CHI director: IC museum design `beginning to jell`

“The design of the Synod’s first museum at the International Center [in St. Louis] is beginning to jell,” says Dr. Martin R. Noland, director of Concordia Historical Institute (CHI), which is planning the museum on the Synod’s history.

Last year, the LCMS Board of Directors approved a five-year lease for museum space that formerly housed the International Center library and video studio and gave CHI the green light to appeal to Synod congregations for financial support for the museum project.

CHI is the Synod’s Department of Archives and History.

CHI is already starting to get some bids for the museum design, “based on sketches giving a general idea of what might be done,” according to Noland.  He said the museum “is currently envisioned as a circulation loop with sequential galleries relating the highlights of the Missouri Synod’s history.”

Noland added that audio or video players will be used in each gallery, with controls accessible to children and the disabled and said designers also hope to include a small theater with a video documentary “for dramatic effect and inspiration.”

The new museum will free current exhibit space at CHI’s building on the campus of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, for installation of compact shelves to store a growing collection that documents the history of Lutheranism in the United States.

CHI’s Board of Governors last year set a “round-figure” goal of $2 million — $1 million for the new museum and $1 million for modifications at the Institute’s seminary-campus building.

Noland indicated that congregational mailings are being prepared for a funding campaign later this year, with construction expected during 2007.  In the meantime, individuals may send donations to Concordia Historical Institute, 804 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105-3014.

The CHI director said the addition and modifications should be adequate for the Synod’s archival needs for the next 10 to 15 years.

Posted Jan. 26, 2006

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