The typical HOTR self-guided tour takes about two hours, but for my first visit, I’ll try to get just the highlights and leave the deeper exploring for later. I get the impression a full tour might be overwhelming, and I’m bringing my mom and 21-month-old son (neither of whom have very long attention spans) so I figure we’ll max out at about 1.5 hours. Matt says kids are welcome at HOTR – not just the school-age kind, but the little ones, too. Two sections of the museum are wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, but not section 1, which includes the Gate House, the Original House and the Infinity Room – a long passageway with 3,264 windows that juts 218 feet out over the scenic valley and 156 feet above the ground. Sections 2 and 3 feature multiple themed rooms, including Streets of Yesterday, Heritage of the Sea, the Doll House Room and Music of Yesterday and the Carousel.
I am interested to see how the collections fit within architect Alex Jordan’s structure. I have this idea in my head of the whole place being like someone’s garage or attic. Like the Smithsonian (“the nation’s attic”) of the Midwest. To be clear, I would pay to see nearly anyone’s garage or attic.