For Your Next Itineraries: Museums of the Future

by  Teresa Bitler | Jul 7, 2014
Futuristic museum
Futuristic museum / metamorworks/iStock

Museums can take years, even decades, of planning. These eight concepts have had a long and sometimes bumpy road on the way to becoming a reality, but we're already big fans and looking forward to the ribbon-cutting dates. If you're traveling to these cities in the next couple of years, here are the museums of the future to include on your itinerary:

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (Chicago, IL)
Chicago recently edged out San Francisco in a bid for the highly anticipated Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. As the name implies, the museum will primarily focus on acclaimed director George Lucas’ art collection, but movie memorabilia like a scale model of the Millennium Falcon will also be on show. The museum is scheduled to open in 2018, near other Windy City attractions such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (Los Angeles, CA)
We can’t believe that Los Angeles doesn’t already have a motion picture museum, but come 2017, that'll change. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is stepping in and filling the void, set to house props, posters, photographs, and more from your favorite movies. The 290,000-square foot space will also have an art gallery and, of course, movie theaters.

Museum of TV (Phoenix, AZ)
Over the past 25 years, former TV writer James Comisar has collected 10,000 pieces of small screen memorabilia -- everything from the pointy Spock ears Leonard Nimoy wore on “Star Trek” to the badge Kiefer Sutherland flashed on “24” to Tony Soprano’s bottle of Prozac pills. Comisar plans to put his collection on display at the Museum of TV, via a decade-by-decade journey, scheduled to open in downtown Phoenix in 2016.

Mississippi Civil Rights Museum / Museum of Mississippi History (Jackson, MA)
Planned to debut in conjunction with the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood in December 2017, these two museums will sit side by side in downtown Jackson. They’re pretty straightforward in what they’ll offer, but the eight-gallery Mississippi Civil Rights Museum will be groundbreaking as the first state-funded civil rights museum in the nation.

International African American Museum (Charleston, SC)
South Carolina also has a museum in the works dedicated to the struggles of African Americans. The International African American Museum marks the spot where thousands of slaves first set foot on American Soil: Gadsden’s Wharf in Charleston. Arrival Square will feature outdoor galleries and a Memorial Wall. Inside, displays will demonstrate how enslaved Africans and free blacks shaped our nation and the world.

Bible Museum (Springfield, MO)
Hobby Lobby's president, Steve Green, has an impressive collection of historic Bibles -- valued between $20 and $40 million -- that he plans to display at a yet-to-be-named Bible museum in Washington, D.C. Until it opens in 2017, you can see some of them in a touring exhibit through January 3, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri ($15.95).

Museum of Science Fiction (Washington, D.C.) & Hollywood Science Fiction Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
Two museums want to boldly go where no other museum has gone before -- into the world of science fiction. By 2017 in Washington D.C., you’ll be able to walk through a Stargate, refuel a full-size X-Wing Starfighter, and open a time portal with your smartphone at the Science Channel-backed Museum of Science Fiction. In Los Angeles another year later, the Hollywood Science Fiction Museum will follow with its own collection of famous starships, robots, and cars.

Bonus: A Few More Plans

History buffs won’t be disappointed, either. The US Marshal’s Museum, formerly located in Laramie, Wyoming, plans to reopen at a new location in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In Richmond, Virginia a new $30 million Civil War museum, situated on the site of the historic Tredegar Iron Works, will combine the best of The Museum of the Confederacy and The American Civil War Center.

The Bronx might get a hip hop museum, maybe even two. The Universal Hip Hop Museum is on track to open in Kingsbridge Armory in 2017. Another project, the Hip Hop Museum, is also hoping to hit the scene that same year.

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