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Let the Construction Begin!

Posted 4/17/11 (Sun)

Completion is scheduled by December 2012, leading up North Dakota’s 125th anniversary in 2014

Construction has begun on the North Dakota Heritage Center expansion, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers of Minneapolis.  The 97,000 square-foot addition nearly doubles the Heritage Center with expanded exhibits, state-of-the art research technology, improved public amenities, additional collections storage, and office/support space.

"We are excited to be part of this project and create a truly dynamic museum that embraces North Dakota’s cultural heritage," said Gary Reetz, AIA, vice president and principal with HGA. "The expanded Heritage Center will enable the State Historical Society of North Dakota to continue its core mission to preserve and promote the state’s legacy while offering increased educational and entertainment opportunities for visitors throughout the region."

Located on the North Dakota State Capitol grounds, the addition shifts the main entrance to the building’s southeast corner to face State Street. The limestone exterior complements existing campus buildings while the glass-and-steel Northern Lights atrium emphasizes transparency. An entry plaza features a petrified tree and glacial erratics, which are rocks transported by glaciers and deposited as the ice melted.

Inside, the atrium serves as the heart of the Heritage Center, its intricate structure and glass walls creating a memorable gathering space. At night, the illuminated atrium will be a glowing beacon to the community.

The atrium connects with the Hub of History, which provides tourist information on historic sites and other North Dakota destinations. From here, visitors enter the North Dakota Corridor of History, a vibrant events space that leads to galleries, exhibit halls and other amenities.

"What better time than that to showcase an extraordinary state museum that reflects our rich heritage and history, not only for us, but also for our children and for generations to come," said Merl Paaverud, SHSND director. "It will be a wonderful gift to the people of our state."

View photos of the expansion construction.