Grand Opening of North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace, State's Premier Historic Site

ESI Design Revolutionizes the History Museum with Interactive, Multimedia Experience

Oct 22, 2010, 12:12 ET from ESI Design

NEW BERN, N.C., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace celebrates its grand opening October 21 -- 24 with a wide range of activities and events. The new Center becomes the gateway to Tryon Palace's 22-acre site and, utilizing the technology of the future, revolutionizes the history museum experience.

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The Center educates and engages visitors in the history of North Carolina from early settlement in 1710 through the mid-20th century. The new building contains two major museums -- the Pepsi Family Center and the Regional History Museum, as well as a performing arts hall, exhibit and orientation theaters, a museum store and a cafe.

"It is imperative for our future that we understand our past, and that we breathe new life into the history museum experience," said Kay Williams, Director of Tryon Palace. "Using the latest technology, we can better engage all ages, especially families and children, ensuring the connectedness of our communal experience down through the generations."

New York-based design firm, ESI Design, collaborated with Tryon Palace to create the visitor experience for the Center and developed a multimedia handheld tour for the entire site. Edwin Schlossberg, founder and principal designer at ESI Design, noted, "We created a variety of engaging activities, experiences and programs to suit diverse audience types. This multilayered and dynamic approach brings history to life, allowing visitors to experience it like never before -- by living it."

The Pepsi Family Center features an integrated series of high-tech, hands-on collaborative group activities where kids and their families experience what it was like to live in a 19th-century coastal community. They work together to accomplish tasks like sailing a ship, making turpentine for naval stores, creating a virtual quilt or writing stories for the town paper.

The Regional History Museum uses interpretive graphics and interactive kiosks to describe North Carolina's transformation over time through the lens of environmental history -- how the natural world determined where people settled and shaped their economy and culture.

Multimedia interpretation continues outdoors with History Navigator tours. This personal handheld device offers video, audio and layered information throughout the Palace. Visitors can choose to discover the site from several perspectives – such as free or enslaved African Americans, women, children or early town leaders as well as architectural historians, artists and writers.