he Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute is dedicated to being the finest museum in the world devoted to telling the story of the soft drink industry and to using this industry as a practical model of the free enterprise system. To make this vision of our future become a reality, we must continue to grow in these critical areas:
In March of 2001, the Dr Pepper Museum acquired the Kellum-Rotan Building located behind the Dr Pepper Museum at Jackson and 5th Street. New parking for the Museum was completed in 2002 and a new courtyard for outdoor events was finished in 2003. The Museum is seeking additional funds to renovate the interior and exterior of the Kellum-Rotan Building and connect the two buildings with a 150-foot concourse by 2013. This expansion will provide an additional 36,000 square feet of floor space for the new exhibitions, visitor services, administrative offices, and storage.
This expansion is critical to the Dr Pepper Museum’s efforts to lengthen and improve its visitor experience, accommodate more school groups in our free enterprise programs, and to preserve and display its growing collection of soft drink objects and archives.
At the time it opened to the public in 1991, the Museum’s collection of soft drink artifacts totaled approximately 1,600 and has grown to over 20,000 objects. The transfer of the Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages Collection to the custody of the Dr Pepper Museum creates a pool of over 100,000 items that is one of the finest collections of soft drink memorabilia in the world. Over 8,000 square feet of new collection storage space in the Kellum-Rotan Building is used to preserve and protect the collection of bottles, signs, posters, and machines, as well as the archives which consist of thousands of books, magazines, periodicals, photographic images, and letters. We will continue to expand these collections by seeking additional donations of objects and archives representing the length and breath of the soft drink industry. To address our long-term preservation needs, we are soliciting contributions to establish a $1,000,000 endowment.
As an educational institution dedicated to the teaching of the principles of the American system of free enterprise economics, the Museum must find ways to reach more teachers and students. New classrooms and a demonstration area completed in 2011 will allow the Museum to accommodate more public and private school children for our Waco history, soft drink, and Free Enterprise Institute programs. Outreach programming planned for 2012 that we take to the schools will allow us to reach thousands of additional children each year. Expanding the support materials on our website will allow us to provide free enterprise curriculum to teachers across the United States.
The Dr Pepper Museum and its exhibits represent a unique cultural and entertainment asset to the City of Waco and Central Texas. Relocating the collection storage, administrative offices, and visitor services (gift shop, food, and fountain) from the Museum’s original building to the Kellum-Rotan Building will allow for the development of additional exhibits in the historic “Home of Dr Pepper.”
New exhibit space in the Kellum-Rotan Building will be devoted to a 7UP bottling line and a transportation exhibit featuring wagons and trucks from 1890 to the 1990.
The opening of the Kellum-Rotan addition is expected to generate additional attendance, giftshop, and soda fountain revenues. Increased annual giving and earned income will be necessary to meet the staffing and operational needs of a larger facility.
To successfully operate our facilities and provide new programs and exhibitions, the Museum must also grow a larger and stronger financial base of contributions. The Museum’s Operational and Free Enterprise endowments must be expanded to $3,000,000 in the next five years.