History of The Museum

 

 

The Tallahassee Automobile Museum, located in Tallahassee, Florida, opened to the public in May 1996.  Our museum was born of DeVoe Moore’s need for a project and the red-tape of government environmental permitting inhibiting his ability to build new buildings!  Since the building for the original museum site was already permitted, he put his energy into developing a facility to house his small collection of 15 automobiles.   DeVoe always thought of automobiles as works of art and decided a museum was a worthy project where he could share his love with the public --especially young people. 

Our museum is designated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational corporation.  The admission fee and any donations made to the museum are used to pay the expenses associated with the day-to-day operations of preserving the history located within its walls.  The collections housed here have been donated by private individuals who do not receive any financial compensation from the museum.

In 1999, our Museum was privileged to receive the AACA First Place Award:  #1 Museum in the United States for the Preservation of Antique Cars!

In 2007, after out-growing the original facility, our museum was moved to its current facility.  The main museum building is 100,000 square feet – triple the size of the original facility.  It houses two floors of mostly American cars and a wonderful collection of Americana.  On the ground floor, our museum houses two state-of-the-art banquet halls that will seat up to 1,500 and two additional conference/meeting rooms are located on the 2nd floor. The current facility is one of Mr. Moore's prized accomplishments.  He is pleased to have constructed a “green” building as an alternative energy source to help support future generations.  At the time of construction, the building had the largest solar system placed on the roof of a building in the state of Florida.

Currently, our museum displays over 140 automobiles.  Our collection is quite diverse.  Automobiles range from an 1894 Duryea, one of the oldest automobiles manufactured in the United States, to a 2010 Camaro customized to look like a Pontiac Trans Am.  The 1860 horse-drawn funeral hearse reported to have carried Abraham Lincoln is also on display.  Our Batman collection has grown to include three Batmobiles --including the original cars used in the movies Batman Returns and Batman Forever, the Batmobile and Batcycle from the TV series, the Yellow Duck and the original Batboat used in the movie Batman Returns.  In addition to the vehicles mentioned above, there are many other unique and rare vehicles.  Over 20 of the vehicles are national champion cars.

The large showcase of vehicles is just a start to what you will see on display.  Our museum has a large variety of collections in show condition.  These include one of the largest collections in the United States of Case knives, outboard motors dating back to 1908 and Florida fishing lures.  Other large collections include adding machines dating back to 1864, antique brass cash registers and electrical fans, Native American artifacts, antique golf collections (clubs and balls) baseball card collections, motorbikes, pedal cars, and sports memorabilia.  There are also smaller collections including baby bottles, baby rattles, beaded purses, can openers, pocket watches, telephones, typewriters, slot machines, and spark plugs –just to name a few. 

Our museum is also home to a fascinating collection of some of the most beautiful Steinway pianos in the country, including the Peace Piano, the Chihuly Art Piano, the Alma - Tadema Steinway and a reproduction of the 1913 White House "Gold" Piano.  

So if you are interested in Americana, we have the museum for you!  Come spend a day and see what true craftsmanship is all about.