Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Richard Grant Gilmore
Museums are a public good, as they provide educational recreation and preserve cultural history, and so it is crucial that they are physically accessible to as many visitors as possible. The aim of this study was to understand what architectural features of historic house museums are the least accessible and what has been done to ameliorate these challenges. The survey used in the study was developed using the guidelines for making historic buildings accessible as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. It was distributed by email to representatives of 220 historic sites, of which 79 responded. The results suggested that the number of visitors to a site is essentially irrelevant to what level of accessibility the historic house possesses. A site’s budget often, but not always, influences the accessibility measures available for visitors. Many museum administrators describe barriers to increased accessibility in the form of limitations imposed by regulatory bodies and the risk of damaging the houses’ historical integrity. Even so, building stewards are generally enthusiastic about expanding accessibility and want to find ways to implement measures compatible with their buildings’ historic fabric.
Milonas, Abby, "Physical Accessibility and Historic Preservation in Historic House Museums of the Southeast" (2023). All Theses. 4098.
Accessibility Commons, American Art and Architecture Commons, Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis Commons, Disability Law Commons, Disability Studies Commons, Historic Preservation and Conservation Commons, Museum Studies Commons, Nonprofit Administration and Management Commons, Other Architecture Commons, Public History Commons, Tourism and Travel Commons, United States History Commons