Wentworth Museum explores Pensacola’s rich history
buy accutane online by Taylor Picconi, Staff Writer
The T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum began as an odd collection of items in a small house on Old Palafox Highway in Ensley.
Theodore Thomas Wentworth Jr. collected a variety of peculiar artifacts during his lifetime. The world’s tallest man’s shoes, license plates and a piece of Thomas Edison’s birthday cake are just some of the interesting items featured in his collection. He opened his collection for public display in 1957 and donated it to the state of Florida in 1988 with the request that the collection stayed in Pensacola.
The Wentworth Museum is now located in Pensacola’s old city hall downtown on Jefferson Street. Six different architectural styles inspired Frederic Ausfield, the architect chosen to design the new city hall. Spanish Renaissance, Spanish Colonial, Alamo Mission, Renaissance Revival, Italianate and Italian Renaissance styles inspired his design.
Local contractor Charles H. Turner began construction on city hall in 1906. Turner built other recognizable buildings downtown like the Blount Building, the Citizen’s and People’s Bank, the Masonic Building, the Saenger Theater and the San Carlos Hotel.
In 1908, city hall opened and in 1988 the T.T. Wentworth Museum Jr. Museum moved in. Currently the museum is run by the UWF Historic Trust, which preserves Pensacola’s history and educates visitors through exhibits that fill all three floors of the building.
The first floor of the museum gives visitors a chronological timeline of Pensacola’s history. The most popular item on this floor is the large anchor from the De Luna expedition of 1559, which proved Pensacola is the oldest settlement in America. The other exhibit on the first floor describes the archaeology done in Pensacola.
The second floor has six exhibits. There is the Earl Hutto exhibit that honors the local Congressman with memorabilia and items that he owned. The Trader Jon’s exhibit is a replica of the popular local bar, which displays the many patches and pictures from the military members that spent their time there. The DocuFlorida II exhibit shows photographer submissions of Pensacola, and the Punksacola exhibit displays items from Pensacola’s punk scene. The Best of Show exhibit shows student projects from the Escambia County School District’s History Fair and the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Collection exhibit displays some of Wentworth’s oddest pieces.
“Wentworth’s stuff is why I come back,” said Marcus Kilpatrick, a Pensacola resident. “Every now and then I feel like I have to see it again.”
The Space Oddities exhibit occupies the third floor. It displays movie props and memorabilia from movies like “Men in Black,” “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “Battlestar Galactica.”
“We want to give our visitors a fun and fulfilling experience,” said Sheyna Marcey, Director of Education. “We want to be stewards for cultural heritage sites and historic preservation.”
UWF students receive free admission to the museum with their Nautilus card. The tickets are valid for seven days and include the Historic Village, the Commerce Museum, the Industry Museum, Voices of Pensacola, the Pensacola Museum of Art, Voices of Pensacola and tours.