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Historical Museum closes for three year renovation

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Historical Museum closes for three year renovation

By Jake Melder. CREATED Aug 3, 2014

It's been years since the Idaho State Historical Museum has been updated and now, with help from donors and the state legislature, the museum is looking to bring the history of Idaho up to date.
But progress takes a little time.

For the next three years, the museum's interior will be gutted to bring exhibits of old artifacts into the 21st century.

"The new presentations you see all around the country really mix the experience up,” said Janet Gallimore, Executive Director of the Idaho State Historical Society. “Featuring the objects, but then using multimedia that people want to use today."

An addition to the museum will nearly double the floor space, allowing for more exhibits, a classroom, and an auditorium. The lion's share of the funding for the $10 million project comes from a $7 million grant by the state.

"We are very honored that the Legislature and the Governor support an expansion of our museum," said Gallimore.

The museum is moving forward onto a new chapter in its history, but many visitors spent the day looking back. That was the case for three generations of Tiltons.

"I remember coming down here when in grade school and they had the puppet show, sitting around watching the puppet show,” said Gary Tilton, standing next to his son and granddaughter. “It's really changed since then."

"I decided to bring [my daughter] down so she can see all the wonderful exhibits,” said Gary’s son, Rick. “Maybe learn something."

The Historical Society is looking for public input on what exhibits to bring to the expansion. You can share your thoughts here.

During construction, you'll still have opportunities to learn about Idaho's history. There are events scheduled year round at the Old Penitentiary, the State Archives, and the Statehouse.

The estimated grand re-opening of the museum is the summer of 2017.