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Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the Museum be finished?
    As with all projects undertaken during the last two-and-a-half years, lots of unexpected challenges have arisen, including supply chain issues and significantly longer ordering lead times for components and systems. If everything goes to plan, and there are no other hiccups, it is likely that construction will be complete at some point in mid-2024.
  • Why is it taking so long to finish the Museum?
    The MOR will be a first class museum capable of hosting traveling exhibits from places like the Smithsonian. It is being built in phases. The initial phase was the exterior of the building followed by the landscaping. Now construction has begun on the infrastructure that will support future exhibits and operations. Museum-specific heating and air conditioning systems are arriving from Korea and will be installed early in the fall. Electrical wiring and panels must be in place before the walls can be finished inside. Decorative ceiling materials are being ordered for the interior loggia connecting the entrance on the east side of the building to the Pavilion on the west. Then the interior spaces must be configured for the first exhibits, storage and activity spaces. Fundraising continues for these final build-outs. Over $20 million has come from private donations. A recent budget announcement from Sacramento adds the support of the Governor and the State Legislature, especially the Inland Empire Caucus. New local funding includes $2 million for the City of Redlands to add to the effort to complete the construction of The MOR. This is truly a community effort.
  • Do we actually have enough material to fill the Museum?
    Absolutely! Smiley Library has been preserving the history of Redlands and the San Bernardino Valley for 125 years.
  • Where are all the exhibit materials stored now?
    Smiley Library utilizes several locations to store materials currently, and storage will be centralized in the Museum once the second floor is completed and new storage systems are installed.
  • How many galleries are there at the Museum?
    The Rochford Family Building, the main building of the Museum, is designed with four main galleries: • The Daniels Family Brookside Gallery, which faces Brookside Avenue and can be viewed from the street. • The South Gallery, which includes its impressive atrium. • The Clara Mae Clem Central Gallery, which is located in between South and North Galleries and connects the East and West Loggia with access to the Dangermond Courtyard and Events Pavilion. • The Jack H. Brown North Gallery, the largest of the four. • The wall separating the Central Gallery and the Brown North Gallery is also removable, in order to create an even larger exhibition gallery when needed. In addition, the Brown North Gallery was designed in such a way that it will provide very flexible exhibit opportunities, and can be further divided into a series of smaller galleries.
  • What are some examples of exhibits?
    Redlands has a rich history and culture that is important to share. • Among the initial exhibition program is an ongoing and changing “Hometown Heroes” series, which will look back to highlight people from all walks of Redlands’ past who have made a difference in the community in some way. • The importance of the citrus industry will take center stage, especially with the 1927 International grove truck and the many artifacts and photographs that chronicle the industry and the people who worked in it. • Redlands has produced some incredible artists, and the Library holds an impressive collection of art depicting local scenes or created by local artists.
  • What is planned to be under the glass skylights? Will there be covers for the light?
    The museum was intentionally designed for maximum flexibility. The South Gallery’s atrium provides a dramatic entrance for the museum, but because the space will be bathed in natural light, the Museum will be careful only to create exhibits in that space that have minimal sensitivity to light. A special system was also designed to “close” the skylight in order to make the space useable for more sensitive exhibitions.
  • Will there be other non-Redlands exhibits at the Museum? Examples?
    The Smithsonian Institute has entire division dedicated to creating and deploying traveling exhibits to qualified museums throughout the country. In addition, other major museums as well as private companies rent fully-curated exhibits. Costs vary a great deal based on size, content, and creator, and range from around $10,000 to more than $100,000.
  • Will there be a need for volunteers when the Museum opens?
    Volunteers will be critical for the success of the museum. In addition to docents in galleries, volunteers will have the opportunity help catalog new donations of materials, to help with programs, and much more.
  • Who will run the Museum?
    The Museum is a public/private partnership between A.K. Smiley Public Library and the Redlands Historical Museum Association, also known as MOR. Day-to-day operations of the Museum and its exhibitions will be the responsibility of the Special Collections Division of the Library, while fundraising and other important responsibilities will be coordinated by RHMA.
  • Who will own the Museum?
    The collections, with the exception of items loaned for specific exhibits, are owned by Smiley Library, and the facilities will be owned by the City of Redlands and administered by the Library.
  • Will there be children’s programs?
    Youth-oriented programs will be critical to expanding the educational mission of the Museum.
  • Is more parking available?
    There are several different parking configurations for the onsite parking areas, including stacked parking for larger events. In addition, RHMA has developed relationships with nearby commercial properties to utilize their parking lots when even more parking is necessary.
  • Why does the Museum cost so much money?
    Building a landmark for Redlands is not for the faint of heart. In order to be the world-class museum that Redlands deserves, how the building looks and feels is just as important as what’s inside. In addition, museums require very specialized, and expensive, systems to control temperature and humidity as well as lighting and security.
  • How much has been raised toward building MOR?
    Generous donors have contributed more than $20 million so far.
  • How much taxpayer money has been used for building the Museum?
    The original purchase of the Redlands Daily Facts property and the vacant lot next door were purchased with private dollars and donated to the RHMA for the purpose of creating a Museum of Redlands. Donations from citizens and organizations have provided the rest of the funds for the construction of the MOR. No taxpayer money was used to build the MOR.
  • But I saw in the news that the City of Redlands gave the museum $1 million?
    Yes, once the building is complete, it will be gifted to the city and the city will own the facilities. The $1 million dollars allocated in 2022 is to be used for operational needs related to opening the building to the public.
  • How much is needed to complete the Museum?
    As the museum works toward the final construction phase, RHMA will expend another $4.2 million, which includes the last phase, which is interior construction, HVAC, and electrical systems.
  • How many people have given to the project?
    More than 1000 people and organizations have contributed to the Museum so far.
  • What is the range of gifts-from what to what?
    Gifts have ranged from contributions of as little as a few dollars to as much as $4 million.
  • Why did you do all the exterior, including landscaping, before the building was more complete?
    When examining the different ways that made sense to tackle this enormous project in realistic phases, it was the least expensive and operationally logical to complete the museum structure itself, including the exterior finishes, and the pavilion in the first phases. Landscaping, which was a relatively minor expense, was installed in order to have a more mature setting when the Museum opens next year.
  • Will there be admission charged for those who come to the Museum?
    The concept for the museum since its inception more than 20 years ago is that citizens should not have to pay to experience their own history, however, any visitor is welcome to make a contribution to the Museum. There may be occasional traveling exhibits that will include a charge in order to help offset the cost of that specific exhibit. In those cases, only the traveling exhibit will be ticketed, and the rest of the museum will remain without admission charge.
  • Are there naming opportunities still available?
    Absolutely! Contact any member of the Capital Campaign committee about your interest and they will happily match the donor with the right gift opportunity. Please go to for more information.
  • What are Pavers?
    Pavers have been installed at each end of the grassy area. These 8” x 16” pavers can be engraved as follows: • Single or Family Paver - $2,500. Maximum two lines of names, plus the option to include "In Honor of" or "In Memory of" • Shared Paver with family or individual name on a single line - $1,000 (per line) To find out more about pavers or purchase yours, click here.
  • Will there be another Mor-A-Palooza Sale?
    The next sale is scheduled for late October/early November 2023. The sale will be located again in the Grigsby Building on Stuart Street thanks to the generous support of owner Dr. Bud Feldkamp. Early storage will be available. More details will follow soon.
  • What can I do to help get to the finish line?
    Make a donation of any amount, buy a paver, help with the Mor-a-Palooza Sale!

Click through questions or choose a category from the three topics below:

Money Matters, Museum Operations or Getting the Museum Finished.

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