Haverhill’s Whittier Among Those to be Honored in New Chicago Museum

Visitors will be able to learn about Whittier in the American Writers Museum’s “Writers Hall.”

Poet, abolitionist and legislator John Greenleaf Whittier.

Poet, abolitionist and legislator John Greenleaf Whittier.

When the American Writers Museum (AWM) opens in 2017 in Chicago, Haverhill’s own John Greenleaf Whittier will be among those featured in the museum’s “Writers Hall.”

AWM announced today it has leased prime space on one of Chicago’s busiest blocks for its early 2017 opening. Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill is one of the museum’s charter affiliates.

“We are thrilled to have found the perfect space in the heart of downtown Chicago, just steps from the city’s major attractions,” says AWM founder and President Malcolm E. O’Hagan. “The American Writers Museum will become a beloved attraction for Chicago residents and visitors from all over the world, and will provide an exciting and unprecedented opportunity to showcase true Americana in one of the nation’s most culturally rich cities.”

Showcasing the personal stories and literary works of diverse American writers, from Mark Twain to Dr. Seuss, the interactive, high-tech museum is expected to draw up to 120,000 visitors annually. The museum’s curating team and National Advisory Council are working closely with internationally renowned museum and exhibit companies in the museum’s development. Besides Whittier Birthplace, AWM is also collaborating with 50 authors’ homes and museums around the U.S. that will support its mission with author-specific knowledge and expertise and foster an exchange of ideas and experiences.

The museum’s themed galleries, interactive exhibits, educational programs and special events will change regularly. Visitors will come face-to-face with great writers using their zip codes in Writers Hall; accompany roving writers such as Kerouac and Steinbeck on their literary travels; and “visit” writers’ homes and fictional sites, such as “Tara,” “Cannery Row,” and “The House of the Seven Gables” in Nation of Writers. Exhibits such as The Mind of a Writer, A Writer’s Room, and Word Play will de-mystify famed writers’ lives and methodologies and invite visitor creativity with games and other immersive offerings. Readers Hall will host films, talks, readings and presentations to schools and other groups.

The American Writers Museum is the culmination of O’Hagan’s vision, and has garnered the support of scholars, publishers, writers, universities, booksellers and others. For more information, including renderings, floorplans, and details about planned exhibits, visit www.americanwritersmuseum.org. To learn more about Whittier Birthplace, visit www.johngreenleafwhittier.com.