Gateway Arch Museum to Get New Exhibits to Educate, Engage and Inspire
ST. LOUIS – The National Park Service (NPS) announced that Pacific Studio of Seattle, Washington, a small business and a nationally recognized creator of exhibits, was awarded a $17.1-million fabrication contract for the Visitor Center Exhibits Project at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. This is part of the CityArchRiver $380 million public-private funded renovation. This contract is the final component for completing the new Museum at the Gateway Arch by adding new exhibits that will provide an engaging, interactive museum experience. Pacific Studio has done other projects in the St. Louis area, including the National Blues Museum, Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Science Center.
The design and construction of the new exhibits is possible through private funding from the CityArchRiver Foundation. Superintendent Mike Ward said, “We are thrilled to kick off another exciting portion of the overall project here at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. We can’t thank our partner CityArchRiver Foundation enough for their generous support of the incredible project.”
Several new exhibit galleries will be created, which will take visitors back in time to explore multiple perspectives of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of a continental nation, the role of St. Louis as the gateway to westward expansion during the 19th century, and the legacy and heritage of individuals and cultural groups who played significant roles. Visitors will also get a close-up look at the history of the construction of the iconic Gateway Arch and the architects, engineers and builders who made it happen.
The exhibits will showcase illustrated historical narratives, primary source documents, historical art and artifacts. An assortment of multimedia exhibits will allow visitors to view large-screen video re-enactments of the Lewis and Clark expedition, participate in simulated electronic journeys west, and learn about colonial history with animated maps and timelines. The exhibits were designed by Haley Sharpe Design with multimedia design provided by Aperture Films.
The design of the exhibits has been completed to meet the standards of Universal Design, so that the environment can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.
The National Park Service Denver Service Center awards its contract through a competitive process that includes close examination of managerial competence, quality control, experience and expertise of personnel, and conformance to the terms of the prospectus. The exhibits project builds upon the current renovations to expand the Gateway Arch Visitor Center and Museum including interior renovations and a 44,000 square foot addition. Combined, the project totals 140,000 square feet of construction and renovation work, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and associated site work. The building has been designed with sustainable practices. Project partners will apply for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.