HELENA — On Friday, December 15, MTN stopped by the Montana Heritage Centerto get the current update on recent renovations.
For over 20 years, the Montana Historical Society has needed a bigger space to showcase Montana history.
In the Fall of 2020, construction started on the future Montana Heritage Center.
The new center is a 66,000-square-foot addition to the current Historical Society building.
“Lots of demo going on. The original building is from the 1950s, so there’s a lot of updating to do,” said Molly Kruckenberg, the Director of the Montana Historical Society.
A main feature is a 16,000-square-foot Montana Homeland Gallery.
This will be the main history gallery in the Heritage Center.
“And it’s going to take our visitors on a journey through Montana history starting about 1,400 years ago through contemporary times. So, lots of artifacts and immersive experiences and interactives throughout that space so are visitors can engage with the history of the state,” Kruckenberg said.
The renovation has also expanded the space for the Charlie Russell Gallery and added a new changing gallery space, where exhibits will be rotated through.
“We have about 30,000 square feet of exhibits that are going in. That’s a massive amount of new exhibit spaces, so when we start to install those, we think it will take about 10 to 12 months,” said Kruckenberg.
They have also added two new classrooms for educational programs, an event center that can support about 250 people, and a new café and retail space.
Work is expected to be finished, and a grand opening held by the Fall of 2025.
“I think every person, visitors to Montana, multi-generational families from Montana, people who have just moved here, young, and old, will find all kind of things to explore here,” Kruckenberg said.