September 21, 2017

RMSC to celebrate grand reopening of iconic Rochester in 1838 diorama Thursday, Sept. 28

ROCHESTER, NY—In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Erie Canal, restoration experts at the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) have spent nearly a year restoring and stabilizing the Museum’s 70-year-old Rochester in 1838: Young Lion of the West diorama, which prominently features the canal. RMSC will celebrate the project’s completion with an all-ages grand reopening celebration and concert from 5:30–9 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Visitors will enjoy an interpretation of botanist/geologist/educator, Amos Eaton, who delivered a series of lectures to the New York State Legislature in 1818 in preparation for the construction of the canal; an interactive canal lock exhibit; family programming; and a concert by the Brockport Symphony Orchestra commemorating the canal’s anniversary.

Rochester became America’s first western “boomtown” as a result of the Erie Canal, and the Rochester in 1838 diorama celebrates that heritage with a depiction of a downtown scene on a typical winter day. Completed on the Museum’s third floor in 1946 from components originally displayed in a Sibley's store window at Main and Clinton, the diorama depicts a slice of downtown from Main Street to Spring Street and South Avenue to Plymouth Avenue, including the canal.

Throughout the restoration project, RMSC visitors were able to track its progress and interact with technicians, who worked in a fishbowl-style "living exhibit" surrounding the diorama. Upon completion, the diorama will feature restored sky and foreground painting, enhanced lighting, augmented reality elements and interpretive signage, and preservation features that will ensure its enjoyment for generations to come. Experts also enhanced the diorama’s interpretation to address historical inaccuracies in its original presentation, such as the American flags displayed prominently on buildings and incorrect period clothing.

RMSC’s Rochester in 1838: Young Lion of the West diorama restoration project was made possible by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts; the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor; and the Historic Preservation, Restoration and Literature Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation; as well as a donation from Arthur W. Schuster, Jr.

After-hours Museum admission for the Rochester in 1838 diorama grand reopening is: $5 adults, seniors, and college students with ID; $2 ages 3 to 18; free for children under 3 and RMSC members. For group reservations and rates, call 585.697.1942.

For high-resolution images and additional information, contact Mare Millow, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC, 585.697.1944, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rochester in 1838: Young Lion of the West Diorama Grand Reopening Celebration, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie Canal and grand reopening of RMSC’s reconstructed diorama, Rochester in 1838: Young Lion of the West:

  • 5:30–8:30 p.m.: Amos Eaton interpretation
  • 5:30–8:30 p.m.: Interactive Erie Canal lock exhibit
  • 5:30–8:30 p.m.: Family activities including creating maps and Erie Canal postcards, bridge building
  • 5:30–8:30 p.m.: Stump puller challenge
  • 7:30–9 p.m.: Concert: Brockport Symphony Orchestra in the Eisenhart Auditorium

After-hours admission: Members free, adults $5, ages 3–18 $2, under 3 free

Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit http://www.rmsc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.


Sign up for E-news

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for Teacher E-news

Get valuable teacher-specific news.