For 40 years the Western Illinois Museum has passionately worked to protect the region’s treasures that tell the stories of our community. If history can be described as the study of changes over time, it can be said the museum is about to make history!
Established at the Western Illinois University in May of 1974, the museum, from the start, worked to build a collection that served to educate students and the community about the region’s history. In 2002, the museum became a non-profit and relocated to downtown Macomb. The newly formed board worked tirelessly with generous supporters and a dedicated team of volunteers, embracing all the changes the new location created.
Today it is clear the decision to relocate the museum was a good one. As interest in the museum’s collections, exhibits, and programs grows, a few changes are being planned. Recent programs have been “standing room only” and a simple reconfiguration of the meeting and exhibit space will allow additional seating. The change will also allow for easier movement between the two areas, improving the visitor’s experience.
Another change being planned is replacing the flooring in the public areas of the building. The deterioration of the current linoleum tile floor has become a hazard. After careful consideration, we have identified a commercial grade bamboo flooring that will look beautiful and suit the needs of the museum.
These changes are scheduled for this spring. While some areas of the building may be unavailable during the construction, we anticipate the work will cause little interruption to the museum’s normal hours. Check our Facebook page for news on the transformation, or just stop by and check out the improvements we are making.
As the museum completes its fortieth year, we pass another milestone in our history. With each turn, we are working to better live our mission and serve the community. The upcoming changes to our facility are necessary for safety, as well as to help facilitate the growth that the museum is experiencing. You’ll find us making our own history as we collect treasures, tell their stories, document changes, but most importantly inspire! We’re ready for what’s next! Are you?