National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Announces Reopening Date

“The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a place of understanding and dialogue, where we confront our past in order to build a better, more equitable future and the climate we find our country in now makes our mission especially vital"

click to enlarge National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Announces Reopening Date
Photo: Farshid Assassi/ Assassi Productions

After closing its doors in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has officially announced its reopening date: July 24.

“The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a place of understanding and dialogue, where we confront our past in order to build a better, more equitable future and the climate we find our country in now makes our mission especially vital,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, in a release about the reopening. “We’re working diligently to reopen our museum in a safe and responsible way so that we can welcome our community home and work together for inclusive freedom.”

Like other museums in the city, the Freedom Center is lining up ways to make its experience safer for guests and staff.

Among changes they will be instituting: 

  • Timed tickets — They are encouraging visitors to purchase these online to help manage capacity. The Freedom Center also says it is "using data on the average length of visit and updated building capacity according to social distancing guidelines to determine the number of tickets sold each hour." They will adjust their ticket levels accordingly.
  • Floor markings and signage — This will help guests maintain a 6-foot social distance.
  • Adjusted theater seating — This has been updated to allow for 6 feet between each guest. The status of reopening the Harriet Tubman Theater has not been decided yet.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch areas.
  • Working to make restrooms and hand sanitizing stations touchless.
  • Adjusting hours to allow for deep-cleaning before opening and closing each day.
  • Employees will be wearing masks and they are also asking guests to do the same.

The Freedom Center does note that some high-touch exhibits and interactive experiences will be removed or closed. 

They say: "Featured exhibition Motel X – which focuses on the combatting human trafficking through awareness and education – is also being updated to remove touch-based interactives but has been extended through September 7. The Rosa Parks Experience, an immersive virtual experience commemorating the Civil Rights icon’s historic demonstration on a Montgomery bus, will not be available upon reopening."

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is located at 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Get ticket prices and more info at freedomcenter.org.