T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum
|T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum|
|Location||330 South Jefferson Street|
|Engineer||Charles Hill Turner|
|Current Owner||West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc.|
|Style||Spanish mission style|
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30.4087, -87.213142, T. T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum </googlemap>
The T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum is a museum of history in Pensacola, named for Theodore Thomas Wentworth, Jr.
Located on Jefferson Street adjacent to Plaza Ferdinand VII, the building was originally erected in 1908 as Pensacola's city hall. When a new City Hall was built in 1985, the old building was renovated to house the massive collection of historical artifacts Wentworth had donated to the State of Florida two years earlier. The museum was dedicated on March 5, 1988 and is now owned and operated by West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc. as part of the Historic Pensacola Village.
The original museum was in fact a roadside stand owned by Wentworth, which opened in the suburb of Ensley in 1957. Wentworth was paraphrased as saying, in the 1980s, that he would donate everything in his collection if he could earn a permanent spot to house his collection in Pensacola. A state grant was signed by Governor Bob Martinez to allow the city to renovate the old city hall, and the museum was officially opened in 1988.
Only one floor is dedicated to Wentworth's eccentric collections — which includes a mummified cat, among other things. The other two floors illustrate life in the Florida Panhandle over the centuries, some of the more mainstream artifacts coming from Wentworth's collection. The other floors house a science interactive museum that is wonderful for children.
From September 2004 to March 2005, the museum was closed for renovations after Hurricane Ivan caused considerable damage to the property. When the museum opened again, a new exhibit was added, comparing and contrasting the effects of the 2004 hurricane to the hurricane of 1926 that also damaged the building.