With nearly 230,000 annual visitors, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage has marked the end of President Jackson’s 250th birthday celebration and the 2017–2018 fiscal year with its best attendance in two decades.
Attendance at the presidential estate has increased every year since 2011, and the most recent attendance increase comes on the heels of the home and museum’s yearlong celebration of Jackson’s 250th birthday. Over the past year, the presidential home – one of Tennessee’s top historical attractions and top 10 mainstay attractions in Nashville tourism – has had high-profile visits from President Donald Trump, former first lady Laura Bush, Fox News television host Brian Kilmeade and former ABC White House correspondent Anne Compton.
In 2015, the Andrew Jackson Foundation had an active year as it rebranded from the Ladies’ Hermitage Association to its current name, launched the $1.1 million “Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm” exhibit on the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, created a national board of trustees, and unveiled a new Hermitage logo.
All of these activities were part of a larger initiative to shift the focus of the museum from the mansion to the man and raise the profile of the site to more than just a place to see Jackson’s home but also a place to thoroughly learn about the seventh U.S. president and the roles he played in American history.
From fiscal year 2015 to the present, attendance has grown 17 percent from 190,000 to today’s nearly 230,000. Since record low attendance during fiscal year 2011 – when The Hermitage saw only 145,400 visitors and many Nashville attractions experienced lower attendance in connection with the 2010 flood – visitation has steadily grown and is now 58 percent higher. The Foundation has set a goal that by the end of fiscal year 2019 attendance at The Hermitage will reach 250,000 visitors.
“We implement many programs and initiatives to attract new visitors and give former guests a reason to come back,” said Foundation president and CEO Howard J. Kittell. “By providing new programming and content and continuing to create engaging experiences, we hope to see attendance continue to increase as we strive to provide a clear lens into Jackson’s life, the Jacksonian Era and their relevance to today.”
Highlights throughout the yearlong Andrew Jackson 250th birthday celebration
- 3/15/17 – President Donald Trump lays the presidential wreath and speaks at The Hermitage for Jackson’s 250th birthday commemoration. The Hermitage’s kickoff to its yearlong commemoration included half-price admission, birthday cake, War of 1812-themed games, education programs, and the premier of the new “Jackson” movie at the sites newly renovated theater.
- 5/17/17 – Former first lady Laura Bush delivers keynote address at the 117th Spring Outing, the Andrew Jackson Foundation’s annual fundraiser.
- 10/27/17 – During the Hermitage Gala, The Hermitage announces the newest addition to its permanent collection – a rare Jackson equestrian statuette modeled after Clark Mills’ original Jackson equestrian statue in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square. The acquisition of the statuette was made possible by Jackson National Life Insurance Company.
- 1/8/18 – More than 750 guests visit The Hermitage on the annual free day during the celebration of the anniversary of Jackson’s military victory in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Guest speaker Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Network broadcaster and author of “Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans,” lays a commemorative wreath during the annual ceremony.
- 1/11/18–3/15/18 – As part of its preservation work, The Hermitage makes its first major upgrade to the home’s fire suppression system in 30 years.
- 3/15/18 – The Hermitage wraps up its yearlong 250th Andrew Jackson birthday celebration with half-price admission, games and storytelling from the perspectives of former first ladies. Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Cornelia A. Clark and Col. Jason Glass, assistant adjutant general for the Tennessee Air National Guard, lay the annual presidential birthday commemorative wreath from the White House.
- 5/16/18 – Former ABC White House correspondent Anne Compton delivers the keynote address at the 118th Spring Outing.
- 6/10/18 – Andrew and Rachel Jackson’s restored tomb is unveiled and updated security features are announced at The Hermitage on the anniversary of Jackson’s funeral and burial at The Hermitage on June 10, 1845. The restoration was done after vandals desecrated the tomb in April.
About The Hermitage
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage: Home of the People’s President is one of the largest, most well-preserved and most visited presidential homes in the United States. Opened to the public in 1889, The Hermitage is one of America’s first presidential museums. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with 27 historic buildings, including Jackson’s mansion and tomb, restored slave cabins, a church, and gardens. In recent years, new interpretive initiatives and educational programs such as the history of slavery have enhanced the experience of 228,157 annual visitors. For more information, visit www.thehermitage.com.
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