ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM GATE MUSEUM
The Millennium Gate Museum’s mission is to preserve and interpret Georgia history, art, culture and philanthropic heritage as well as highlight Georgia’s historical and aesthetic relevance to the United States and to the world. The Gate is a classically styled monumental arch located in Atlanta, historically called “The Gate City.” It is designed in the tradition of classical Roman triumphal arches that have been built around the world over the past 2,500 years, and houses a 12,000 square foot museum that narrates Georgia’s history through sophisticated interactive technology, film, period rooms, and exhibitions. The museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity and the winner of the Palladio Award for design of a public space.
Among the most comprehensive museums of Georgia history, The Gate is also a facilitator for world-class art and history exhibitions which tour venues exclusively across Georgia. To great national and British acclaim, the museum recently organized an eight city tour of The Art of Diplomacy: Winston Churchill and the Pursuit of Painting to LaGrange, Sea Island, Columbus, Macon, Atlanta, Rome, Athens, and Savannah. The museum continues its mission of showcasing world-class art across Georgia by connecting the state’s arts and history museums, sharing exhibitions, and enabling all the people of Georgia to enjoy our shared cultural patrimony.
The Glenn Gallery
The Glenn Gallery, located just inside the entrance of The Millennium Gate, pays tribute to the amazing history of its Atlantic Station site. Originally the Atlantic Station site was the home of Atlantic Steel, a mill that was started at the turn of the Nineteenth Century and later grew into one of the region’s most powerful companies, employing more than 2,000 workers. Today, the huge blasting ovens are gone and the long dormant steel plant has given way to an innovative, bustling new community, a “city within a city,” with thousands of homes, apartments, shops, stores and office buildings.
The Glenn Gallery includes a series of photographic exhibits that introduce visitors to the area’s dramatic metamorphosis from thriving steel mill to thriving new town and will showcase the cultural and physical changes that the site has witnessed over the last century. The exhibits will honor all of those associated with the mill from its earliest days, including the ordinary citizens and workers who labored in hot and clamorous foundries to make Atlantic Steel one of the most innovative and productive mid-century mills in the country. Making reference to the mythological Phoenix, a bird that rises triumphantly from the ashes and which has been a part of the City of Atlanta’s seal since 1887, the gallery will show how a new and vital urban area arose from the ashes of a reclaimed brownfield.
18th Century Georgia Pioneer Gallery
Beginning with pre-Columbian Native American history and 16th century Spanish settlement of the coast, the Georgia Pioneer Gallery focuses on General Oglethorpe’s creation of the Colony of Georgia and the enlightenment ideals that were so instrumental in its inception. The gallery contains documents and historical artifacts from the Native Indian, Spanish, British Colonial, and American Revolutionary periods that complement and add dimension to the museum’s history exhibit panels.
19th and 20th Century Galleries
The galleries narrate the story of Atlanta’s and Georgia’s early history and the bold leadership that has helped them jointly grow into one of the most important destinations in the world. The exhibition features photographs and artifacts from twenty of Atlanta’s pioneering families, names such as Adair, Candler, Glenn, Herndon, Rich, Woodruff, and many others who have helped to shape our social, economic, political, and philanthropic landscape.
21st Century Interactive Gallery
In partnership with Georgia Tech’s Interactive Media Technology Center, the museum has created an Interactive Philanthropy Gallery that allows visitors to explore Atlanta and how philanthropy has changed the various neighborhoods that comprise this thriving metropolis. Using Nintendo Wii technology in an immersive theater setting, visitors have the opportunity to explore Atlanta’s history. In the second interactive component, a projection visualizes Atlanta’s evolution over the past 150 years, giving visitors the chance to switch between historic and contemporary images of our city’s major landmarks with a simple wave of the hand.
The Tocqueville Corridor
In Tocqueville Corridor, visitors will be introduced to the development of philanthropy in the United States. The famous French social philosopher and observer of early American life, Alexis de Tocqueville traveled through Georgia in 1832. A map of his journey and selected quotes from his writings will be displayed in this area. Tocqueville often commented on the generous spirit of Americans, and in his 1840 book, Democracy in America, he wrote that “Americans group together to hold fêtes, found seminaries, build inns, construct churches, distribute books, dispatch missionaries to the antipodes. They establish hospitals, prisons, schools by the same method.” This observation on the pioneering and ever forward-thinking spirit of early Georgians and early Americans provides the perfect segue to the Philanthropy Gallery.
The Millennium Gate features three period rooms: an 18th century Colonial study from Georgia’s Declaration of Independence signer Lyman Hall’s Midway, Georgia, the 19th century office of Coca-Cola magnate Thomas K. Glenn during his tenure as president of Atlantic Steel and the Trust Company of Georgia simultaneously, and the 20th century drawing room of Pink House, the Rhodes-Robinson home designed by Philip Shutze and Edward Vason Jones.