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The Museum Will Get a New Look!

The Eisenhower Foundation is raising funds for a complete redesign of the museum. All of the gallery space will be redesigned and upgraded!

This is exciting news. The redesign will allow us to update the galleries and exhibits using current scholarship and museum best practices, including new technologies. The most efficient way to redesign the space while protecting the artifacts is to restrict access to the museum building. While the project is underway, museum exhibits will be located in the gallery space of the library building. We anticipate the project will take about a year to complete.

The best part about our 22-acre, 5-building campus is the flexibility we have to provide a first-class visitor experience even while one of our buildings is unavailable.

 

Project Overview Summary:

  • The Eisenhower Foundation is fundraising for the museum redesign project.
  • Core museum exhibits will be relocated to the library building while the galleries are redesigned.
  • We have four other buildings with exhibits, artifacts, and programs for visitors to attend.
  • We do not yet know the exact dates, but anticipate the project to begin spring/summer 2018. The museum building will not be accessible for about a year.

Question & Answers:

Q. Why do we need to redesign the museum?

A. Generally speaking, exhibitions last about 15-20 years before needing a redesign. The Presidential Gallery, the most recently updated, was completed 15 years ago. A comprehensive redesign is a great opportunity to reexamine the story of Dwight D. Eisenhower in light of recent scholarship. We will also be able to incorporate new technology and museum best practices to enhance the visitor experience.

 

Q. Why will the museum building not be accessible during the project?

A. The museum will be unavailable during the redesign to meet an aggressive timeline while protecting the artifacts. Our goal is to create engaging exhibits bringing the Eisenhower story to life for a 21st century audience as quickly as possible. Ike and Mamie deserve the best!

 

Q. When is this happening?

A. We anticipate the project to begin spring/summer 2018.

 

Q. Can I visit and still see exhibits while the redesign project is taking place?

A. Absolutely! The Eisenhower film is shown in the Visitors Center. The Place of Meditation remains open from dawn to dusk daily – this is the final resting place of the President, First Lady, and their first-born son Doud. Guided tours of the Boyhood Home are offered daily. The Library, containing the Research Room and new temporary exhibits, maintains regular hours. Public programs and special events will continue to be offered on a regular basis.

 

Q. Can I still plan my research visit?

A. Yes! The research room will continue normal operations.

 

Q. Who is doing this redesign project?

A. The PRD Group based in Virginia is the exhibit design firm selected for the project. Both the Eisenhower Foundation and Eisenhower Presidential Library staff are working with the firm. Additionally there is a panel of historians serving as an advisory board. The design firm, proposed design, and historian advisory board have all been approved by the Archivist of the United States.

 

Q. Who is paying for this project?

A. The Eisenhower Foundation (a 501c3 non-profit foundation) is raising funds through donations for this project. The Eisenhower Presidential Library is operated through a public-private partnership. As part of the National Archives and Records Administration, the Eisenhower Presidential Library receives a federal budget for operating expenses including preservation/protection of the holdings, ensuring access to the holdings, facility maintenance, and professional staff costs. Private donations to the Eisenhower Foundation fund exhibit development and construction, programs and events.

 

Q. How can we stay informed on the project status as it progresses?

A. There will be a number of ways to stay informed. Once the project starts, we will provide updates in a variety of formats, such as quarterly public forums, a monthly blog, and social media posts.