Our mammoth expansion

Your stories how they deserve to be told. Your new, nearly-twice-as-big MOI will bring the world to Idaho, and Idaho to the world like never before.

Numerous organizations and individuals have contributed to this effort. We would particularly like to thank the following major donors: Maeck Family Foundation, Petty family, Carr Foundation, and the following:


Phase 1: More than 20,000 square feet of new space, including:

  • A larger two-story atrium for international traveling exhibits
  • An improved Maeck Family Foundation Education Center inside the main building
  • Customizable exhibit and event space to keep things fresh
  • Food options for patrons who need a break
  • More available parking (95 spaces total)
  • Public opening: September 28, 2019

Phase 2: Interior modifications to current space, including:

  • More than double the space for Idaho/regional exhibits
    • Planned new permanent exhibit: The Way Out West
  • An improved accessions, conservation, and research workspace
  • The ability to remain open during exhibit transitions
  • Improved flow
  • Anticipated opening: Summer 2020

Track our progress

SEE LIVE construction photos (updated every 15 mins.) plus a time-lapse of the progress and more.


  • April 23: Public entrance is temporarily moved as work begins to transform the old lobby and store into additional education space.
  • March 15: Bricks begin lining the exterior walls.
  • February 22: Steel girders begin outlining floors/ceilings. The expansion (phase 1) is now 50% complete.


  • November 14: Above-ground walls begin going up.
  • October 23: The basement's walls and ceiling are complete.
  • August 13: Excavation is nearly complete.
  • July 25: Crews demolish the old Maeck Family Foundation Education Center.
  • July 18: Construction fences are in place.