City of Hillsboro sees museum as important partner in ongoing downtown revitalization

Washington County Museum and the city of Hillsboro announced Friday that 13,000 square feet of space at the Hillsboro Civic Center’s Plaza Building will become the future home of the museum.

Expanding the museum, which currently is located on Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus, to Hillsboro’s cultural district will complement the city’s downtown revitalization effort and will help the museum deepen its ability to be a cultural, educational and community leader in the county. To make it possible for the museum to join the Hillsboro’s cultural district, the City has offered the museum a 15-year rent-free lease. In return, the Washington County Museum will pay for remodeling, maintenance and utilities for the space.

“We are excited about our partnership with the Washington County Museum,” said Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey.  “The space at our Civic Center gives the museum more visibility and easier access for their visitors while at the same time brings more people to downtown Hillsboro. Together, we will be growing another great venue for downtown Hillsboro.”

The new centrally-located exhibit space will triple the size of the museum, enabling it to expand permanent exhibits, create new exhibits, bring traveling shows and offer more community programs. With restaurants, shops, offices, and cultural attractions within walking distance, museum officials look forward to being part of an active urban setting.

“Washington County is a remarkable place and we are honored to offer opportunities to learn about our shared history and explore the diverse cultural perspectives and gifts of our communities,” said Museum Executive Director Sam Shogren. “Joining the Hillsboro cultural district will greatly increase our ability to deliver on our mission of education, exploration and learning.”

The museum will retain the Rock Creek facility and complete the upgrades for collections storage and museum workspace, museum officials say.  The facility provides historians and scholars a place to work with the collections and other objects for study and conservation as well as offering a valuable service to other regional archives, historical societies and companies to house and maintain their records and collections. 

The museum plans to fundraise this fall and spring. Design, construction and move-in are planned for 2013 with a grand opening set for the winter of 2014 if all the funding is available.

About Washington County Museum

The Washington County Museum is dedicated to learning and cultural appreciation by igniting the imagination and celebrating diverse cultures. As a cultural leader of Washington County, the museum’s exhibits and programs create an understanding of a mutual past and a shared future. The Museum offers unparalleled opportunities to experience and understand the complexity and richness of our communities. More information about the museum can be found at

About Hillsboro

Now the state’s fifth largest city with a population of more than 92,000, Hillsboro is helping to grow Oregon’s future – from microprocessors to tulips, arts and culture, vital industries, education, centers of commerce and green spaces. Hillsboro is a well-planned, affordable, hometown with a strong, economic base and one of the state’s most diverse populations. It is the high tech center of the state and home to a broad range of businesses, large and small, including Oregon’s largest employer, Intel. It also has the fifth largest school district in the state, hosts the second largest 4th of July parade, and is home to other key annual events including a Latino Cultural Festival in April, Celebrate Hillsboro in July, and the Oregon International Air Show in July/August.

-- Washington County Museum

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