Dubuque's largest-ever museum exhibit 'Titanic' set to open - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's largest-ever museum exhibit 'Titanic' set to open

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This is what a first class cabin aboard the Titanic looked like.  Tickets for these cabins cost nearly $60,000 by today's standards. This is what a first class cabin aboard the Titanic looked like. Tickets for these cabins cost nearly $60,000 by today's standards.
These au gratin dishes were perfectly preserved on the ocean floor.  They most likely sank inside a cabinet, which rotted away over time due to the salt water. These au gratin dishes were perfectly preserved on the ocean floor. They most likely sank inside a cabinet, which rotted away over time due to the salt water.
This is exhibit is 5,000 square feet.  The museum had to remodel most of their second floor, including redoing wiring and their online ticket system, to get ready for the arrival of this exhibit. This is exhibit is 5,000 square feet. The museum had to remodel most of their second floor, including redoing wiring and their online ticket system, to get ready for the arrival of this exhibit.
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - There is nothing small about the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium's newest exhibit -- not in title, and definitely not in size.

The Titanic exhibit is set to open Saturday, marking the largest exhibit the museum and this city has ever seen, said John Sutter, the museum's director of marketing and sales.

It's a 5,000-square foot exhibit featuring all aspects of the Titanic -- from ship building to ship wrecking.

It's been a yearlong process for the museum to get where it's at today. After four months of contract negotiations, they secured the contract last fall.

"And ever since then, it's been a whirlwind of site prep and getting everything prepped on our end," said executive director Michael Sanders. "This is the biggest exhibit we've ever had, and so it was a big undertaking for us."

The exhibit itself plays out like a timeline. You'll first learn about the building of the ship, complete with some parts of the ship salvaged on display.

You'll then move to what life was like on the ship -- everything from what a first- and third-class cabin looked like, to the types of dishes people ate off of, to what was on the menu. 

Then, as the lights darken, so does the situation.

You'll start to see warnings from other ships about the ice, and eventually plunge into the darkest part of the exhibit, as the ship plunges into the icy water. There, you can put your hand on an iceberg, to give you a sense of how cold the water really was that night.

Then you'll be able to see some of the things that were saved from the ocean floor: au gratin dishes, pieces of the ship, even a porthole.

Finally, you'll enter the memorial room, where you can read some of the stories of survivors, and see the names of every passenger on the ship -- both those who were saved and those who didn't make it.

The Titanic sank in 1912, more than a century ago, but Sanders said it's still a story that captivates so many.

"It was such a tragedy at the time, and it's a story that people can really latch onto and say, 'This is a big part of America.'" he said. "My son is in first grade and has already learned about it, so it's still a story that's being told."

It will cost you $5 on top of the entrance cost to the museum to see the exhibit.

You'll also get to choose the time you go in, which you can do either online or in person. Groups will enter every 15 minutes to prevent overcrowding in the museum.

For more information on the exhibit, or to buy tickets, visit http://www.rivermuseum.com/exhibits-experiences/featured-exhibits/.
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