History’s history: Idaho State Historical Museum to change name, increase prices

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 Rendering of updated Idaho State Museum
Rendering of updated Idaho State Museum

When the extensive remodel and rebuild of the Idaho State Historical Museum is complete, you might not recognize the place – or its name.

Acting on the suggestion of a consultant, the Idaho State Historical Society will rename the renovated facility in Julia Davis Park as the Idaho State Museum.  

“Eliminate the term ‘historical’ as no longer adequate to convey what the new museum will be about,” the report notes about the change in name. It also says the term “historical society” is “increasingly perceived as elitist and antiquated.”

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The building closed in 2014, with remodel work beginning in 2016. It is slated for a May, 2018 opening.

The museum will also nearly double the rate it charges for admission – from $5 to $10 for adults, and from $3 to $8 for students.  The museum’s business plan says the higher-quality museum justifies the increased rate, and also says “free or low cost admission would be unfair to other museums and related institutions in the Julia Davis Park area and in Boise generally because the ISM will continue to have access to state operating funds not available to most other museums and related institutions.”

Other plans include museum facility rental for events, a “major exhibit” every three years, and an increase in paid staff at the museum.

Read the full business plan here.

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