Gilcrease Museum To Be Demolished, New Facility To Be Built

Tuesday, February 11th 2020, 4:53 pm
By: Justin Shrair

The Gilcrease Museum is getting a fresh makeover and museum officials are revealing new details.

Officials said the current museum will be demolished, and a new one will be built in its place. 

"We have an opportunity to truly reinvent this museum with the news that we won't just be renovating it we will be having a totally new construction for Gilcrease," said Susan Neal, Executive Director of Gilcrease Museum and the Helmrich Center for American Research.

Neal said the museum is made up of a series of five buildings. The oldest dates to 1913 and the newest building is from the 1980s. She said that's what's causing part of the problems.

"They are at all different levels they connect differently they really contributed to a difficult visitor experience," said Neal.

Neal said another issue is dealing with all different types of repairs that have been popping up.

"There can be numerous leaks and you are constantly fighting water and air getting into the building in places where you can’t manage the quality of the temperature the temperature control or the humidity control," said Neal.

Neal said it would cost more money for repairs than to just demolish the building and start from scratch.

"It’s not in the best interest here for our citizens to pour money their money into a building that cannot function and be sustained we'd be back in five years and asking for additional money," said Neal. 

According to the Gilcrease Museum website, $65 million will come from the 2016 voter-approved Vision Tulsa package and $10 million will come from a private donation.

Neal said building a new facility will take the museum, its artwork, and artifacts into the future.

"The land area that geography that the collection covers is Panama to Alaska and the time period is 200 C.E. to nearly current day," said Neal.

The design process is expected to take about two years. During that time the museum will remain open until construction starts.

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