JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum (JHHSM) presented the draft plan for the new history museum located at 175 East Broadway, on the corner of the Genevieve block.
JHHSM is required to present the draft plan prior to applying for a demolition permit due to the use of 4.4 million of SPET funding to purchase the property at 175 East Broadway.
The new property will be a 30 foot tall, 13,000 square foot museum, including the basement and includes two historical cabins, the Shane Cabin and Karns Cabin, previously located on Mercill Ave.
The house currently located on the property known as the “red house” will be removed. Morgan Jaouen, executive director of JHHSM said that they have already been in discussion with Esther Lennox Judge of Shacks on Racks to move the original portion of the “red house” as early as November. “There is a family that wants to continue to use it as a residence,” Jaouen said.
Due to its inclusion in the Genevieve Block preservation efforts, the property is limited to 10,000 square feet of above-ground development and has a 15 foot-wide conservation easement across the front of the lot that requires the preservation of the large existing cottonwood trees fronting Broadway.
The project is also located in the Downtown Design Overlay that was adopted in February of 2021. The museum is required to comply with the “western character” design guidelines intended to help retain the traditional character and scale of the Town Square area.
The Project Manager Jason Berning discussed how the building is being designed to last 100 years.
Councilmember Jonathan Schechter asked about energy-neutral building opportunities. Berning explained that they are looking at options for geothermal heating and planning for the possibility of future solar panels and “exploring opportunities to fund those.”
No parking will be included on the property but the proposal includes a 15-minute loading zone.
Councilmember Jim Rooks said he grew up in the “red house”, and thanked those involved with the project. He said, “this is extraordinary, going back to the save the block campaign.” Adding, “If you can’t tell, I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Councilmember Jessica Sell Chambers also asked if the JHHSM has consulted with any tribal liaisons about design and the property.
“Last winter we did reach out from the Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone Bannock as well as the Crow,” Jaouen said. She explained that a small advisory group was created in March of 2021 with Eastern Shoshone and Shoshone Bannock tribal governments appointing representatives to be involved.
“That advisory group is involved in the permanent exhibit development. They are taking the lead on how to appropriately exhibit and interpret our ethnographic collection,” Jaouen said.
“They [the advisory group] did not express much interest in being involved in the architectural elements and design aspects of the campus but there has been at least an initial conversation with the groundbreaking and acknowledging the indigenous presence. Whenever we break into this ground anywhere in Jackson Hole and the Tetons it is ancestral lands for these tribes,” Jaouen said.
Jaouen discussed the cost of the project as well. It is estimated at about 14-15 million dollar project. According to Jaouen, JHHSM has secured 11 million to date.