A museum for a small town
Master of Architecture
What role does a museum play in small towns in the United States? This thesis uses as a case study the town of Florence, South Carolina (population 30.248 in 2000) and proposes a design for a museum in the former commercial district of the town. By assessing the developmental trends of the town and its infrastructure, a site was chosen that reflected the desire of the town to retain and/or establish an identity through its built environment. Though suburban trends have moved the commercial activity and residential centers of the town away from the historic commercial district, interest in revitalizing the old downtown has led to the construction of several cultural facilities in that area, including a new public librany, a new playhouse for the local acting troupe, and a new performing arts center for the local university. This thesis acts upon this trend by choosing a site in the old commercial district, and further integrates an existing building, the abandoned public library, into the design. The problem of dense parking requirements in the former pedestrian infrastructure is considered.