Elliott Museum Closing for Rebuild

The old Elliott Museum building will close April 3 with an afternoon of festivities for area residents that include free admission. A larger, world-class building will be constructed on the site, with opening scheduled for 2013.

“We’re saying goodbye to our home of 50 years with an All-American celebration,” said board chairman Scott Baratta. “The building was front-page news when it opened and we want to send it out in the same style.”

The Elliott houses some of the nation’s finest collections of vintage vehicles and baseball artifacts, plus extensive collections of local historical objects and records dating to the original inhabitants of Florida. Harmon Elliott founded the museum in 1961 to honor innovation, creativity and inventions, including machine patents his father Sterling obtained.

“We know many Martin County residents have fond memories of the museum from their youth,” Baratta said. “Others have come to know and love the museum since moving here. We want to give them all a last look at the collections before they go into storage.”

In addition to free museum admission, the Elliott and general contractor Biltmore Construction are sponsoring outdoor entertainment, art activities, food and drink. The public event will last from noon to 4 p.m.

In late April, the Elliott will move operations to the House of Refuge. Both museums are part of the Historical Society of Martin County. The old building, which does not meet 21st Century standards for care of collections, is slated to be demolished in early May and a new foundation poured in June or July.

Biltmore Construction will direct work on the new building, which will have a contemporary design. At 44,000 square feet, the new Elliott will be nearly twice the size of the old building. The museum will meet requirements for traveling exhibitions and be highly energy efficient.


For five decades, The Elliott Museum on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, Florida, has served as a cultural and educational resource for thousands of residents, tourists and automobile enthusiasts.

The Elliott Museum is a celebration of innovation … of how creativity and ingenuity have changed lives, and made history. It is owned and operated by the Historical Society of Martin County, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting our region’s heritage. The mission of the Elliott Museum is to interpret and celebrate the genius of innovation, creativity and the historical events in Martin County and the surrounding region, all within an environment of learning and discovery.

The Historical Society of Martin County, headquartered at the Elliott Museum in Stuart, was founded in 1955 and operates both the Elliott Museum and the House of Refuge at Gilbert’s Bar, Martin County’s oldest building. The HSMC collects and preserves American life in the context of the St. Lucie River region. A private non-profit organization, the HSMC relies on membership and charitable donations to continue the mission of educating the community about the richness of our area. The Elliott Museum houses one of the finest collections of American antiques, decorative arts, baseball artifacts and vintage vehicles that celebrate the Golden Age of American creativity, and of course, local and Florida history.


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