December 2012/January 2013 Stories Top Stories

The Cade Museum: Building the Creative Connection

Written by scott

The Cade Museum for Creativity + Invention recently chose the winners of the architecture contest for the design of the museum to be built in Depot Park along South Main Street. The renderings of what will be a multi-purpose facility have been met with rave reviews and already are inspiring people.

“I am a believer,” said Dave Molyneaux, Cade Museum Foundation board member and chair of the fundraising committee. “This project has the opportunity to change lives. We are creating something that has never been done before, and I could not be any more excited to be a part of it.”

The architecture competition drew 25 entries from across the United States and abroad and was overseen by a panel of judges who included national and local architects. GWWO, Inc., a Baltimore-based architectural firm, was chosen unanimously as the winner. GWWO specializes in cultural and educational facilities, recently designing the Port Canaveral Welcome Center and the visitor center and museum at Mount Vernon. Design Principal Alan Reed said they wanted a design that wouldn’t look incomplete, as the entire Cade Museum is being constructed in phases.  Alan described their inspiration as one of natural origins, using the brain and the universe as examples of living connections that branch out from a center. This concept was then interpreted into the design for the museum, which will include a central gathering space that exhibits and laboratories will extend from.

The first phase of the Cade Museum will be 21,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in late 2015.  This will put it on target with the opening of Depot Park. The Depot Park project discussion began in earnest in 2002 by the City of Gainesville and was kicked into high gear in 2008 when the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) was appointed to manage the project through to completion. Currently, the CRA is putting the final touches on the restoration of the Historic Train Depot Building and is entertaining proposals for a restaurant and café to occupy some of the premiere space.

Phase two of the Cade Museum will be an additional 24,000 square feet. Again, the organic nature of the design will allow for additional wedge-shaped structures to be added to the center or additional stories.  “We could add all 24,000 square feet at once or a piece at a time and not disrupt ongoing operations much at all,” said Dorrie Hipschman, executive director for the Cade Museum. “This was key in our decision-making process. Having architects who understand the needs of the museum to remain open and to grow and expand in deliberate and well-planned ways certainly sets GWWO apart.  With GWWO, we feel we have true partners in the process of turning the Cade Museum into a reality.”

The Cade Museum Foundation will need to raise $9 million to build the museum. Molyneaux said the capital campaign, Building the Creative Connection, is “on target.”

“While the Cade family has done a tremendous thing by establishing what essentially acts as an endowment for the museum’s operations and start-up costs, we will be counting on the community, private individuals and companies alike to provide us with the funds to raise the Cade,”  he said. “What we envision happening inside the walls of the Cade Museum has the potential to change this community in a profound and meaningful way. Offering access to such things as scientific laboratories for experiments and education, music and recording studios, as well areas in which to engineer or build that invention or innovation you have had in the back of your head for years is truly incredible.”

The Cade Museum Foundation’s mission is to create a museum that is educational, interactive and collaborative with hands-on exhibits and workshops designed to inspire creativity and entrepreneurship.  Led by Phoebe Cade Miles – the youngest daughter of Dr. Robert Cade, one of the lead inventors of Gatorade – and her husband Richard Miles, the Cade Museum Foundation’s Board of Directors has been busy planning all aspects of this project. Members of the board, as well as volunteers from outside the board, serve on committees for design, building, exhibits, programming, fundraising, Cade Museum prize, governance and strategic branding. Programming is one area that is already in full swing and catching on quickly with local organizations and parents.

When discussing programming, Phoebe notes that while the Cade Museum is truly unique in many aspects, the one that stands out in particular is what she refers to as the “living exhibits,” local inventors and entrepreneurs who partner with the Cade to inspire children.

“We are already hosting classes now that allow children to experience working in the lab next to a current inventor,” Miles said. “It is one thing to hear about someone who invented something—and an entirely different experience when you are standing next to them and they are showing you how their invention works, explaining why they did it and what their inspiration was. And a lesson that many of us need to learn is that failure is almost always a part of the process. The connections that are made are priceless. It is transformative for anyone, and for a child it can be truly awe-inspiring.”

For more information on the Cade Museum or to sign up for upcoming classes and events please visit or call (352) 371-8001.

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