Introducing Don Aslett's "Museum of Clean"
Don Aslett, founder and chairman of Varsity Contractors, Inc. (a nationwide facility services provider), announced today that construction is underway for a 75,000 sq. ft. museum devoted entirely to our efforts over the centuries to clean up after ourselves!
This unique structure is being built in Pocatello, Idaho, near Idaho State University, which Aslett attended when he started cleaning houses in 1953 to earn his way through college. That little company, called the College Cleanup Team, became Varsity Contractors, which today has 5,000 employees coast to coast plus 3,000 subcontractors, and annual sales of $250 million.
"The theme, purpose, and value of the museum will be to sell the public on the value of clean."
Cleaning efforts over the centuries will be chronicled through displays, demonstrations, and even dramatized in a cleaning melodrama. Items dating back more than 2000 years along with an amazing collection of pre-electric vacuums, are part of the Aslett/Varsity collection.
The idea for the museum came about in 1984, when Aslett visited the Edison Museum near Detroit in the course of taking a group of Boy Scouts to the Jamboree. He has since visited museums of every kind and size from the Hammer Museum in Alaska to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming. "I thought, why not a museum of cleaning? What has more impact on mankind than ‘clean?’"
Aslett’s own collection began with the acquisition of a 1907 hand-pump vacuum. Over the next fifteen years thousands of historic items related to cleaning have been added through donations from friends, employees, family, and vendors. Recently the Peter Frei collection from the Boston area was purchased for $300,000. Housed in Varsity’s corporate headquarters, the collection has grown to 6,000 pieces, all of which will find a home in the new Museum of Clean. The museum will be a combination of new construction and renovation of a stately, six-story, 1920s, goliath in Pocatello’s up-and-coming historic warehouse district.
"My goal is for this to be a LEED Platinum building (Clean Green World™) that will showcase clean to the world," said Aslett from his office. The LEED building rating system evaluates environmental performance over a building’s life cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a "green building".
"The many sustainable features of the Clean Green World™building will be as much of an attraction as the museum itself," says construction manager, Rell Aslett. "A beautiful rooftop garden with a native Idaho plantscape will irrigate itself, help to insulate the building, and capture water in tanks that can store 101,000-gallons, underground to be recycled."
The museum will be designed for the entire family. At the entrance visitors will look up to a massive, three-story Kids’ Cleaning World where youngsters will be motivated and learn to take responsibility for the things around them—make their bed, vacuum, wash dishes, and other everyday chore challenges. There will be a replica of Noah’s Ark that takes you on a journey highlighting the importance of water through the ages. A "Clean Art" exhibit will stretch the imagination. Other sections will focus on our impact on the environment; and how easy junk, litter, and clutter are to eliminate from our lives.
Completion and the grand opening, are scheduled for Spring 2012. There are thousands of old cleaning relics, ingenious ideas, pieces of early equipment, and historic art and photos, floating around or stored in attics out there somewhere. We encourage you to dig them out and donate them to the museum!
Samples of the collection at the Museum of Clean
Museum of Clean Location
Design drawings of the Museum Of Clean
Videos on the construction of the Museum Of Clean