Three non-profit organizations have been bidding for management of the Fort Pitt Museum after the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) deemed it fit for closure this spring. Senator John Heinz History Center, the Friends of Fort Pitt Museum (FFPM), and the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum all expressed interest in overseeing the beleaguered museum at previous PHMC meetings in Pittsburgh.
Now, the FFPM and the History Center have submitted formal proposals to the PHMC before the commission’s quarterly meeting on June 17th. Soldiers and Sailors has not done so, says PHMC Executive Director Barbara Franco.
Franco says the commission will look over the proposals, as well as the minutes from previous public meetings, in order to decide which direction in which to go. From there, says Franco, the PHMC will negotiate with the non-profit organization to work out the details of their management. Franco says the commission is looking mostly for long-term sustainability when choosing a management staff.
President Donn Neal of the FFPM says his group’s plan is best because it combines new ideas with an already experienced staff. He says his plan would market the museum aggressively and allow for private investment as well.
The History Center declined comment; Soldiers and Sailors could not be reached.