State Historical Society to Break Ground in Columbia

Apr 18, 2017

Visitors view paintings by Thomas Hart Benton, a realist painter from Missouri.
Credit State Historical Society of Missouri

The State Historical Society of Missouri will break ground on its new home at the corner of Elm and Sixth Wednesday.

After nearly eight years of planning, the 75,000 square-foot facility will be the new home for the State Historical Society of Missouri. The completed project is expected to be completed by 2019 with an estimated cost of $35 million.

“We’re kind of seeing this as a bridge between the downtown and campus communities,” said Alexandra Waetjan, Outreach Coordinator for The State Society of Missouri (SHSMO). “This is going to be an even better space for people to come in and visit and just enjoy the space."

The gallery in the new complex will double that of the current 3,000 square-foot headquarters near Ellis Library on the MU campus. Joan Stack, Curator of Arts for SHSMO, said the new space will allow for more extensive displays.

“Right now we have sort of a smallish corridor,” said Stack. “Our plan is in the new building, since people want to see Thomas Hart Benton, we’ll put all [of] them up.”

Benton, a realist painter from Missouri who died in 1975, will have a permanent exhibit in the new facility.

The public is encouraged to attend the groundbreaking ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Heinkel Building parking lot on MU campus.