Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center

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The Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center is a hands-on museum and exhibition space located in Darden-Towe Park. [1] It finally opened in November 2015 after multiple construction-related delays. [2] A grand opening will be held in the spring of 2016. [3]

The Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center is a 501 (c) (3) corporation.

Local resident David Stackpole called for the removal or replace the Lewis and Clark statue because it represents Sacagawea unfairly. Executive Director Alexandria Searls wrote a letter to City Council February 9, 2016 saying if the statue had to be moved, she would accept it at the exploratory center where it could be contextualized. Many historical figures are imperfect, she says, speaking generally of the past, “to remove whatever has any guilt associated with it is to remove everything.” [4]

On November 16, 2015, City Council agreed to forgive a loan it made to the center to pay for cost overruns experienced when rock was discovered at the foundation.

Development history

Work to build the center began in 1996 with an exploratory committee. City Council held a public hearing on awarding a lease for 18 acres in Darden-Towe Park on July 21, 2003. At the time, a pedestrian bridge crossing the Rivanna River was proposed as was a vehicular connection to Route 0. [5]

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Board Officers and Members of the Board: (as of April 1, 2019)

Board Officers

Members of the Board

List of Current and previous members

Board of Directors

  • Heather Moore Riser, President
  • Francis McQ. Lawrence, Esq., Past President
  • Sally H. Thomas, Vice President
  • Malou Stark, Assistant Treasurer
  • Christopher L. McLean, Immediate Past President
  • Anna Berkes
  • Kenneth C. Boyd
  • John Conover
  • Anne B. Hemenway
  • Amy Hill
  • Satyendra Huja
  • Chauncey Hutter
  • Eric Johnson
  • Valerie L’Herrou
  • Dan Mahon
  • Diana Marchibroda
  • Lonnie Murray
  • Alexandria Searls, Executive Director


  1. Web. [1], Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center, retrieved February 2, 2012.
  2. Web. Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center Opens in Albemarle County, NBC29, November 8, 2015, retrieved November 9, 2015.
  3. Web. Long-awaited Lewis and Clark center set to officially open in May, Chris Suarez, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, November 8, 2015, retrieved November 9, 2015.
  4. https://www.c-ville.com/controversy-resurfaces-statue-stand/ Samantha Baars 3/03/16
  5. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, July 21, 2003.

External Links