TR Presidential Library Selects Experience Planning Firm

With Theodore Roosevelt, there are many stories to tell. So many, in fact, that to choose which facets of this fascinating, multi-dimensional character’s life and legacy to present, and how to present them, is a challenging prospect.

This is where story and space combine, and where professional museum planning comes into play. To facilitate this step, the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF) is hiring a nationally-acclaimed consulting firm that will provide museum planning, experience planning, and financial feasibility services for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library (TRPL).

Earlier this month, a selection committee appointed by Board Chair Bruce Pitts met in Fargo where they interviewed three immensely experienced and profoundly capable firms. By all accounts, choosing just one was a tough task for committee members.

Ultimately, they chose Gallagher & Associates and recommended the firm to the TRPLF Board of Directors at its June 26 board meeting. Contract negotiations are currently underway.

Gallagher & Associates is a firm with vast understanding of the museum world and impressive experience nationwide. The firm has worked with 10 presidential libraries, and done complete redesigns of the Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, and Ronald Reagan Presidential Libraries and Museums. The firm also has worked with the National Archives and the National Park Service, just to name two of a multitude of clients.

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of Gallagher & Associates recent successful projects.

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, is one of Gallagher & Associates recent successful projects.

TRPLF Board Member Stephen Beckham served on the selection committee and said that he is very pleased with the outcome.

"Gallagher & Associates bring to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library project a rich background of design experience, especially for presidential libraries and museums.  The firm is also grounded in market analysis and helping to determine the content, scope, and economic sustainability of a project such as that developing in Dickinson," Beckham said.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, is one of 10 presidential libraries nationwide that Gallagher & Associates has worked with.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, is one of 10 presidential libraries nationwide that Gallagher & Associates has worked with.

The firm will work directly with the TRPLF Board, staff and Roosevelt Scholar Clay Jenkinson to determine which stories to tell and how to translate those stories into impactful visitor experiences using a combination of technology, artifacts, and the Theodore Roosevelt Center’s digital library where more than 40,000 TR-related items are already published and accessible. The work of the TR Center is a central piece of the presidential library and will be showcased as such – with potential exhibit materials drawn from this vast archive.

Equally important is the work Gallagher & Associates will do to determine the amount and type of space needed in the presidential library building to fit the budget, the mission, and the vision of the TRPLF. These considerations will allow the architects to design a building that both meets the needs of the presidential library and enriches the visitor experience.

Finally, the firm will conduct a feasibility study to determine the financial sustainability of the presidential library once it is built, including operational expenses, staffing costs, visitation expectations, and income from admissions and programming. 

Gallagher & Associates is the latest addition to the TRPLF team. To date, the Foundation has hired a construction/program management firm, a fundraising team, a public relations firm, and an architect of record.