Longview World of Wonders started with a dream much like many civic enhancement projects seen throughout Longview. Research began in the late 1990’s to bring a children’s museum to Longview. Longview World of Wonders is building upon those research and marketing/feasibility studies conducted to make a vision into a reality. A civic-minded group of area residents began discussing the dream of creating a hands-on children's museum in early 2009 and assembled in March. By June, a board of directors was elected; in August, committees were formed and a logo was created by Barbara Crane; and by September bylaws were approved. In October of 2009, Longview World of Wonders became our official name and launched our Museum without Walls initiative to execute multiple planned activities throughout the fall. LongviewWOW obtained its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in early 2011, which the IRS designated as retroactive to September 2009, when application was first made.
During 2011, officers and committees started fundraising efforts to fund a home for LongviewWOW. These efforts moved forward while volunteers expanded the Museum without Walls initiative. In early 2013, the former Texas Furniture building at 112 E. Tyler in Longview was purchased and the dream of a museum WITH walls advanced one step closer.
We partnered with Hugman Architecture and Construction Company of Longview to get the building renovated and ready for exhibits. With the Crain Foundation's generous donations, the building updates were finished. We received our certificate of occupancy and the building officially named Longview World of Wonders given in memory of Lawson and Rogers Lacy.
In the first part of 2016, Phase I of exhibits went into fabrication and installation. These first six permanent exhibits include Build-It!, Build-It! Junior, Invention Garage, The Park presented by the Johnson Foundation, The Factory presented by Eastman Credit Union, and The Market presented by the Junior League of Longview. Our Grand Opening occurred on August 13, 2016!
Phase II of exhibits are currently in the design phase. Our goal is to have Phase II completed in early 2017. Our biggest obstacle is funding. Our Capital Campaign is still active until our goal is reached to finish Phase II.
We are excited to be open on a regular basis and will have an engaging mixture of permanent, rotating and traveling exhibits. Please check our website frequently to see what is new and currently happening.