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from the

Development Chair

Thank you.

Development Chair

Phoenix Trolley Museum

While some might lament the trolley museum moving, I see it as an great opportunity. An opportunity to build a new, revitalized reimagined and more relevant museum of the future. But let's not go on about that, there is plenty imagining going on in the rest of the site. Let's talk about "why".


Why do we preserve things and what is important enough to want to preserve it? Some feel, “What’s the point in saving things, just use it for its useful life cycle and when it becomes obsolete, toss it. What’s the big deal.” On the other extreme, some are hoarders, we save everything. Both extremes are not the norm, nor are they very helpful to the question. Most of us are in between and run the spectrum, but how do we decide? 


I personally would look at the impact the object has had on its owner. Which is the case with the last remaining Phoenix trolleys, representing sixty years of being the "mass transit system" (1887-1847) to tens of thousands of Phoenicians, who relied on it for their daily commute. There are only two that remain and without this museum their future, as a part of
our culture, is in jeopardy. The trolley also represents

the growth of Phoenix, in that, as the trolley lines grew,

so did the early development of homes and

neighborhoods along the routes. 


And then there are the nostalgic aspects of the "romance of the rails." It has been shown that moving into a state of nostalgia has calming effects on the body and longing for a less hectic time has a certain appeal. It also gives us a sense of belonging, as we realize we have common bonds. 


Knowing the history of a place also can give people, even newcomers (of which there are over 200 moving into the valley from elsewhere every day) a deeper connection to their community and adding to the culture of a place. 

Then there is the fact that since the demise of the History Museum of Phoenix in 2010, we have lost a place to showcase what remaining artifacts we do have of this great city.


These are but a few of the reasons we are so dedicated to the preservation of the Phoenix Trolley Museum and invite you to join us in making sure we do not lose another vital piece of Phoenix history.


You just
don’t toss
something like that away if you can help it.
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