An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Museum Renovation

Museum Renovation News

Exciting Changes Are Coming for the Idaho State Historical Museum!

Get ready to enjoy a whole new experience as the Idaho State Historical Museum expands to provide more exhibits, more artifacts on display, and more activities for school groups and families. 

  • The Museum closed on August 4, 2014, and staff is temporarily located at 214 Broadway Avenue, the former Bureau of Reclamation Building.
  • The Museum Store is located at the new site and we offer several exhibits for visitors to explore. The Historical Museum temporary exhibits at the Bureau of Reclamation Building are open from 1-5 pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Why is the expansion and renovation needed?

  • The Idaho State Historical Museum building dates from the 1940s and many areas of the Museum are not up to modern museum standards.
  • The entire infrastructure will be updated and exhibit space added so that additional artifacts can be shown to the public. Space will be added for two educational classrooms.

How long will the Museum be closed?

  • We anticipate the Museum will be closed from August 2014 through most of 2017 for expansion and renovation if no construction delays occur. 
  • Following construction, new exhibits will be installed and the new facility will open to the public in late 2017 or early 2018.   

Where can I get my museum experience while the museum is closed?

  • We encourage our patrons to attend programs at the Old Penitentiary or visit the Abraham Lincoln: His Legacy in Idaho exhibition at the Idaho State Archives, the exhibits in the Idaho State Capitol, or our other historic sites across the state.

Why did the Museum close so early?

  • We closed to the public in August 2014 to allow our staff time to disassemble the exhibitions, catalog and conserve artifacts, and empty staff offices and public spaces for asbestos abatement; which took place in the spring of 2015.
  • Once asbestos abatement was completed, the architecture firm and exhibit design team began the work to align needed infrastructure to accommodate an entirely new exhibition experience and control costs of the project.
  • The building renovation will go out to public bid in the spring of 2016.

What will happen to the staff?

  • The staff is hard at work on exhibition and education content. They are also conducting broad historical research to give the new exhibits depth and character of all things Idaho.
  • The staff is engaging in statewide conversations to assist in the design of new exhibitions that will meet the needs of teachers, families, tourists, and the general public.

Where will educational programming take place?

The Idaho State Historical Society, in partnership with the Friends of the Historical Museum and the Foundation for Idaho History, actively seeks your input and support as we move into this exciting transformation of the Museum that will attract both old and new visitors with numerous and unforgettable experiences. For information on how to get involved contact Ryan Gerulf, or 208-514-2310.