The Mystic Seaport Museum was founded in 1929, and it is the nation’s leading maritime museum. The museum collects and preserves disappearing artifacts from America’s seafaring past which has led Mystic Seaport to becoming a national center for research. Covering 19 acres, the museum also includes a recreated New England coastal village, working shipyard, and exhibit halls. The Thompson Exhibition Building was opened on September 24, 2016 and was named after Wade Thompson, a trustee of Mystic Seaport. The design is inspired by the geometry of the sea and the curved hulls of the ships that sailed from the town of Mystic. Due to the building’s size, it is able to host major exhibitions and enhance the experience of America’s maritime history.