The State Historical Society of Missouri should get a new $35 million headquarters in downtown Columbia, Mo. based on state funding approved in May by the Missouri General Assembly.
Preliminary plans are for a 125,000 to 150,000 square feet building including a 100- to 125-seat auditorium.
The bill still requires approval by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
The state historical society is currently located in the basement of the University of Missouri Ellis Library where space is inadequate to protect the historical organization's extensive materials which includes valuable artwork by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton.
Other materials include over 18,000 editorial cartoons, 6 million photographs and images, 4,000 maps and 6,000 Civil War manuscript pages, according to SHS officials.
“It’s really exciting and wonderful that the state sees this as a priority,” said Doug Crews, permanent trustee and former president of the State Historical Society said in an Associated Press story. “A new building and a place here where the society’s and the people’s collections can be displayed and stored for future generations.”
If approved, the new building should be completed in time to celebrate Missouri's bicentennial in 2021.
The story has received extensive coverage in the Columbia newspapers.