The State Historical Society of Missouri recently received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its new building that opened in August 2019. Gold is one of the highest certification levels awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council to measure the environmental sustainability and performance of a building.
“The initial planning stages of our new facility included design and materials that would prioritize efficiency, be a healthy building for staff and patrons and decrease operational costs,” said Gerald Hirsch, senior associate executive director of the State Historical Society. “We are very proud that Missouri’s history and art is housed in a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient building that used materials sourced from our state.”
Energy-efficient buildings help reduce pollution and improve outdoor air quality. The Society’s Center for Missouri Studies building is 76,700 square feet and uses 70 percent less energy than minimally code-compliant buildings of similar size and function. Gold-level certification recognizes that the building’s interior spaces have clean air and access to daylight, and are free from harmful chemicals found in some paints and finishes. Unique to this building is a dehumidification system that enables robust humidity control to preserve and maintain the Society’s art, manuscripts, historic maps, newspapers and other important papers and artifacts in its collections. The primary building materials include exterior limestone, quarried in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, and white oak interior woodwork from Poplar Bluff.
Kansas City architectural firm Gould Evans and River City Construction built the new headquarters for the State Historical Society of Missouri. After moving into the building almost a year ago, staff and patrons have enjoyed working in the modern new space and look forward to returning when the University of Missouri campus reopens. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff are working remotely and educational programs are being delivered online.
The Center for Missouri Studies is the State Historical Society’s vehicle for carrying out its mission to promote and disseminate study and teaching of the state’s past. Founded in 1898, the Society collects, preserves, publishes, and makes available material related to all aspects and periods of Missouri history. SHSMO also provides educational programs on the cultural heritage of the state through its research centers in Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla, St. Louis, and Springfield.