National Music Museum Expansion-Closure

Vermillion, South Dakota – If you want to visit the treasures of Vermillion’s National Music Museum (NMM) in the near future, plan on doing so by October 6. After that day, the Museum will begin complex preparations for its upcoming architectural expansion. Doors will be closed to the public throughout the preparation period and much of the eventual construction work. Groundbreaking for the addition is slated for June 2019, with museum reopening in 2021.

Patricia Bornhofen, the NMM’s Manager of Communications says, “The National Music Museum will be quite alive during that whole interval. We will continue hosting our NMM Live! concert series. The shows will just take place off site, often in the University of South Dakota’s Farber Hall. We will also continue partnering with other institutions, loaning instruments for special exhibits. And we will ramp up our social-media presence, so that people can engage further with our collection virtually.”

In March of this year, the NMM announced they had been approved to add approximately 16,000 square feet (two floors plus an underground level) to the existing Carnegie building. Funding for the estimated $9.5 million building project has been raised by the Museum’s Board, with up to $1.5 million of that amount (representing upgrades to HVAC and facilities infrastructure) to be covered by the University of South Dakota.

With some 15,000 musical instruments currently in the NMM’s collections, as well as many thousands of supporting artifacts and materials, the NMM needs not only more public display area but more storage and conservation options. The new addition will provide approximately 4,600 square feet of new exhibit space, a gallery dedicated to temporary exhibits, a new performance hall, a dedicated classroom, a new research and conservation lab, a new photography lab, more archival storage, and new above-ground staff and administration offices.

The National Music Museum is located in the former 1910 Carnegie Library building on the campus of the University of South Dakota, at the corner of E. Clark and Yale Streets. The new addition will be on the west side of the current building and will include a new ADA-accessible entrance into a glass-fronted two-story lobby. Schwartz/Silver Architects of Boston, MA, created the integrated look of the addition. Koch Hazard Architects of Sioux Falls, SD, are the on-site authorities as architect of record.

Known for historic musical-instrument holdings that rival any of the finest in the world, the NMM sees the expansion as the opportunity to showcase these masterpieces with state-of-the-art practices and technologies.

NMM Associate Director Margaret Downie Banks says, “Our goal is to continue being expert stewards and scholars of these masterworks, while attracting more visitors and enhancing their overall museum experience.”

Fundraising is now also underway to support the redesign of exhibits, cutting-edge museum technologies, aesthetic enhancements, operational costs, and the sustained growth of the museum’s endowment.

(Source: Patricia Bornhofen, National Music Museum)


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