SOURCE: North Dakota State Historical Society

North Dakota State Historical Society

November 05, 2014 15:12 ET

New State Museum at the North Dakota Heritage Center Is Open to the Public

BISMARCK, ND--(Marketwired - November 05, 2014) - The North Dakota Heritage Center's 97,000-square-foot expansion is now complete with all four new galleries open to the public. The official public opening in Bismarck, ND, was held on November 2, which was North Dakota's 125th birthday.

The award-winning museum is also home to a 67-million-year-old hadrosaur named Dakota found near Marmarth, ND, a NASA experimental space suit for Mars travel built by the team at the University of North Dakota, and one of the premier displays of Northern Plains Indians artifacts.

Construction on the $51.7 million expansion began in 2010 with the first two galleries opening in April 2014, followed by the second two galleries in November 2014. The galleries are:

Adaptation Gallery: Geologic Time: 600 million years of geologic history and early life in North Dakota, including the world's largest giant squid fossil, found in North Dakota. Fossils set the stage for the Bakken Formation and North Dakota's booming energy industry.

Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples: More than 1,000 artifacts telling the stories of the earliest people to our area some 13,000 years ago, this gallery holds a large collection of Northern Great Plains Indians artifacts. Nationally acclaimed artist Robert Evans, whose work is also at the Smithsonian and at the Mount Vernon Estate, painted the six-foot by 50-foot cyclorama of Double Ditch Indian Village in 1550.

Inspiration Gallery - Yesterday & Today: Explore the history of agriculture, energy, settlement, conflict and war, communities, and cultural expressions that have shaped life in North Dakota over the past 150 years. View six themes that continue to influence our history and tell our state's story.

Governors Gallery: The museum's 20-year expansion plan was guided by seven governors, signifying the commitment and importance North Dakota places on this facility. The gallery features temporary and traveling exhibits, and educational programs. The first exhibit describes how electricity was brought to rural North Dakota.

Areas within the museum are named for the region, including: Pembina River Plaza, Red River Hall, Sheyenne River Hall, Mouse River Hall, James River Café, Missouri River Event Center, and Badlands Plaza.

The Northern Lights Atrium on the east end of the building features 20 poles in a nod to early Native American architecture, and night lighting to resemble the Northern Lights.

Get more information about the museum, including photos, video, fast facts and the top ten reasons to come see it in person.

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