OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma National Guard has announced plans for the construction of a new Oklahoma National Guard Museum in Oklahoma City.
During a Veterans Day address at the 45th Infantry Division Museum, Brig. Gen. Jon Harrison, chief of the joint staff for the Oklahoma National Guard, unveiled plans for the new 60,000-square-foot facility.
As the current museum focuses heavily on the 45th Infantry Division’s service during World War II, the new Oklahoma National Guard Museum will focus on telling the entire story of the Oklahoma National Guard, from pre-statehood to modern times, as well as include both the Army and Air components in a facility with sufficient space and climate control systems to preserve artifacts.
In addition to the many new displays, numerous artifacts from the current 45th Infantry Division Museum will continued to be on display. There also will be a variety of interactive displays, which will provide more information about Oklahoma National Guard activities than is currently possible.
“The 45th Infantry Division Museum staff have done an outstanding job over the past 44 years preserving the history of the National Guard,” said Doug Hayworth, project manager for the Oklahoma National Guard Museum and a retired Oklahoma Air National Guardsman. “The new Oklahoma National Guard Museum will continue to tell the 45th Division story, while adding the history of the entire Oklahoma National Guard.”
Hayworth also says the new museum will not only house the history of the Oklahoma National Guard, but will serve as a meeting place for the community, and also provide opportunities for community involvement as part of the museum’s mission.
In addition to the exhibit galleries, the new museum will contain a multi-purpose space, a modern research library, climate controlled storage management areas, and an archival and restoration suite.
Once built and fully set up, the new museum will have the ability to work much closer with other museums and historical societies.
The exact location and funding source of the new museum has not been determined, but Oklahoma National Guard leaders would like for it to be within a mile of the 45th Infantry Division Museum off NE 36th Street and Interstate 35 in Oklahoma City’s Adventure District.