FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2014
Contact: Kim Jondahl, Communications & Education Director
BISMARCK—They’re baaaack! Dinosaurs that roamed in what is now North Dakota some 80 million years ago can be found at the State Museum of the North Dakota Heritage Center beginning Monday, April 28. The newly expanded State Museum is a treasure trove of North Dakota history including Tyrannosaurus rex cast, a Triceratops cast, the world’s largest giant squid fossil, exquisite pottery and beautiful beadwork from Native American tribes, and a one-of-a-kind, hand painted mural of Double Ditch Indian Village in 1550.
The ND Heritage Center expansion will not be fully completed until Nov. 2, but the first two museum galleries of four are open to the public. These two galleries span the state’s history from 600 million years ago to the 1860s. The Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time covers the story of the evolving geology and the earliest life in North Dakota from 600 million years ago to 13,000 years ago. The Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples covers the first arrival of people 13,000 years ago through the 1860s. This gallery features more than 1,000 artifacts that help tell the story of early life on the Northern Plains.
“We’ve been waiting a long time to open the doors, so this is a great day for us,” said State Historical Society Director Merl Paaverud. “We invite people to come and see the beauty and breadth of our heritage showcased through thousands of items that have never been on display before.”
In addition to the two museum galleries, additional spaces are open to the public including the newly renovated Russell Reid Auditorium, a new Great Plains Theater, the new Museum Store, select hallway exhibits, visitor kiosks, and more.
The ND Heritage Center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Due to construction, the new entrance and new parking lot are not completed. Visitors will use the existing west entrance to the ND Heritage Center. Parking is limited in the existing lot.
In 2009, the 61st ND State Legislative Council appropriated $39.7 million for the expansion, with an additional $12 million to come from private funds. To date, the State Historical Society Foundation has obtained pledges for more than $12 million from individual and corporate entities.
The completed expansion will feature 97,000-square feet of new space, including 39,000 feet of museum space and additional space on the lower level for collection storage, labs, and offices.
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612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
State Museum and Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710