ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The $30 million renovation of the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis continues as it’s one year away from reopening its doors.
Karen Goering is project director of the revitalization of Soldiers Memorial and managing director at the Missouri Historical Society. She says other than having to redo some walkways after squirrels and rabbits ran through freshly pour concrete, the rehab work is on time and on budget.
LED lights have been added around the black granite empty tomb known as a cenotaph, which has the names of St. Louisans who lost their lives in World War I carved in black.
“Now, it’s very easy to read the names of the individuals being honored,” Goering says.
The Gold Star Mothers mosaic above the cenotaph has been restored with the help of local craftsmen.
“In the next few weeks, we will be getting the original light fixtures back from the St. Louis Antique Lighting, where they have restored those and updated them so they will have LED lights in them,” Goering says.
One of the changes that won’t be seen but felt is the installation of HVAC to the building for the first time.
Jody Sowell, director of exhibitions and research at the Missouri Historical Society, says a new 5,000-square-foot exhibition hall will be a flexible space, featuring rotating exhibits and programs from both the Soldiers Memorial collection and the Missouri Historical Society collection.
The Soldiers Memorial and Museum, which tells the story of St. Louis’ participation in and reaction to World War I and on, is scheduled to reopen Nov. 3, 2018.
“What I think is so exciting is that, there are military museums around the country,” Sowell says, “but I don’t know that there’s one of this size and certainly of this caliber that explores the military history of one city, and how people from that city were affected by wars and how they were involved in these conflicts.”
The first exhibit to be displayed in the new exhibition hall will be on World War I.