The Lower Level of the Museum and Memorial opens May 19, 2023!
Following a year of renovations, the Lower Level features the Bergman Family Gallery and Open Storage Center – approximately 4,000 square feet of storage and a 190-foot “coastline” of window cases that allows the Museum and Memorial to display objects and artifacts otherwise unavailable to visitors.
In the most significant expansion of the Museum and Memorial since 2006, the Lower Level also features an updated R.A. Long Learning Center, Ellis Gallery and Edward Jones Research Center, as well as additional spaces for small groups and students to learn about the collection and the impact of WWI.
This is only the beginning. The Lower Level renovation kicks off a multi-year strategic effort to provide critical upgrades to Museum and Memorial spaces, make the Museum collection more accessible to the public and create a more immersive and rich visitor experience.
What’s coming in the next phase?
Prologue: Grand Illusions
This gallery complements the Museum’s orientation film “Grand Illusions” that sets the stage for the onset of war. A map-based interactive brings a global perspective to the gallery where visitors can learn about different empires and view their strategic alliances. A media frieze will provide a new opportunity to showcase the civilian men, women and children worldwide who would soon experience the defining catastrophe of the 20th century.
Interactive Touch Tables
Four new interactive touch tables will be installed in the East Study of the Main Gallery, each with a unique program covering four topics – aircraft, communications, maritime and uniforms – with the overarching theme of wartime innovations.
Exciting upgrades to the Main Gallery and other spaces will continue through 2025. The Museum and Memorial will remain open during all phases of construction and anticipate that the guest impact will be minimal.
Thank you for your patience and excitement as these improvements are made – the upgrades are a vital piece in ensuring that stories of the Great War and its enduring impact will be shared for generations to come.