The Interactive Museum is a community-run museum in downtown Middletown. It is located on Center Street, with an entrance from the James Street Municipal Parking Lot. It is across the street from the Thrall Library.
Museum hours vary, please call for the latest information: (845) 344-3131. You can find information about scheduled programs on the Calendar page.
HISTORY OF THE INTERACTIVE MUSEUM:
In 1995, a group of Rotarians from Middltown New York met after a Rotary meeting a local diner in Middletown to talk about putting together an interactive museum in the city. The leader of this group was Edwin Silvers, a prominent local engineer.
In 1998, a lease for 50 years was signed with the City of Middletown for the old Montgomery Ward building on North Street for $1 per year. This building had long been taken over by the city for taxes and was in extreme disrepair. Although still standing majestically and strong, the cost for renovation was insurmountable. It needed millions for renovations. However, the building was actually two buildings used together for many years, so instead of attempting to fix up and use the entire building, the Board of the Museum realized that the old business office and tire sales area of Montgomery Ward, contained in the 23 Center street, would do. The immense store area on North Street was returned to the City of Middletown, and the Museum now resides in the more manageable storefront on center Street. As it turns out, this area was built as a firehouse a very long time ago, and has many restorable features that reflect the Victorian charm of its history.
Over a decade and $200,000 later, the museum continues to grow and evolve. With the first two floors of the building at 23 Center Street renovated and open to the public, the museum board looks forward to the future of the growing community museum.
For more information on Middletown, visit the Middletown BID website.