Moving History Forward... To Our New Home
Currently, The Museum of North Idaho occupies a 4,371 square foot building that is scheduled for demolition. After 40 years in the same facility, The Museum collection has grown and the space is too small to house exhibits, artifacts, photographs, archives, and staff.
Wonderful artifacts and artwork, which should be on exhibit, are locked away in an off-site storage building due to lack of space. Since our current building has insufficient space to fit our growing needs, our long-term ability to disseminate historic knowledge through educational programming and outreach hinges upon having a new facility.
The current Museum does not have heat, forcing us to close to the public during the cold winter months (November-March) in Northern Idaho.
The Museum of North Idaho is planning to construct a new expanded 11,500 sq. ft. facility to house exhibits, art, and educational resources.
The new, expanded facility will include climate-controlled spaces that conform with modern museum standards for artifact preservation.
A new building allows us the opportunity to bring together stakeholders to participate in creating exhibits that identify and represent the culture and history of our three-county region (the Coeur d'Alene Region) to the residents, both new and old, as well as tourists who make up about 40% of our visitors.
In the New Museum Visitors Will Experience
North Idaho is connected by a system of lakes, rivers and aquifer, which determined the people and industries that settled here. The connecting force of water has shaped our past and impacted our present and future.
Upon entry into the new exhibit hall, visitors will be greeted with a bold graphic and text introducing a multifaceted experience of North Idaho. A dramatic quote about the importance of water in shaping life in the region will invite visitors to follow a path along the floor.
Economic Driver: MNI creates a vibrant economy by attracting outside investment and driving tourism. The Moving History Forward Project site is close to the heart of Coeur d’Alene. MNI has an opportunity to establish ourselves as an anchor in the community and as keepers of our area’s stories that reflect our rich culture and heritage.
Educational Asset: MNI collaborates with regional educational institutions. The new museum will create learning experiences that engage visitors and provide tools for communication. Through the language of the artifacts displayed, we find a common understanding of our history and the cultures that shaped it.
Civic Catalyst: MNI helps define our civic identity. The core of our mission is for curators and stake holders to construct exhibits tailored to learning. It’s this knowledge and meaning that creates ongoing dialog and inspires visitors to create a positive change in our communities.
Bridges Between Cultures: MNI exhibits ensure a deeper understanding and fosters an appreciation for various groups and cultures. Through better understanding of our collective heritage, we can better understand ourselves. The new museum will also serve future generations to comprehend their history and the achievements of those who came before them.
Develop Spaces Where Everyone Feels They Can Belong and Participate: MNI strives to create a rich learning experience for individuals of all backgrounds, so that visitors leave with a sense of themselves in the story of creating a positive future. A museum should be accessible to all. Programming in an ADA-compliant building allows all to participate. A larger space will allow MNI to partner with local universities, native tribes and arts organizations to produce relevant programming.