Proposals from design and engineering specialists are expected to be sought early next year for the renovation of Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum.
At $65 million, the Gilcrease Museum renovation is the most expensive element of the Vision Tulsa project which was approved by voters last year.
The work will expand the entryway for use as an event space and increase display areas for the museum’s permanent and travelling exhibits. It will also encompass a major overhaul of the museum’s interior, the construction of a larger gift shop and new children’s discovery centre; and relocate the Restaurant at Gilcrease. An underground parking facility is also planned.
The project will be managed by the city of Tulsa. A ‘blue ribbon’ panel will be appointed by the Mayor’s Office to provide oversight.
The city’s preliminary schedule for the project suggests construction will begin in the winter of 2020 and be completed in 2022.
Gilcrease Museum was built in the late 1940s by Thomas Gilcrease. It first opened to the public in 1949. The museum’s collection includes over 350,000 objects and is reportedly worth billions of dollars. Despite the quality of its collections, the institution in its current form attracts just 80,000 visitors a year.
The intention is to create a facility worthy of the Tulsa museum‘s exhibits.