New exhibit opens at Missouri History Museum

When the Missouri History Museum decided to build its biggest exhibit to date – an educational children’s exhibit focused on the history of St. Louis – Chicago Scenic was happy to step in as a consulting, design, and fabrication partner.

When guests enter the 5,000 square foot exhibit, they encounter a miniature scaled ‘skyline’ of downtown St. Louis and LED-lit vitrines that showcase model train cars and other historical artifacts.

From there, guests move through a recreated historic downtown trolley car. At 30-feet in length, the trolley car features backlit window displays and working headlights and taillights. It is through
this trolley car that guests move from the present tense to the past. Hanging over the trolley car is the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch, large enough that it had to be brought into the room as two separate 8-foot wide pieces.

Moving further into the exhibit, guests encounter a two-story steamboat with a large captain’s wheel under a hanging steam whistle that, when pulled, reverberates throughout the exhibit.

Three columns of cargo crates stand outside the steamboat. Eight of the 18 boxes are equipped with internal LED lighting so that artifacts inside are safely illuminated.

One of the unique features of the exhibit is the 14-foot-tall bridge footing, built to resemble the original limestone footings of the Eads Bridge, once the longest bridge in the world. Small interactives and text boards rest against the footing.

Chicago Scenic contracted with Brees Studio to create the four 14-foot-tall white oak trees stationed throughout the exhibit. Custom cubby holes carved inside two of the trees include LED lighting and
provide a cozy reading spot for kids.

Chicago Scenic Project Manager Stefan Koniarz oversaw the exhibit installation. Working with Nicole D’Orazio, Exhibition Designer at Missouri History Museum, the team brought rough ideas and designs to completion in just a few short months. “It was a fun project because we really had a chance to help a client take a rough design through completion, and maintain budget. Kraemer Design + Production was the design consultant, completing the museum schematic design (SD) through design development (DD) and construction design (CD).

Missouri History 01Missouri History 03Missouri History 05Missouri History 07