In Fort Myers, science is the future – and history

 In Fort Myers, science is the future – and history

The Imaginarium Science Center and the Southwest Florida Museum of History will soon be under one roof. To Lee County residents, that will make a lot of sense.

In much of popular culture, science and technology are framed in the future tense – think the Jetsons and Epcot’s Tomorrowland, both of which ironically seem quite dated to modern audiences. The City of Palms, however, owes much of its future success to the scientific exploits of its past residents. Aside from its climate, beaches and other natural resources, Fort Myers deals in historical currency (excuse the pun).

What would the city’s identity be without the legacy of the Uncommon Friends, and the lure of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates? Some of those men are challenging, complex figures, but inventor Thomas Edison; automobile magnate Henry Ford; tire manufacturer Harvey Firestone; surgeon Dr. Alexis Carrel; and aviator Charles Lindbergh owe much of their legacies to science. And Fort Myers owes much to their legacy.

Our Jon Romine is president of the Imaginarium Group, Inc., and has been involved in a two-year planning process to move the history museum from the former railroad depot to the Imaginarium facility. The history museum will enjoy more space, better lighting and the capability for vastly increased patronage. The city will enjoy cost savings, Southwest Florida residents and visitors will enjoy the side-by-side experience of science and history, as it should be.

As the two museums merge, a rebranding and new museum experience is planned to weave history, culture, science and technology together, to bring the story of Southwest Florida to life for many generations to enjoy together.

Photo credit: Sarah Morand

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