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As I noted, “functionally, the new facility is clearly superior to the old one.” The 1980 facility was inadequate almost from the day it opened, with visitation running at twice what it had been designed for. The new museum, at 7,000 square feet, is nearly twice the size of the original.
The new visitor center also offers more of something that was in painfully short supply in the old building—restrooms. From what I remember, working at the Arizona in 1990-91, people don’t mind waiting for a shuttle boat to the memorial, or for their pre-shuttle movie to start, or for their turn at a given museum display—but make ‘em line up for the restroom and they get a little cranky.