In Nov. 2015, the Missouri History Museum acquired the Soldiers Memorial downtown and embarked on a massive renovation project. As the project nears completion, the organization has rebranded itself as the Missouri Historical Society, operating the Missouri History Museum, the Library & Research Center and the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, set to reopen in Nov. 3, 2018.
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with leaders of the Missouri Historical Society (MHS) about recent changes at the institution, including the rebranding initiative and expansion efforts.
Joining the discussion were Missouri Historical Society’s president and CEO, Frances Levine, and managing director of education and visitor experience, Nick Hoffman.
Many St. Louisans learn about city and state history through the exhibits at the Missouri History Museum. Each year, more than 400,000 people visit the museum.
“You can enter St. Louis history through its music, through its food, through its architecture,” Levine said. “[The MHS] loves having those resources to tell that story.”
She said the rebranding efforts will continue to emphasize local history and connecting the MHS’s three locations.
Hoffman said renovating the Soldiers Memorial was a $30 million project that will make the building a “living, breathing museum again.” The building will comply with ADA access guidelines, have a more modern look and cohesive campus.
Expanded educational programs and exhibitions at the Missouri History Museum will continue, along with more research and genealogy programs “to reinforce that emotional connection that people have with [St. Louis].”
Levine gave the example of a frequently asked question in St. Louis: Where’d you go to high school?
“Think about the way you can broaden that question,” she said. “How long has your neighborhood existed? When was your house built? When was your high school built?”
The MHS also plans to emphasize its programs’ successes and honorable awards.
“We want people here in the community to recognize that there’s more to us than just an exhibition,” she said.
Hoffman said the MHS encourages people to share their stories about local histories by using the hashtags #ShareYourStory and #FindYourselfHere on various social media sites.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.