Plan Your Visit > History Center > History Center Transformation & Construction Updates

Design elevation of WRHS History Center seen from East Boulevard.  Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects 

WRHS History Center Transformation Nearing Completion

After years of planning, financial stabilization, and persistence, major renovations to the WRHS History Center officially began in February, 2012. The full project is nearing completion.  The completed elements include the new Crawford Auto Aviation Wing, Reinberger Gallery, and the East Boulevard Gallery.   "These inviting new spaces are now more open, bright and welcoming. The new exhibits capture the breadth of the WRHS collections," Gainor Davis, President and CEO.  The comprehensive transformation project is guided by WRHS 150, the new strategic plan to improve WRHS visibility, increase accessibility to the collections, and stabilize the finances for future sustainability and growth.

A separate, but related project of Cleveland's Euclid Beach Park Carousel Society is the construction of a glass pavilion and the installation of the iconic Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel. 

Photo Galleries of the transformations:
Early work November 2011 - April 2012: Photo gallery.  
See inside work through April:  Interior construction work. 
Mid-project work: Photo gallery.  
July 2012 photo gallery.
August 2012 photo gallery.
Euclid Beach Carousel Project photo galleries also available.

Videos about the auto and plane move in September 2011. 
WRHS moving the 1929 Minerva before construction.
Moving of the 1944 P-51K Mustang.
These videos show the moving of one plane and one vehicle to prepare for the History Center Transformation project. 

Fast Facts:

History Center Transformation
Project Size:
78,700 square feet.
Construction Period: February 2012 through January 2013.
Architect: Richard Fleischman + Partners Architects, Inc.
General Contractor: Scaparotti Construction Group.
Owner’s Representative: Regency Construction Services, Inc.
Fiscal Agent: Cuyahoga Community College.
Opening: January 26.2013.

Ground plan of transformed WRHS History Center. Highlights include: wider path between Reinberger and East Boulevard galleries, new East Boulevard entrance, new community conference room, new self-service elevator, new ADA-accessible restrooms, new Museum Store, new learning and program space, new stairway, new carousel pavilion, and complete upgrades to main floor of Crawford galleries.

The Western Reserve Historical Society History Center Transformation

Renovations of Crawford, Reinberger and East Boulevard Galleries - COMPLETED
Visitor and community service, collections care and accessibility, energy efficiency.
 A more open, bright and welcoming space with new flooring, lighting, staircases, self-service elevator, ADA-accessible restrooms, and climate control systems.
A new beautiful new Museum Store for an enhanced shopping experience.
 A new Learning Center for educational and interactive programming and a Community Conference Room available for nonprofit and corporate use. Available for rental now.  Contact us
 A new roof, ceilings, electrical and fire supression systems. 
New insulation and HVAC systems for energy efficiency. 

New Crawford Auto Aviation Collection Main Level Exhibits - COMPLETED
Collections accessibility and relevance for visitors of all ages.
The new exhibits tell the story of Northeast Ohio’s technological, industrial and entrepreneurial history, utilizing WRHS artifacts including aircraft, automobiles, advertisements, clothing, and industrial products.
New exhibits include the history of the Cleveland National Air Races and the Great Lakes Exposition of 1936-37.  More>

Renovations to the Lower Level Crawford Galleries - IN PROCESS
Expand and enhance the educational capabilities and integrity of the History Center with gallery space suitable for integrated exhibits of vehicles, planes and other WRHS artifacts. The Lower Crawford Gallery is one of the next projects slated for improvement. The unfinished exhibit space is currently open to the public and includes a selection of autos and other objects representing transportation history. When the renovation is complete, it will offer the updated experiences of the main floor galleries. There are funding opportunities available.  Contact Amy Shorey, Director of Development for more information. 
New flooring solutions and lighting to properly display automobiles and artifacts
New lower level Crawford Gallery exhibits

More on the Euclid Beach Park Carousel project.