Interview with Ernest A. Dollar, Director of the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum:  By Anne Fahim RA AIA

Background: Ernest Dollar, Director of the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum sat down with DLA Core Group Member Anne Fahim, RA AIA to discuss the new identity for the museum formerly known as the Raleigh City Museum, and what’s going on in the coming months at the Museum on the Downtown Mall, now known as the COR Museum. They met at Zinda, the New Asian restaurant on Fayetteville Street.

Ernest Dollar, Director City of Raleigh Museum

Ernest Dollar, Director City of Raleigh Museum

Q: What are you doing that resonates with Downtown folks?

A: What I am planning is to turn the city into the museum. The COR Museum and my vision for its direction supports showing the history all around us in Downtown Raleigh, and learning about that history.

Q: You mentioned you have in mind some high tech ways of accomplishing this?

A: Yes, our mantra is Then, Now and Next, we hope to have each of our exhibits address the past, the present, and what is yet to come. We hope to use the latest technology not only inside the museum for the exhibits, but also, out in the city to connect the knowledge about history to passersby, using their smartphones or devices. We are also looking into participatory exhibits and other ways to access information, such as pop-up exhibits.

Q: How can the DLA and its members help?

A: We are always looking for volunteers to do everything from helping with museum walking tours (currently every Saturday 10 am of Fayetteville St, but would like to expand) …to working with artifacts. At the moment, we are starting a PR Committee with volunteers to find out from folks how they would like to use their museum because the COR museum belongs to the residents of Raleigh. If you are interested, please contact me at

Q: What’s coming up in the coming months that might interest our members?

A: Coming up in September the first phase of our new permanent exhibit will be opening on September 28. “Raleigh Then” is part our major core exhibit scheduled for completion in 2018. Also in September we’ll be mounting an exhibit on Raleigh’s role in helping to create Bluegrass. We’ve also started a program to link children with history through literature in a program called Raleigh Reads. And don’t forget, every Saturday we offer a free walking tour of Fayetteville Street at 10 am.

Q:We will look forward to seeing those new exhibits! Is there anything else you wanted to say to our members?

A: Thanks again for all your help. It is greatly appreciated! See you at the museum!