Springboard Design

PA Trolley

Pennsylvania Trolley Museum engaged Springboard to design and help organize the display of an extensive collection of trolley cars (over 40), artifacts and photos (a constantly growing collection, currently over 500). One of the primary challenges that the museum faced was the creation of a system that easily allowed the curatorial and exhibit staff to display a variety of internally-developed exhibitions over the life of the museum with a minimal need for additional display cases, boards, etc. The display had to work within the organization of ten primary themes, which told the basic, sequential story, but also allowed for the re-presentation of sub-stories and temporary exhibits.

Dedicated to communicating the story of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Trolley Era, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is in the midst of a major effort to create a premier regional cultural attraction in Washington, PA. With the recent completion of a new, modernized trolley barn, the organization has now focused on the creation of a new, multifunctional structure that combines a large, primary exhibit space, ancillary temporary exhibit spaces, an interactive multi-media theater environment, educational center, gift shop and offices. The main shed area will interweave the display of the actual trolley cars, in various restorative conditions, with an extensive, multi-section, interactive, 2D and 3D, changeable exhibition.

Springboard designed an interchangeable display system, constructed of readily available components, that evokes the craftsmanship and materiality of the Trolley Era without slavishly recreating outdated forms. All of the exhibition sections, as well as each trolley car station, are anchored by interactive display kiosks that tailor the electronic portions of the exhibit to the individual interests of the visitor – for example, more generalized information for schoolchildren or a greater technological emphasis for “trolley buffs.” Numerous other interactive components integrate themselves throughout the exhibit, providing ways to engage visitors of all ages and experiences.