Visitors will learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s. The German American Heritage Center works to preserve and enrich the German immigrant experience and its impact on the American Culture. The museum also partners with other cultural groups to demonstrate the contributions immigrants from many countries and from varied backgrounds have made to the ethnic palette which is the United States.
The exhibit was designed by nationally recognized firm of Morgan-Bailey Consulting and includes an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms.
At the “Step into my Shoes” exhibit section visitors will find footprints of a child, female and male. They can step on any set of the footprints, which then triggers the corresponding character to appear before them on a screen and talk about their personal experience as an immigrant. The narratives were developed from actual diary accounts and historical documents. Nine different characters appear at this station. Visitors may also try on clothing that immigrants would have worn during the turn of the century, and enjoy exploring many artifacts on display.