We are in a multi-year process of getting new exhibits in our Visitor Center. The design phase of the project is finished and we're waiting for the exhibits to be fabricated and installed.
How exactly do you start a new museum exhibit project in the National Park Service? Our project started in 2014 when we identified the need to replace our 40 year old exhibits. We put in a request for the money and once it was approved we started the planning and design phase with the design firm that won the contract - The Design Minds out of Alexandria, Virginia.
The first thing we needed to do in the design phase was figure out what our "Big Idea" would be. What would tie all the different stories together? Next we had to think about what we wanted the visitors take away with them after viewing the exhibits. Once we figured those two things out, we needed to determine what design approach would best accommodate those things.
These are the key concepts we would like visitors to take away with them after viewing the exhibits:
The design approach involves dividing the exhibit area into four sections to tell a sequential story through distinct periods of the fort's history. An introductory “fast track” funnels visitors down a hallway and into the theater. Exhibits include overview panels highlighting major stories within the exhibits as well as two “breakout” areas focusing on Plains Indian tribes and bison. The center of each exhibit explores cultural interactions between specific groups.
Last updated: September 13, 2018