The Ten-Thousand Springs Pavilion arrived at our Museum in September 2011 after completing a 700-mile journey from Flushing, NY. As a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, the Pavilion has logged many miles across the country, and its packaging and the dedicated team of volunteers that follow it around the country are as extraordinary as the Pavilion itself.
The Pavilion is assembled and disassembled like a large jigsaw puzzle: the pieces fit together seamlessly to create the enormous structure, and getting the pieces in and out of its storage crates is an equally large puzzle. The Pavilion arrived at the Museum in twelve wooden storage crates, and the insides of the crates were amazingly detailed. Each crate held multiple trays, divided to house each component of the Pavilion in its own special spot, nestled between layers of protective foam padding to cradle it on its journey across the country. Even the trays were beautifully organized within the crate. The team kept track of how trays fit within the crate using an ingenious system of cut playing cards—that way, there is only one possible orientation for the tray to fit within the crate!
In addition to the Smithsonian conservator in charge of the Pavilion, a dedicated team of volunteers follow it around the country, helping to assemble and disassemble the structure at each new location. We saw many familiar faces from last September’s assembly again when the Pavilion came down in addition to several new admirers who came to watch the disassembly. Many of the volunteers are carpenters and woodworkers who would like a closer look at how the Pavilion was crafted, and have quite literally crisscrossed the country alongside the Pavilion!
As promised, all of the pieces went back into the twelve crates the Pavilion arrived in and the Pavilion is awaiting transportation to its next destination. In all, it took the team a day and a half to deconstruct the Pavilion and to put the crates into storage. We are sad to see it move on, but can’t wait to follow its travels across the country and know that other audiences will enjoy the Pavilion as much as Lexington has. The Pavilion will soon be on its way to Texas. To see more pictures of the Pavilion’s deconstruction, check out our Facebook album!