozarks.”

The museum opened Aug. 8, 2019, after five years of renovations. In 2008, museum officials bought the now 104-year-old former Barth’s Clothing Store building for $800,000, funded by donations. Renovations began in 2014, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The museum’s six permanent galleries are:
• Birthplace of Route 66;
• Native Crossroads at the Spring;
• Pioneers and Founders at the Crossroads;
• The Civil War in Springfield;
• Trains, Trolleys and Transportation: Children’s Education Area; and
• Wild Bill Hickok and the American West.

The USA Today reader poll began Dec. 2 and ended Dec. 30. The top five on the list are:
• History Museum on the Square;
• American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, New York;
• The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, Las Vegas;
• Allianz Field, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and
• J. Rieger & Co., Kansas City.

The History Museum follows the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, which was named the best attraction in 2018 on the same 10Best.com poll.

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