The expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center was proposed more than 30 years ago, when the original designs were developed for the state's largest museum and headquarters for the state's history agency. It was projected that collections space for artifacts and exhibit spaces would be full—and they are.
The North Dakota Legislature approved $40 million to fund the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center in the final days of its 2009 legislative session. The authorization of these finds was contingent upon the State Historical Society of North Dakota raising $12 million from private sources. Groundbreaking took place November 23, 2010 after half of this amount was secured.
Exhibits in the current gallery tell the story of North Dakota up to the late 1930s—leaving the Great Depression as the "most current" tale of the people of our state. There is now more than 70 years of additional history to share with our children, citizens and visitors. New exhibit spaces will tell the story of our emerging industries—coal, gas, wind power, agriculture processing, manufacturing and technology. Exhibits will also detail the story of our First People and explore Geological Time and dinosaurs as well as a temporary gallery for touring exhibits and a theater.
This exciting new facility will make the North Dakota Heritage Center the "Smithsonian of the Plains" and the "hub of history" for our state. Historic sites and major attractions and landscapes will be showcased for visitors enticing them to move across the state in search of further "legendary adventures."
Interior view looking east, North Dakota Heritage Center State Museum Expansion, Bismarck, North Dakota. North Dakota Corridor of History over-looking the Badlands Patio, the south lawn, and high tech media murals and interactive learning labs. This space also provides a gathering space and events and convention space for the public.
View from the southeast, North Dakota Heritage Center, State Museum Expansion, Bismarck, North Dakota. The main entrance of the North Dakota Heritage Center to the east provides a new opportunity to bring visitors to the state capitol complex from the busy adjacent highway. Visitors will not miss this dramatic architectual statement; it will draw travelers like a magnet.