Moving Forward: The National Cold War Museum
February 10, 2020; Blytheville, AR: The National Cold War Museum in Blytheville, Arkansas, has announced formation of its primary building and design team. Polk Stanley Wilcox, a well-known and award-winning firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been selected as architect, along with Clark Contractors, LLC, another Little Rock firm, as contractor. Rounding out the trio of design and structural expertise is Gallagher and Associates, Washington, D.C., a premier exhibit design company with extensive military and U.S. history-related experience.
“We could not be more excited about this team,” said museum chair, Mary Gay Shipley. “This is not just any group. These are highly touted professionals who are already engaged and captivated by our concept—absolute top-of-the-line pros. We have every reason to believe these people will bring the dream to a beautiful and meaningful reality for our entire country.”
Polk Stanley Wilcox, also with offices in Fayetteville, is a long-standing Arkansas company, whose experience spans corporate/commercial, healthcare, civic and educational projects. Winner of almost two dozen national design awards, Polk Stanley Wilcox is noted for its sustainable designs that focus on quality and value.
Gallagher and Associates, with additional offices in New York, Portland and Singapore, has gained an international reputation for creation of immersive experiences that engage, entertain, and create measurable impact on visitors and on communities. Gallagher counts among its creations the U.S. Olympic & Paralypmic Museum, the International Spy Museum, the National World War II Museum, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum and the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience.
Clark Contractors, well established in Arkansas, also has a breadth of experience that includes cultural projects. Their expansive portfolio features the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, the UA Windgate Art & Design District in Fayetteville, and the ASU/NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro. The National Cold War Museum is planned for construction on the former Eaker Air Force Base in Blytheville. Once known as Blytheville Air Force Base, the facility was a Strategic Air Command base throughout the Cold War. Its “alert shack,” the compound that housed air crews while they awaited a call to nuclear warfare, is one of the only intact such facilities in the nation and will be a central exhibit of the museum. “Perhaps a Cold War museum could be built anywhere,” said Shipley. “But here in Blytheville, when you visit the museum, you will be standing on a very real piece of Cold War history.”
While no museum groundbreaking is yet scheduled, a smaller exposition is expected to open this spring. The BAFB Exhibition, which will remain in place permanently, will display the history of the Blytheville Air Force Base, as well as showcasing a preview of The National Cold War Museum.