NC Museum of History expansion

According to the folks over at ITBInsider, the museum is looking to expand across the street with a $200mil building/underground parking structure basically doubling the amount of space they have now. Will be connected with a pedestrian bridge similar to the science museum.


It would be great to finally see one of the many parking lot deserts in this section of downtown go away.


I’m sure this comes as no surprise to regular readers of this forum but if this comes to fruition, it would make me very happy. NCMoH is a great resource for DTR and has been badly in need of an expansion and upgrade for some time. I’m hoping the expansion includes a renovation to the current space.

To me, culture is Raleigh’s brand. Between the great museums, the performance spaces, the arts. But there’s always room for improvement.


I remember reading somewhere that they have thousands of other historical peices that they cannot display because of the lack of space. This would be an amazing project for Raleigh!

1 Like

Expected completion of design is mid 2020.

$200M is a huge investment. Great news for the museum and downtown Raleigh!

DTR has a great collection of museums, but IMO the surrounding area is a bit dull bc it is primarily government use. I hope some effort is made to bring some vitality to the area in addition to the investment in the museum itself. I would love Raleigh to have a vibrant museum district. The Moore Square renovation is a pretty good start.


Amen! :grinning:
I just “wish” we could bring back the NC Museum of Art to DTR…
I know, I know, stick to reality…:sob:

1 Like

Would love to see unconventional additions like a Museum of Amphibians and Reptiles of North Carolina ( Herpetology). But that’s just fantasy but wouldn’t it be interesting to visit a single place to see a sample of the thousands of species of snakes, turtles, lizards, alligators, frogs, toads, and salamanders that exist in North Carolina? Have a co-festival with BugFest called HerpsFest?

1 Like

Found the RFP… it’s for a Construction Manager; the design team has already been selected. Design is likely already underway, and this looks on track to begin construction in the next couple of years.

The section for preliminary design info is unfortunately blank. Was hoping for a sneak peak!

EDIT: A little more info. The project does include renovation of the existing building (phase 1). The addition across the street is phase 2.


Wish they would switch those phases. Build the new building first and then renovate the older one. This way you can stay open through the construction. They are either going to have to close the museum or have even fewer exhibits open under the current scenario.


I was thinking exactly the same. It’s such an obvious thought though; I’m sure it was considered and there’s a reason they’re doing it this way.

1 Like

YAY!! Was so excited to see this today. Anytime we’re swapping out a parking lot for a people lot I’m all about it y’all. :heart::heart::heart:


I hope that they add some height 5-10 stories-ish, similar to the SECU Building. Either way I’m glad that that parking lot is going away!

Yeah. I’m wondering what the chances are of them partnering with a private developer to build a tower connected to the museum addition, similar to what they did there…

According to the documents the square area added will be less than the current building. So unless they do that, probably be a rather small 3 or 4 story building with a large bus offloading plaza.

There’s a place like that in Wilmington. My dad loves it but it’s definitely a niche thing. I think the NC Museum of Natural Science wouldn’t be too fond though, since they already have a herpetology collection.

However, I think expanding the herp collection and having a festival about reptiles and amphibians would be a good addition to the NCMNS. One of my boyhood fantasies is for the NCMNS to expand into the Department of Ag Building.

I can’t imagine much height will be part of the expansion, but I do hope they have something eye catching like the globe at the science museum. The ITB story makes it sound like there will be an outdoor exhibit, which would help liven up the street.

@elevatoroperator, and @JFG my guess is they’re doing a renovation first because the current building is not in the best condition. My understanding is that there’s a serious problem with leaking, humidity and even mold in the building. About four years ago they were talking about ripping out the 2nd floor (which is all offices) and making the first floor more open. So the renovation might be a limited to the HVAC system and tearing out some offices, so they might not really need to close the whole thing?

1 Like

I think they should have an Aquarium in downtown Raleigh. I know they have three located at the beach but I still think it would be cool to have one in Raleigh.


I agree, but it would have to be private. No way the state legislature pays for one (nor, honestly, should they. The three beach aquariums are pretty important for the coastal economy).

Though, maybe Wake County could use their hotel and beverage tax money. Heck, I’d even support a taxpayer-funded stadium if part of the deal was we got an aquarium. And y’all know how much I hate those :rofl:

1 Like

As excited as I am for this project, I can’t help but hope there’s some mixed-use component to it. The entire area is pretty much dead after the government leaves for the day and the museum closes, and as we move forward in the coming years many of those government buildings will need to be replaced. Building a residential or retail component into this project in advance would do more than help the district now; it would also set a positive precedent for future development up there.