This accomplishment was augmented recently by a $3 million gift from The Goizueta Foundation, officially ending the campaign. This gift is dedicated to the rehabilitation of 22 acres of gardens and grounds, which includes six dedicated interpretive public gardens. In recognition of this gift, the largest the center has received for its historic gardens, and in recognition of her 12 years of service as a trustee (1984-96), the board is will officially name them The Olga C. de Goizueta Gardens at the Atlanta History Center.
“This is the largest capital campaign since the organization was founded in 1926, and its success is the result of the participation and collaboration of the staff, board, and a great many individuals and organizations,” Lillian Giornelli, campaign co-chair, said in a statement. “We deeply appreciate the major contributions we have received through the generous support of Atlanta’s philanthropic community and donors, members, and many friends of the History Center who believe in the importance of this project and see the vision and possibility for our future.”
The center also has received leadership gifts from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, the Frances and Beverly DuBose Foundation, Cox Interests: Mrs. Anne Cox Chambers and the James M. Cox Foundation, the Coca-Cola Co. and The Home Depot Foundation. In addition to capital campaign funds, $2 million was raised for the center’s endowment. Coxe Curry & Associates served as campaign counsel.
Physical renovations are scheduled to begin in July and include key projects designed to create a more welcoming campus, reshape the center’s physical presence, develop a new immersive and engaging exhibition on the history of Atlanta and increase accessibility by redesigning the entrance and revitalizing its grounds.
“When we began planning for the campaign … in 2010, the museum world was at a crossroads. The financial crisis combined with dwindling audience attendance and engagement meant museums were seeking to keep core constituencies engaged but strike a balance to adapt to the engagement and expectations of 21st-century visitors or risk irrelevancy,” center President and CEO Sheffield Hale said in a statement. “From the very start of this project, our goal has been to improve nearly every aspect of who we are as a history center and strengthen our ability to fulfill our mission to connect, and serve, our community by presenting history in a variety of ways that are interesting, inclusive, stimulating, personal and – most important – relevant.”