Friday, January 9, 2009

Margaret Mitchell House Faces Massive Cutbacks

Like Edith Wharton's The Mount and the famous and fabulous Mark Twain House in Hartford, another literary landmark is facing very hard times.

Margaret Mitchell's house in Atlanta, the apartment where she wrote most of Gone with the Wind, has had its staff cut from 15 to just 1. The site is managed by an Atlanta historical consortium, the Atlanta History Center.

The trouble facing the Margaret Mitchell house is worrisome, because the site has been used as a case study of an historical house museum that acted responsibly in a climate that's been hard on small house museums for some time. Donna Ann Harris in her 2007 book, New Solutions for House Museums (Altamira) saw the sharing of resources by multiple historic sites with a community that the Atlanta History Center facilitates as a one possible positive future for struggling house museums.

Check out a longer story on the downsizing here. If you are anywhere close to Atlanta, now might be the time to visit the house.